Casino Royale (Campbell, 2006)

Casino Royale, the new and definitely improved chapter in the James Bond universe (anything of substance would be), stars the new savior of the series, grizzled Daniel Craig as the titular 007, and feels like a warmup for greatness to come; as Dr. No was for From Russia With Love and the masterpiece of the series, Goldfinger. Martin Campbell, who returns to the franchise after giving Pierce Brosnan his best Bond performance in Goldeneye, has an eye for the nuances crucial in forming Bond as a legendary hero. The camera lingers on Craig’s chiseled bone structure, wearing a tuxedo for the first time, eyeing himself in the mirror and loving every second. The famous drink, the car, the charm, all adding up to a familiar but somehow different interpretation of Bond, really the most innovative since Sean Connery. And that’s saying something. The difference though, stems from Bond’s violent, often messy way of killing, more for survival than style. To me, this representation of violence is the most interesting thing about Casino Royale, a very ordinary exercise in plot, competent enough but lacking tension in scenes where crisis takes hold of the characters. Bond’s penchant for brutal killings takes a toll on him, and by the end of the film he’s human, willing to sail away with new Bond beauty Eva Green, and I can’t say I’d decline her either. Bond’s changes from here on out are crucial, and I won’t go into them, but they cause a rift in his personality which will provide ample amounts of compelling psychological material in the Craig films to come. Hope for future installments, which is more than you could say about all the other recent Bond film’s. Dig the opening as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s