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Casino Royale (2006): Review

Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer & Columbia Pictures

Written by Sean Wall

James Bond has returned in a new adventure but told from the beginning. The names Bond,… James Bond!

Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright & Giancarlo Giannini | Runtime: 150 minutes | Rating: PG-13 (Adult content, violence, language, and suggestive imagery)

Critics and fans alike are wondering what’s next for the 50-year-old franchise as it seems Daniel Craig, the current and hiatus James Bond have officially called it quits playing the famed spy. As of recent weeks, two contenders have been considered for the role Tom Hiddleston and Jamie Bell, but Tom Hiddleston is the top choice to possibly be the new James Bond. In that same breath, we look back on the first Bond film Craig starred in. It was a refreshing “reboot” that brought us all back to the roots of why we all fell in love with the spy who likes it shaken not stirred.

Casino Royale is the remake of the original 1967 classic of the same name that explores Bond’s first mission after obtaining his double-o agent. Featuring Daniel Craig, aptly referred to as “Blonde Bond”, Casino Royale is an exciting and sorely needed reboot of the Bond franchise after the past few installments drove fans and audiences away.

It starts off with a gritty black-and-white sequence telling of Bond’s first two kills that granted him the double-0 status. Afterward, Bond’s first mission goes up in flames as he traveled to Madagascar which ended in a costly and embarrassing fashion. Although the MI6 gives Bond another chance to redeem himself his leads take him across the world to the Bahamas, Prague, and Venice, Italy. After learning about who’s funding the mishaps that have occurred and a high-stakes poker game being hosted in Montenegro’s Casino Royale hotel Bond confronts the antagonist, a banker to the world’s terrorists Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen). Bond is assisted by a stern yet attractive accountant from MI6, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green).

Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer & Columbia Pictures

Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer & Columbia Pictures

With such a simple story to tell in this movie and some extent of my issues though and they’re nothing compared to what I enjoyed about Casino Royale, this one is definitely a top favorite from the entire franchise. Daniel Craig definitely has earned the fans respect for breathing new life in such a stagnant franchise, but everyone knows films like this never get the recognition it deserves. Regardless, Craig’s Bond portrayal is completely different than what we’ve seen in the last decade and it’s simply outstanding. Craig takes you on a more vicious side of Bond with a little extra tough psychotic style of man that derives humor from derangement and not from clichés. We can see from the beginning of the film Craig’s Bond is all about getting the job compared to the past few Bonds. The thought this Bond will, in fact, kill you rather than ask the question first is a concept that many fans will find refreshing to the character of James Bond.

The film like any can have its few to multiple problems as all films are not perfect in its entirety. The usage of the Bond girl, Eva Green, seem to have a toned down role and was pushed into the movie at the wrong place. We can rebrand the franchise, but don’t take away the reason why Bond girls bring the film in full-circle. Despite that, there’s literally no other issue Casino Royale gives off after watching.

In these final words, Casino Royale was the movie that jolted a franchise from being a steady ride to a rejuvenating force making the life of James Bond a relevance for the new generations willing to watch a kick-ass spy. The young and reckless James learns his lessons that later played out in the original 20 films. With a new direction laid out for the films that followed (Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and SPECTRE), it’s safe to say that Bond is here to stay with much more action and less cliched moments.

Rating: 46813-4-5stars

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