Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007, and must defeat a private banker to terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro, but things are not what they seem.
James Bond goes on his first ever mission as a 00. Le Chiffre is a banker to the world's terrorists. He is participating in a poker game at Montenegro, where he must win back his money, in order to stay safe among the terrorist market. The boss of MI6, known simply as M sends Bond, along with Vesper Lynd to attend this game and prevent Le Chiffre from winning. Bond, using help from Felix Leiter, Mathis and having Vesper pose as his partner, enters the most important poker game in his already dangerous career. But if Bond defeats Le Chiffre, will he and Vesper Lynd remain safe?Written by
The interiors of the Venetian sinking house were a rig built at the Paddock Tank at Pinewood Studios, and it could be submersed in nineteen feet of water. It weighed ninety tons, and used a mixture of hydraulics and electronics. A computer controlled the hydraulic valves, as well as a one-third scale model of the building, which was used for shooting exteriors. Water was pushed upwards by banks of compressors controlled by technicians. It was not actors, but crew, who, for once, were the ones responsible for bringing the house down. See more »
If a house collapses into the waters of a Venice channel, after the collapse the water would be so murky that the under water visibility would be zero. But in the underwater scene the visibility is like that of a swimming pool. See more »
Dimitrios was a middle man for a man named Le Chiffre, a private banker to the world's terrorists. He invested their money and gave them access to it whenever and wherever they wanted it, and he's also a chess prodigy and a mathematical genius and liked to prove it by playing poker.
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The opening credits include the words "Ian Fleming's James Bond." All other Bond movies only have this if it's an original screenplay. When they're based on the novels, regardless of how loosely, they're "Ian Fleming's (name of movie/novel)." See more »
The initial UK releases have minor edits in the torture scene to secure a commercially lucrative 12 certificate:
Le Chiffre draping the rope over Bond's shoulder, saying "Such a waste" and then removing it was cut (for being "a little too sexual" according to director Martin Campbell).
The rope swinging twice under the chair was shortened to one swing.
A close-up of Bond's grimacing face during the second whipping was cut (the two-shot of both characters that precedes and follows this close-up in the uncut version was extended to fill the gap).
The uncut version was passed with a 15 certificate in 2012 and is available on Blu-ray. See more »
An impressively dark, engaging and exciting entry in the Bond series just what it needed after Die Another Day
Having just achieved his 00 status, James Bond is assigned to uncover a plot by tracking a bomber for hire. The mission could not go worse as Bond kills the man in an embassy in front of CCTV cameras. Removed from the mission by M, Bond nevertheless follows the only lead he has to Miami where he finds himself working round the edges of a plot by criminal Le Chiffre to invest his clients money in the stock market just before an engineered event should send shares in a direction favourable for him.
After the poor CGI and overblown (if fun) affair that was Die Another Day, the series was at risk of just throwing more and more money at the screen in an attempt to exaggerate and increase the Bond formula to keep fans happy. And, in fairness it seems financially to be working for them but this is not to say that the drastically scaled back feel of Casino Royale is not a welcome change of direction for the series, because for me it most certainly was. Opening with a gritty, short and violent pre-credit sequence, the film moves through a cool title sequence with a typically Bondian (if only so-so) theme song. The film then immediately marks itself out as a step away from the previous film by launching on a great action sequence that is as overblown as the series requires but yet is all the better for seeming real no ropy Die Another Day CGI here. Casting free-runner Foucan was a great move and this sequence was the high for me. After this the film develops nicely with a solid plot that engaged me easily enough, with interesting characters along the way.
Of course this isn't to say that the series has suddenly put out an introspective character piece, because the world of Bond is all still here. So we have superhuman stunts, gadgets (albeit a practical self-defibrillator as opposed to a mini-helicopter) and the usual types of characters going the way we expect. Those expecting this self-styled "reboot" to provide a depth and emotion that isn't there will be disappointed but regardless this does the Bond formula well fans will enjoy it and those that were turned off by Die Another Day will find it a welcome return to darker territory. With all the fanboys tired from bemoaning Craig, it is nice to actually see for ourselves what he can do and mostly he is very good. He convinces as a heartless killer and has the presence that suggests that he could do ruthless damage if he had to. I was a bit put off by how regularly he pouts but generally he brings a gravitas to the character that it benefits from. Green is a pretty good Bond girl and brings much, much more to the role than Berry did in the last film. Mikkelsen is a good foil for Bond and is given more interest by his lack of stature (he is essentially facing his last role of the dice in several ways). Dench is as solid as ever while Wright makes a shrewd move in a small character that offers more of the same for a few years to come.
Overall then this is not the brilliant, flawless film that many have claimed, but I completely understand why it has been greeted with such praise. Sat beside Die Another Day, it is a wonderfully dark and brooding Bond with great action replacing some of the CGI and gadget excesses of recent times. Those upset at his blue eyes are best left fuming on the net, because Craig is a great Bond capable of being dark with the violence and offering the potential for more if the material comes to meet him. A refreshing film with the bond formula in place but with a dark and comparatively restrained tone that makes it realistic enough to get into while still existing in the spy fantasy world.
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