Casino Royale [1] (2006)

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Review #310 of 365
Movie Review of Casino Royale (2006) [PG-13] 144 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $14.25
Where Viewed: Cinemark Tinseltown USA, Colorado Springs, CO
When 1st Seen: 17 November 2006
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Film's Official Website
DVD Release Date: 27 March 2007
Review Dedicated to: ZLH

Directed by: Martin Campbell (GoldenEye)
Screenplay by: Neal Purvis (Die Another Day),Robert Wade (The World Is Not Enough), and Paul Haggis (Flags of Our Fathers) based on the novel by Ian Fleming

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Daniel Craig (Infamous) • Eva Green (Kingdom of Heaven) • Mads Mikkelsen (Pusher II) • Judi Dench (Mrs Henderson Presents) • Jeffrey Wright (Lady in the Water) • Giancarlo Giannini (Man on Fire)

Soundtrack: order the CD below

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Review #1 of 2 | review 2 will have spoilers and is coming soon
This is not your father's James Bond-mobile. Uh uh. This is as some have described it a rebooting of the franchise. Akin to saying the franchise was starting to grow tiresome to some, and the best way to make more money off a tired movie franchise is, apparently, to start over at the beginning going back and fixing things, improving things, and, hopefully, producing a film that will rekindle the imagination of a new generation. One of the things that has always intrigued me about long-running franchises where the lead character's actor has been changed is how new generations and previous generations react to THEIR James Bond. There will be, like it or not, an entire generation of people that will only know the new Bond, Daniel Craig, as James Bond, just as there is a generation that only knows Pierce Brosnan as 007. The irony is that purists will transmit their affection for Sean Connery as the best Bond as if to imply no one else is entitled to an opinion. Really, for most people, their favorite James Bond is the first actor they saw as James Bond—though many have been converted later to Connery fans. There is no denying that Connery was the man to beat as THE James Bond, until now. At the risk of upsetting the purists and the long-time Connery fans, and I certainly would have rated him my favorite and best James Bond, I'm going to say that Daniel Craig truly is the best James Bond ever. Not only is he the best actor to play James Bond, also with all due respect to Mr. Connery, but he was given the best Bond character ever to play—which does, unfortunately, make it a bit difficult to compare his portrayal to the others because they were not given this all-important opportunity.

"…loaded with action, suspense, humor, drama, great car and foot chases, fighting, love stories, betrayal, double agents, and everything that makes for a stupendous Bond film."
Unlike the Batman Begins reboot, Christian Bale was not the first actor to get to play Batman from his creation, through his evolution, and finally his emergence as the tragic hero. Michael Keaton was afforded the same opportunity—one he was not able to bring to the same level as did Mr. Bale. Mr. Connery was never given this role as the pre-Bond, Bond. So, part of what makes Mr. Craig's portrayal so much more powerful and compelling in Martin Campbell's new Casino Royale penned by the screen writing team of Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis based on Ian Flemming's Casino Royale, is that we see Bond before he was "Bond, James Bond." The film develops the superhero Mi6 agent from his first kills. The other advantage that Mr. Craig has over every other actor who's played the famous super agent is a physique of a prize fighter and the face of an English tough guy. He's not a pretty-boy Bond. He's a ladies man because of his strength and confidence, not because women will swoon when he walks in a room. His casting was largely criticized precisely because he was not seen by many as having the Connery / Brosnan look. Most who see the film will quickly realize in retrospect, how short-sighted such criticism and doubt was. Turns out, that a tough guy Bond has a lot more sex-appeal in the end.

Also, important to acknowledge is the film's structure. Many purists will be surprised by a lack of signature Bond elements such as Moneypenny, gadgets, Q, the opening credits, the signature song, Bond's lack of martini preference. Well, take a step back in time and think about the evolutionary process. These are things that evolved as Bond evolved, and they might realize that these are things that will come as the rebooted franchise evolves. It will be cool and clever to see from where Q and Moneypenny come. In any case, purists need to approach this film with some abandon. Go back in time and let this new franchise have its due. There's no doubt this film is loaded with action, suspense, humor, drama, great car and foot chases, fighting, love stories, betrayal, double agents, and everything that makes for a stupendous Bond film.

- to be continued… -

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Other Projects Featuring Casino Royale (2006)
Cast Members
Daniel CraigEva GreenMads Mikkelsen
Judi DenchJeffrey WrightGiancarlo Giannini
Martin Campbell
Screen Writers
Neal PurvisRobert WadePaul Haggis
Ian Fleming
CD Soundtrack
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Related DVD

Casino Royale (2006) Review-lite [150-word cap]
The Best James Bond film ever!

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