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Casino Royale

August 25, 2010

Casino Royale (2006)
Director: Martin Campbell
Actors: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen

Casino Royale

Synopsis: The origin of James Bond (Daniel Craig) gaining his ’00’ status, and the ‘lost love’ of his life – Vesper Lynd (Eva Green).

Review: Casino Royale is a commendable attempt by the film’s producers to return some much-needed authenticity and sobriety to the Bond franchise after the Pierce Brosnan era was threatening to breach an already infamous nadir set by Roger Moore’s latter efforts. The key banner for this new approach was in the casting of James Bond himself, and in Daniel Craig, the producers made a very wise appointment in selecting someone with tremendous classical acting pedigree, but also with a credible physical persona to make the action/’danger’ elements to the series far more tenable – we haven’t really had a Bond like this since Connery and Lazenby in the 60s.

Craig is at ease with the two main dramatic features of Casino Royale. He is totally convincing – if not exhilarating – in the Madagascar and Miami Airport action sequences, and the long, drawn-out Montenegrin casino sequences, where Bond the fatalistic gambler comes to the fore, is well within the Craig range too.

I must confess to being ever-so-slightly agnostic about the Vesper Lynd love-match dialectic though. It’s extremely well acted by Craig and Eva Green, and I like it from a plot perspective, in that her ‘betrayal’ is a cracking plot twist in the final act. As far as giving Bond’s misogyny an origin, and making his character ’emotionally scarred’, it’s perhaps a little literary and Batman-influenced, and I’ve gone on record before as saying I prefer it when Bond’s psychology is a relative blank canvas of nihilistic tendencies – a man who is always professional and untroubled by regrets. Still, all in all, Casino Royale is a cracking return to form for the Bond franchise, and long may that continue. (April 2013)

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