UK Release date: 16th November 2006
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 7th October 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
In anticipation of the new Bond film ‘Skyfall’, out in a couple of weeks, I thought I’d take a look at the last two in the series, starting (of course) with Daniel Craig’s debut; Casino Royale. For the record, yes, I have seen it before and very much enjoyed it. It’s been quite a while since my first look so it will be interesting to see how it fairs. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
Having lost his clients’ money in a scheme foiled by James Bond; financier to the criminal underworld, Le Chiffre, arranges a high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro (not Monte Carlo as many mistakenly think). Of course Bond has a seat and he has a beautiful woman on his arm; Vesper Lynd, who represents the treasury who are staking Bond. His aim; to prevent Le Chiffre from wining and gaining back his reputation. There are many bluffs and counter bluffs but you know Bond will win out in the end… But at what cost? I’ll leave it there, the Spoiler Police will be pleased with me today as I’ve kept it particularly vague.
Very well made with, as ever, some great music supplied by David Arnold. There are also some great locations (as expected) and some quite breathtaking stunt work (hats off to those guys). I thought Daniel Craig was excellent as Bond; he really brings the character up to date and gives him a lot more edge; something that had been lacking in his more recent predecessors. Eva Green did an excellent job as Vesper Lynd; vulnerable when needed but also quite sassy at times. And now the bad guy; Mads Mikkelsen plays Le Chiffre with just the right amount of menace, nicely done! I will also give a mention to; Judi Dench as M, she was excellent as ever, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter and Giancarlo Giannini as Rene Mathis.
There is quite a lot of action before things focus on the Casino; all of this is well done and features much of the stunt work in the film. I have to say it does appear to get a little lost once the main focus of the film is established. Once we do get there the scenes in and around the Casino are quite compelling and it is here that we actually get a feeling for how Daniel Craig portrays Bond. He has vulnerabilities that make him appear more human and this in turn gives the audience a chance to understand his motivations. I must admit I really enjoyed Craig’s portrayal and am looking forward to more of the same. As for the film as a whole; I very much enjoyed it. Very entertaining with everything we’ve come to expect from a Bond film, and more.
SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
My score: 8.5/10
IMDb Score: 7.9/10 (based on 254,443 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 81/100: (Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 87/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 602,204 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Vesper Lynd: It doesn't bother you? Killing all those people?
James Bond: Well I wouldn't be very good at my job if it did.
James Bond: Dry Martini.
Bartender: Oui, monsieur.
James Bond: Wait... three measures of Gordon's; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.
Bartender: Yes, sir.
Tomelli: You know, I'll have one of those.
Infante: So will I.
Felix Leiter: My friend, bring me one as well, keep the fruit.
Le Chiffre: [annoyed] That's it? Hm? Anyone want to play poker now?
Felix Leiter: Someone's in a hurry.
Le Chiffre: [after striking Bond with a knotted rope] You know, I never understood all these elaborate tortures. It's the simplest thing... to cause more pain than a man can possibly endure.
[strikes Bond again, this time harder]
Le Chiffre: And of course, it's not only the immediate agony, but the knowledge... that if you do not yield soon enough... there will be little left to identify you as a man.
[drags up a stool, sits down next to Bond and slaps him on the cheek]
Le Chiffre: The only question remains: will you yield, in time?
M: You don't trust anyone, do you?
James Bond: No.
M: Then you've learned your lesson.
Mr. White: Hello?
James Bond: Mr. White? We need to talk.
Mr. White: Who is this?
[a shot rings out. White's leg is shattered. He drops to the ground in obvious pain and drags himself toward the house. He is stopped at the steps by the feet of a man in a suit. He looks up to see Bond with a cell phone in one hand and an assault weapon in the other]
James Bond: The name's Bond. James Bond.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.007.com/