Casino Royale Reviews
The character has been stripped of his gadgets, suaveness, even his prettiness, and turned into a violent, troubled brute who must use his training and dogged determination to succeed. Gone is the campiness of the Moore and Brosnan eras, or the professionalism that Connery and Dalton displayed. The film opens in black and white, reminiscent of film noir, and sets a proper tone: espionage is no longer as glamorous as it once seemed. If one wanted to get into the franchise, this would be the perfect place to start, as it is the origin story of the secret agent.
Of all the actors, Craig probably delivers the best Bond performance. He displays a level of psychopathy not seen since Sean Connery in Dr. No, but gradually becomes more humanized as the picture progresses, with various elements coming together to fully form the iconic spy we know.
The supporting cast also does a great job. Eva Green provides a complex turn as Vesper, one of only two women Bond truly falls in love throughout the whole series. Mads Mikkelsen isn't given too much to work with as Le Chifre, but it's also nice to see that the villain is humanized here too. He's not a maniac set of world domination, but a man pushed into a corner who must do what he can to survive.
The film has some fantastic set pieces such as the Madagascar parkour chase, the poker game, a certain excruciating torture scene, and the climatic fight in some crumbling Venice apartments. David Arnold's score harkens back to the work of John Barry on the early Bond films, and the underrated theme song by Chris Cornell adds to the impact.
By turning 007 into a human being and portraying him in an air of moral ambiguity, the filmmakers have made the right choice. It's a strong contender for best Bond flick of them all, and even if it's not, it's at least top three.
They brilliantly introduce a new character with Daniel Craig and I really love seeing Bond stumble and fail for the first time. On the other hand they still keep the old characteristics like the giant ego and confident humour.
The story itself is not on the same page as Skyfall, but it stays interesting and partly opaque.
Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen and the characters they brilliantly depict keep me thrilled while I get to see cool action and impressive pictures.
In the end it is not only the best bond but also the best revival of any franchise.
A long, well paced, story with great storytelling and action scenes. 007 feels like 007 again.