15 years later, Casino Royale remains the best Bond film of the Daniel Craig years


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With No Time to Die in theaters earlier this year, Daniel Craig is definitely hanging up his Double O license to let someone new take on the role of James Bond. As well as crowning Craig’s Bond years, 2021 marks the 15th anniversary of his first outing as a British spy in Casino Royale in 2006. You can currently watch Casino Royale on Amazon Prime Video, and it’s certainly worth it. . Check it out right here.

Casino Royale wasn’t just Craig’s first Bond title. It was also his best and a highlight for the franchise as a whole, perhaps even his crowning glory so far. Read on to find out what sets it apart.

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What is Casino Royale?

Casino Royale talks about James Bond in one of his first assignments as Agent Double O – his recently awarded 007 designation is a license to kill in the field.

The MI6 spy, played by Craig on his first outing, follows a silver trail. Terrorist banker Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelsen, is strapped for funds and is spending his clients’ money faster. After an attempt to manipulate world markets was foiled by Bond, Le Chiffre organized a high-stakes poker game to collect funds and avoid the wrath of his very dangerous allies.

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But MI6 goes after him and Bond, their best poker player, is sent to beat him. If successful, Bond would be able to provide a very valuable asset to his government. But if he loses, he will have used public funds to effectively finance terrorism.

Prequel, sequel, reboot or all of the above?

Casino Royale 1967 photo of a blonde Bond girl in a white dress, lying on a roulette table.

The continuity of the franchise has become an almost intolerable part of fan culture, where we need detailed breakdowns of how Title X exactly fits into the making of the world of Series Y, which is owned by the company. Z, who does not really own the rights to Title X. And on and on and on until nausea. Casino Royale is giving itself a lot more leeway than that, and it’s refreshing. He chooses what to use in the James Bond tradition in a new way.

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You could say that every new actor who wears the James Bond hat marks a reboot for the series. Certain elements inevitably come together. Desmond Llewelyn played MI6 Q’s director of research and development facing everyone in Bond, from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan. Actors playing the recurring characters M and Moneypenny have also moved from one Bond actor to another. In this way, all of the previous Bond films offered a semblance of continuity and forward momentum.

Casino Royale is at the same time an adaptation, a remake, a reboot, a sequel and a prequel.

Casino Royale has discontinued this. Or at least, that complicated it. Craig’s new Bond works alongside Judy Dench’s M, suggesting it is a sequel to Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films, where Dench was first featured. But with his Bond receiving his Double O status, we’re also in prequel territory.

And really, Casino Royale is also a remake. The novel it is based on was first adapted into a TV movie in 1954. And it was remade as an unofficial parody in 1967’s Casino Royale.

Thus, Casino Royale 2006 occupies a unique position as an adaptation, remake, reboot, sequel and prequel all at the same time.

Back to basics

Daniel Craig as Bond in Casino Royale, pointing a gun in the jungle.

Picking and choosing what to keep from Bond history allows Casino Royale to be a bold and fresh reinvention of the franchise.

The homecoming approach allows filmmakers to strip Bond to reveal who he is central to his concerns. And, above all, what a Bond film is (or can be) at its heart.

This means losing some arguably key elements. We have few fancy gadgets, no Q’s and no money in this Leap. It may sound sacrilegious, but it’s worth noting that Bond’s first screen appearance in Dr. No in 1962 did not feature any of these elements.

This bond is stripped to its very essence as a character.

Instead, we get a stripped-down story, much of which takes place at a card table, yet manages to be compelling. But don’t worry, we still have sassy 007 lines and a delightfully larger-than-life villain in Le Chiffre, who cries blood when stressed. We also get some of the most electrifying sexual tension and chemistry of any Bond movie thanks to Bond and Vesper Lynd’s flirtation, performed to perfection by Eva Green.

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As the first new Bond following the massive success of the Austin Powers parody franchise, Craig certainly needed to stand out and give the series a serious sense of seriousness, so it made sense to get rid of some of the more common tropes. mocked. This allowed Casino Royale to focus on the darker, grittier side of Bond. We see him struggling with the ease with which he can take lives, but also with his responsibility to those he uses in his work. Craig does a wonderful job of showing some vulnerability, like when Bond realizes that a woman he slept with has died because of him.

It was a little frustrating to see this reinvention thrown a few years later into the more overtly conservative Skyfall.

Where to watch Casino Royale?

Daniel Craig as Bond and Eva Green in Casino Royale.

As it has been 15 years, Casino Royale is fairly easy to find at reasonable prices.

If you are an Amazon Prime Video subscriber, you can just stream it there as it is included with your subscription.

There are plenty of other places to watch Casino Royale if you don’t have Amazon Prime. You can rent it for $ 4 or buy it for $ 9 from services like Apple TV, Google Play, etc.

Do yourself a favor and watch it the way you can.


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