Casino Royale is Bond at his badass best

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Spotlight on James Bond

After Pierce Brosnan’s first turn as a James Bond super spy in golden eyethe series saw increasingly diminishing returns. tomorrow never dies, The world is not enoughand particularly die another day were each increasingly weaker than their predecessor, and it became clear that Bond needed a revamp. Walk in Casino Royale.

Apparently inspired by Christopher Nolan’s more grounded take on the Caped Crusader in batman begins, Casino Royale bare 007 down to its core attributes, ditching the silliness and weirdness that had defined the franchise for over a decade.

Gone are the sexual puns, ridiculous gimmicks, and nasty monologues of previous entries. These signature elements were replaced with a renewed focus on realism and a gritty, villainous tone that made Bond act more like an anti-hero than ever.

Image credit: Sony Pictures

For instance, Casino Royale begins with an adrenaline-filled chase through the streets of a town in Madagascar. As his ace begins to use impressive parkour maneuvers to evade Bond, the super-spy must use his wits to get a pearl on the criminal. Cut the lines on the hydraulic lifts and make their way through the locked doors, it’s immediately clear that this is a whole different james bond from what we are used to.

Even if you didn’t get this idea of ​​how brazenly 007 approached during the chase, you sure will when he finally catches up to his mark at the embassy and kills him in cold blood, causing an incident. internationally in the process. While sent to the Bahamas to cool his heels by an outraged Mighty Bond continues his mission in secret.

Casino Royale continues to subvert our expectations from here, as the spy himself receives the smoldering revelation of stepping out of the water at the beach. Here we see a Bond that would really freak you out if he punched you in the face. Daniel Craig is definitely taken as 007, which adds thick layers of muscle to the film’s physics, making audiences sincerely believe that Bond is capable of the many awesome fight and action sequences he fights his way through here. .

Casino Royale
Image credit: Sony Pictures

And boy, oh boy, are they awesome. A mid-point set piece at an airport sees James desperately trying to stop a terrorist from blowing up a plane, even chasing him under a landing craft that blasts several police cars with his massive bursts of pressure. ‘air. It’s a great sequence.

Yet the best part comes at the end when the terrorist appears to have escaped as Bond narrowly prevents the leaky and broken dump truck from reaching its target. As the smiling villain detonates the bomb anyway, we see James’ small smile emerge and the terrorist realizes that Bond has strapped the bomb to his pants. As 007 smirks, the villain explodes and the audience has the best time they’ve ever had in a Bond movie.

Casino Royale positively shines in moments like this, which are plentiful in Neil Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis’ fantasy script. Meanwhile, director Martin Campbell consistently succeeds throughout the 2.5 hour runtime, keeping the viewer ever on their toes along the way.

Casino Royale
Image credit: Sony Pictures

That’s without even mentioning the rest of the cast. Along with Craig’s chilling portrayal of Bond, we have Mads Mikkelsen as Le Cipher. Brutal, cruel, and utterly sadistic, Mikkelsen, best known for playing villains like Hannibal Lecter and One-Eye, is just the man to take on this tough new Bond.

The centerpiece of Casino Royale sees the two playing brilliantly against each other in the highest of high stakes poker games. As they joke, plot, and make witty repartee, each hand builds the tension, and another incredible action sequence unfolds in a staircase fight scene with an assassin.

There’s also Eva Green to consider. An actress who made a career out of playing sultry sexpots in The dreamers and dreadful pennyshe also has the acting chops to endear you to and root for you, even when her inevitable betrayal is exposed in the finale.

Casino Royale
Image credit: Sony Pictures

Finally, the charismatic Jeffrey Wright plays Bond’s counterpart in the CIA. His presence, often providing exposition with his superb diction and incredible voice to keep the audience in the loop, is vital. This feature is especially beneficial for non-gamers when playing cards in the eponymous hotel. Not everyone plays poker and it’s hard to understand what’s going on if you don’t even know the rules.

A clean slate for Bond is the best gift that Casino Royale offers the super spy, however. With no movies that take place before in the timeline, this origin story can go bankrupt without fear of upsetting longtime fans of the franchise while providing a compelling entry point for newcomers to the franchise.

Bouncing back from one of the worst movies in your decades-long franchise is no small feat, and Casino Royale don’t just take it out; he does it with magnificent flourish and the type of brash confidence that would make Bond himself blush. Easily one of the top 5 Bond Movies already, Casino Royale is in regular rotation on TV even today, and it’s worth watching every time it appears.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published under our former imprint, Sound On Sight. The article is part of our Spotlight on James Bond.

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