Daniel Craig’s debut as 007 is, in short, one of the best Bond movies in recent memory. Interestingly, it goes back to when 007 earned his ’00’ (by killing two people), but doesn’t go backwards in time, with cell phones and instant messaging playing a prominent role (thank you very much Sony Ericsson).
Less suave than prior Bonds, Craig is handsome and, for a Bond, quite muscular (something my Sarah rather enjoyed :). There are the expected lengthy chase scenes with improbable stunts, but compared to Brosnan’s 007 films, Casino Royale feels (ever so slightly slightly) restrained. The filmmakers didn’t waste the opportunity to capitalize on the current Texas Hold ‘Em poker craze, but don’t dwell on it long enough to bore us non-fans.
Beautiful women spend plenty of time on-screen, as one would expect, and everyone’s acting is up-to-par. Daniel Craig doesn’t have a lot of demands placed on him line-wise, but there are some pretty funny references to vintage Bond films (eg. when asked if he wants his vodka martini shaken or stirred he retorts “now why the hell would I care about that?”, and the classic Aston Martin DB7 makes an appearance as well).
The plot is outlandish, as they all are, and the villain is fairly one-dimensional, again, as they all are. We’re not here for high cinema, folks! The end gives itself away 20 minutes before it arrives (we didn’t really think Bond was going to retire after this, his first 007 assignment, did we?), but oh well.
Given that you pretty much know what you’re in for with any Bond film, both Sarah & I quite liked this one and look forward to more from Craig’s Bond. His roughness provides a welcome break from the overly-glib Brosnan (and to a lesser extent, Moore). Two thumbs up!