Casino Royale

Casino Royale (2006) - IMDb

I’ve decided to start my march through the Daniel Craig Bond movies. Casino Royale was my first Bond movie. I had seen bits and pieces of other Bond movies, but I had never seen a complete one before this one. I had made sure to see this opening day, even getting a poster coming out of the theater. While I’ve not gone back to see any of the latter movies I have made sure to watch all of the movies that came after this.

Casino Royale was directed by Martin Campbell. It was written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis and an adaptation of the first James Bond book by Ian Fleming. Most everyone involved had worked on other Bong films. Purvis and Wade wrote several movies before and after Casino Royale. Campbell had directed Goldeneye before this. Haggis only worked on this and the next movie. I know that this was a “gritty” reboot of the franchise, which was common back in 06, but it became something more than that.

Casino Royale stars Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, and Judi Dench. This my introduction to several people in the cast. I was aware of who Daniel Craig was when this was coming out because he was in other movies around the same time, but I had never seen him in anything before this. Mads Mikkelsen is incredibly sinister in this movie. I’m sure it makes so a lot of sense that he would go on to play Hannibal Lecter. Judi Dench is the only main actor that returned from the previous Bond films. Craig does an amazing job showing the character growth that Bond experiences throughout the entire movie. Eva Green also does a fantastic job as did Judi Dench. I personally wouldn’t want to make M angry in this movie, because she scares me.

Casino Royale tells that story of the beginning of James Bond’s career. More specifically the start of his career as 007. The story is also about a high-stakes poker game organized by Le Chiffre, the main antagonist of the movie. Bond is paired with Vesper Lynd, a treasury agent, to enter the poker game. Bond and Le Chiffre butt heads immediately. Over the course of the movie Bond and Lynd grow close and seemingly fall in love. The movie ends with James Bond doing his famous quote.

The stunt team did some pretty insane stuff in this movie. There’s an insane car flip in the movie, which won a stunt award and that makes complete sense. There’s also crazy free running, which was also very popular at the time. The fights were different from most at the time because they didn’t do a lot of cuts. You could see the swing and impact of blows. The score was done by David Arnold and it’s amazing. The Bond theme for the movie was from Chris Cornell and while not the best is a Bond theme that’s pretty catchy.

Casino Royale is a fantastic action spy movie. I’m pleasantly surprised by how well this stands up fifteen years on from when it came out. The main thing that really dates it is the technology, but that happens fairly often. You can stream Casino Royale on Netflix. I give Casino Royale 9 playing card decks out of 10.

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