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-Casino Royale (PG-13)

by Dr. D ~

Columbia Pictures, 11/2006, directed by Martin Campbell.  Starring:  Daniel Craig (Bond), Eva Green (Vesper Lynd), Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre), Judi Dench (M).  144 minutes.

I admit it, I am a Bond fan and I have always found something to like in every portrayal and every different actor who has played James Bond.  Sean Connery is my favorite Bond, probably because he introduced me to the genre while growing up in the 60’s.  But I must say that Daniel Craig may become the best since Sean.  I eagerly await the next episode.

Casino Royale  gives us Bond at the beginning.  A Bond who is more introspective and even vulnerable.  A complicated Bond?  Yes, I believe so.  It will be interesting to see how this characterization is played out in the movies to come. This story really was about Bond himself, and Daniel Craig does an incredible job of bringing us aboard.  This film actually contains a ‘real’ and genuine love story.  Eva Green as Vesper, really does bring out a new side to James.  Will that vulnerability end with the first Daniel Craig rendition or continue on, it should be interesting.

Toward the end of the film with everything winding down, you have a feeling that something is wrong and can not possibly end this way, and of coarse that is the case.  There are some surprising twists to this story.  For instance, James leave a woman behind as things are just beginning to warm up, the ‘old’ Bond would have taken care of the woman first and then gone on to take care of business.  The background scenes are as interesting as ever.  At least it slows down enough to really see and enjoy them for once.

The one continuity with the past bond films is ‘M’ who continues to be played by Judi Dench.  Her able and sober characterization here brings needed stability to the film and the story.  Bond fans should be confident after seeing this production that the franchise is alive and well.


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