Casino Royale * * * *
Director: Martin Campbell.
Screenplay: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade.
Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino.
Bond is back, brazen and brutal and he couldn’t give a shit if his martini’s shaken or not.
Daniel Craig now fills the shoes of the British agent and, as always, there will be comparisons to his predecessors. Just so we’re clear, he more than lives up to it and stakes his claim as an equal to Connery.
Bond has just been promoted to “00” status and has yet to prove himself in the field. He’s volatile and can’t quite keep his emotions in check, leading to rash decisions and a lack of professionalism. “M” (Judi Dench) has been keeping a close eye on him though and uses him to his strengths, entrusting him with taking down a terrorist organisation who is being financed by the mysterious, LeChiffre (Mads Mikkelson). In order to prevent the terrorists recieving their money, Bond has to bankrupt LeChiffre during a high stakes poker game.
Most franchises seem to be going back to their roots, realising, less is more. Bond no longer has his usual array of gadgets, all he has are his fists and his wits and when he’s required to dispatch of his enemies in a cold blooded fashion, these are more than enough. That’s what makes this Bond all the more real and believable and back to how writer Ian Fleming had intended him to be. If he went on going the way he was, we’d have Bond in spandex next. Thankfully, that’s not the case and Daniel Craig’s intense portrayal brings back the sociopath in our favourite spy.
A little overlong – as Bond films tend to be – but when it’s doing what it does best, it’s exciting entertainment.