Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Casino Royale (2006)
Best Bond for years
Ouch! Yes, Ouch! Ouch to a Bond movie so cool and tough, it hurts. Ouch to all the anti-blonde-Bond parade, who will be drowned out or eating humble pie thanks to Daniel Craig's seemingly effortless performance as Bond. And Ouch at "that scene" (if you aren't familiar with the story, you will know which scene I am referring to by the end). I won't bore you with the story, as its set-up is mentioned in just about every other review. By now you probably know this is Bond rebooted, Batman Begins style, without going too overboard on the "rebooting". Most of what you expect is still in place: babes, grotesque villains, action, exotic locales, Aston Martins. The gadgets have been stripped back to realistic levels (no invisible cars in sight - boom boom!) and gone are some of the more traditional aspects (Q, Moneypenny). In their place there is something that has been lacking in a Bond film for almost 20 years: a decent story.
One noticeable change about this film when compared to the recent Brosnan entries is that there a very few big name actors overshadowing the proceedings. The acting is on the whole a massive improvement over the last few, and look out for a few fun cameos. Daniel Craig sparkles as Bond, completely carrying the film on his shoulders. He's charming, sexy, edgy and dangerous - oozing alpha male coolness one minute, vulnerability the next. Unlike Brosnan, who always failed to totally convince me, Craig is totally at ease and believable in the role; here is a man you wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of. Eva Green is wonderful as the Bond girl who captures Bond's heart, one cringes at the thought of an Angelina Jolie type playing this part. Mads Mikkelsen is a sinister yet under-stated, a more realistic baddie. Giancarlo Giannini is wonderful as Mathis, an ally in the mould of Kerim Bay in From Russia With Love. Dame Judi Dench is back as M of course, and thankfully they've given her a bit more to do this time. A word of warning however: this modern Bond is pretty hard-edged and intense (pushing the boundaries of a 12A certificate). This is easily one of the most violent Bond films and whilst it is not as grim as Licence to Kill, it is certainly stronger and more realistic than your average Bond film.
The strange thing about watching Casino Royale is that it appears to be two different films. The first half is frantic, in the style of the recent Brosnan outings. The second half is more leisurely paced and retro feeling, akin to the likes of From Russia With Love or On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This pacing is the most common complaint from people who have seen. This said, I preferred the second half and the payoff is well worth it despite the fact a few of the Casino scenes could perhaps be slightly pruned. Whilst on the subject of minor nitpicks, some of the music is clichéd and overbearing at times, in particular the title song. The sexy main-titles do ease the audio pain, breaking with the normal mould but feeling classical at the same time. Which just about sums up the movie, classical yet modern. It's great to have the old-style Bond back, rather than some bloated action movie franchise that was rapidly losing its way.