Lets face it, now that special effects wizards can create anything they want, providing their computers get enough time to render it, movie goers are less impressed by visuals then ever. Even when the stunts are done for real, people expect the film to be somehow digitally enhanced. For that reason, the spectacular free running chase sequence near the start of Casino Royale still had some spectators wondering how much was actually done on set. Thankfully we still have making of specials such as this one to fall back on. Filmed in the real Bahamas, in an abandoned hotel first spotted by producer Michael G. Wilson during the filming of the aforementioned 'Spy Who Loved Me', the production designers managed to make it appear like it was still under construction (by importing absolutely everything they needed, there was nothing available over there). Some SFX secrets are revealed: when Bond drives the New Holland digger through a slab of concrete, it's actually a piece of breakaway slab. When Sebastien Foucan, the Parcour enthusiast Bond is chasing, jumps from one crane to the other there is a safety line attached to him (to be erased in post production) but he is doing the actual jumping. And of course the close ups of Foucan battling Daniel Craig at the top of the crane were mostly done by stunt men with closeups filmed considerably closer to ground. Craig himself trained for three months to do this scene and watching it makes it hard to imagine any previous Bond actor managing to keep up. Except for Connery, of course. That guy can do anything. He'd probably still managed to do it convincingly today.
Accompanied by one of those David Arnold/Oakenfold remixes of the Bond Theme and music from both the 'Die Another Day' and 'Casino Royale' soundtracks, we move onto the most difficult stunt sequence in the entire film, the Airport chase. This time bond is after the hired bomb-maker who replaced the previous one played by Sebastien. Months of preparation went into it (made evident in behind the scenes footage) and it's interesting to see the stunt team led by Chris Corbould testing cars being blown off the runway by the force of approaching airplanes (one of the automobiles hit a camera full on). Though set at Miamy Airport, different parts of the set piece were shot in Prague and Dunstfold (as well as Miamy itself). Beside this scene, special attention is paid to the destruction of an Aston Martin and the fact that 7 rolls on wet grass amounted to a place in the Guinness book of records. In this documentary we get to see all seven of them in slow motion and count along with them. Finally we get to the sinking house sequence, where Eva Green gets in a word, but this so as not to spoil the movie, the less time spend on this stunt the better. Chris Corbould sums it up best, saying people still want to see real guys doing actual stunts, no Nancy girls in front of blue screens (well, perhaps he didn't put it quite so bluntly). And since this presentation was made to draw viewers to the cinema, it ends with the usual frantic and wild montage set to perhaps the most indestructible piece of music ever composed, the James Bond Theme. Still don't know why they chose to call Casino Royale's theme song 'You know my name', though. 'You asked for it' would have been more appropriate, as that was the title under which the book was first published in America.
8 out of 10