After the abortion that was “Die Another Day” the Bond franchise was in desperate need of a shot in the arm, and it received just that with 2006’s epic reboot “Casino Royale”.
“Casino Royale” was the first of Ian Fleming’s Bond novels, originally written back in the 1950s, so it is weird that it took 21 official Bond movies and over 50 years before it finally got a serious on screen adaption (not counting made for TV movies, and spoofs)—all of that due to some legal wrangling involving of all people, Spiderman.
Daniel Craig was a true breath of fresh air for this series. There were those who were aghast at his casting at the time due to his Blond hair, but I believe now he currently owns the role as much as any of the former long term Bond actors.
In this movie Bond is a newly promoted “Double 0” agent, and we even get to see his first, and second career assassination.
Judi Dench is the lone carry-over from the Brosnan days, and she was definitely smart to keep around. All of the aesthetics of this movie were spot on. Mads Mikkelson is one of the best Bond villains as the mathematical genius LA Chiffre and Eva Green is absolutely elegant as the original Bond Girl, Vesper Lynd.
This movie began a new era of action for 007, in which we have more Parkour inspired chase scenes in which Bond performs feats of agility that would normally reserved for the aforementioned Spiderman. Contrast that to long periods of tense showdowns at the card table and the occasional big gun fight and there’s your movie.
If the movie has one flaw, as pointed out by none other than Sean Connery it is that the run time here is perhaps up to a half hour too long, but when the movie is this good, you don’t really mind. I’d watch four hours of “Casino Royale” as opposed to thirty minutes of “Die Another Day…”
Casino Royale gets a four out of five: GREAT.