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James Bond: Casino Royale reviewed here

James Bond: Casino Royale


Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Caterina Murino & Dame Judi Dench
Sony Pictures
November 17th, 2006

Promotional image for 'Casino Royale' starring Daniel Craig

CASINO ROYALE

Review


To some, the choice of Daniel Craig as James Bond in his latest outing, Casino Royale, has caused a nothing but controversy. The Chester-Born-Wirral-Raised star of Layer Cake has been deemed too short, too blond and too, well, un-Bond for the role even before the movie appeared.

Now, having seen it, these fears hold as much credence as belief in the Tooth Fairy: Daniel Craig IS James Bond and not before time.

 


Casino Royale introduces Bond before he holds his licence to kill, but he’s no less dangerous, and with two professional assassinations in quick succession – just to start the story off with a bang – he is elevated to '00' status and sets out to stop a terrorist bank-rolling terrorists.


There is everything here for the true Bond aficionado. Thrills, spills, explosions, car-crashes, collapsing buildings, surprises and gorgeous women galore. The big difference is how the character is portrayed. Gone is the Royal Navy Admiral stiff-upper lipness of old. Here’s a man prone to making mistakes, which in turn make his off the cuff one-liners come across as more measured, thought out responses than the usual glib fillers they once were. Also, Bond bruises, apparently, and has a heart, as the action takes its toll on him physically and mentally.


Eva Green, playing Vesper, is coolness personified opposite Craig, whereas Mads Mikkelsen is all a good villain should be, including bleeding eyes.


If there is one criticism it is the poker game that takes place in Casino Royale itself. A little long, this can be said to be a hand overplayed, but this is minor quibbling in the extreme. Everything else on show was as near perfect as anybody has a right to expect.


After Roger Moore took the franchise to new heights before levelling off only for Timothy Dalton to take it to new lows, Pierce Brosnan saved the day. Now in the safe, capable hands of Daniel Craig, the future looks bright – the future looks blond.
9/10

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