Casino Royale Reviews
It also boasts my favourite title sequence to date and an excellent choice of song to accompany it.
The final act feels a little long, which is often a symptom of any movie in which the main villain is out if the picture sometime before the rest of the story is completed. And that is my only "criticism" which barely even qualifies as a nitpick at that. Not just an excellent Bond movie but an excellent movie full-stop.
But a sophisticated story isn't all that makes this movie; something was needed to lift things above that grittiness. Luckily, this film found that solace in Daniel Craig. My gosh is this guy a good Bond; bringing a steeliness to compliment the new-found tone, yet a charm and witt to make everything all the more enjoyable. You properly, properly root for the guy, and that's thanks to Craig's performance, as well as his relevance and arc in the overall story. He can do smooth, he can do cold and he can damn well do action and as a result he's already the best Bond since Connery. Put all that good stuff in a film with all the usual fun action, glorious locations and sweeping musical numbers? It's kind of a Bond movie, but it's something quite a bit more too.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: A film this fresh and ambitious is bound to have problems, but the question is do they hinder the overall experience? Well, rarely; the only issue I have is that the overall tone is a little hard to adjust to - being such a fan of the classics. Having said that, in the words of 007 himself: "do I look like I give a damn?" Hmm I probably shouldn't, but I can say the feeling would have been less jarring had it stayed consistently dark throughout.
VERDICT: I'd go as far as saying that the story in 'Casino Royale' is one of the biggest achievements in Cinema history. It engages, it flows and it works, and Daniel Craig elevates it even further. Just wow.
The film is more serious (no Q or Moneypenny characters, less gadget emphasis) but still has breathtaking action sequences that are less CGI and an improvement on its predecessor Die Another Day.
I remember when Craig was first cast the furore it caused amongst some Bond fans. They need not have worried to be fair.
Many memorable scenes from the novel are faithfully adapted but the card game in the Casino Royale is changed to Texas Hold'em Poker.