Royale. Casino Royale.
Source: Tailor On Ten
If you were born at least somewhere
in the 20th
century, chances are you will know who James Bond is. This legendary icon of espionage, action and aristocracy has become synonymous with black bowties and martinis being shaken, not stirred. Between the inception of the character back in 1953, all the way to present day, James Bond has gained a worldwide following, with a global franchise encompassing movies, comic books, video games and even songs. Interestingly, plenty of music artists see it as a career accomplishment to record a specific James Bond movie theme!
While a healthy number of actors have played the role, the most famous ones are Roger Moore, Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan. Each brought his own flair and flavour to the role, but the general idea of Bond as a sophisticated and strapping agent remained intact. So, when Daniel Craig was cast to fill those shiny leather shoes, the world was in two minds. Suddenly, Bond got buffer – and blonder! It’s always a touch-and-go, casting a new character to play such a well-known role, so… how does Casino Royale fare? All in all, pretty well.
A Breath of Fresh Bond
Before setting out to watch Casino Royale, be mindful of the fact that this 2006 release could be seen as something of a revamp or reimagining of the character. While plenty of lifelong fans may be disgruntled by the casting of Daniel Craig (“He’s blonde, though!”), they will quickly come to see the bulkier build of the character as a breath of fresh air, as well as the toned-down sex obsession of his predecessors. Casino Royale takes place at the beginning of James Bond's career as Agent 007, while he is still earning his esteemed ‘licence to kill’. The film involves Bond on a mission to bankrupt a terrorist financier, known as Le Chiffre
, in a high-stakes poker game – hence the name of the film. Bond falls in love - what is a Bond film without a Bond Girl?
– with Vesper Lynd, who happens to be a treasury employee, assigned to provide the money Bond needs for the game. Most convenient.
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Dame Judi Dench reprises her role as M, which is something die-hard fans will be most pleased with, and once you get over the new, chiselled face that is Daniel Craig, you’ll quickly relive the nostalgia that Bond films tend to induce. It’s been argued that Craig brings something of a more ‘realistic, human’ aspect to the role. Sure, the almost super-human characteristics of Bond have become exactly what we’ve come to know and love, but there’s something about the added ‘relatability’ of Craig’s portrayal of Agent 007 that really resonates with modern audiences.
Now, it can be somewhat difficult to review a film without dropping too
many spoiler alerts, but for now I will whet your appetite for some assassinations and casino-couture by telling you that, whatever you may have come to expect from a Bond film, is here. The suave characters and their slimy counterparts, brilliantly choreographed fight scenes, fast-paced car chases, an artillery of sophisticated weapons and sultry (but still family friendly enough
) sex scenes. There are iconic villains, beautiful women, and, of course, that immortalised shot of Daniel Craig in a mini blue swimming costume, surfacing from the surf. After all is said and done, and 144 minutes of running time later, Casino Royale is well worth the cola and the popcorn, the movie ticker or the rental. Watch it with a date, or don’t – however you choose to soak up some typical Bond flair, this film delivers, and Daniel Craig doesn’t disappoint.