“CASINO ROYALE” (2006)
NUTSHELL RECAP: “It’s the Bond!”
We’ve finally got the Bond Ian Fleming intended! No nonsense, deadly, and bitter-sweet. Gone are the egocentric frilly-boys like Moore, Dalton and Brosnan. Daniel Craig is as Bond-like as Sean Connery ever was. Perhaps even more so, as much of the inane quipping of old is gone and the focus is on the roots of James’ psyche.
Craig himself is totally rugged, powerfully built and can run like a son of a bitch. His face, as craggy as his name, sports two piercing blue eyes that give us only a glimpse of his tortured soul. Yet we are drawn in. He’s a terrific Bond and the script this time lays the groundwork for a whole new series of potentially great Bond films. Dame Judi Dench is a strong M, equally as dangerous as her flock. The bad guys? Well, they’re the bad guys, which this Bond has no hesitation to dispense of without giving them a fair shot. The way it should be.
The story is simply constructed until near the end, when another twist makes us sit up. I won’t reveal what, but Bond is one tough dude. The opening has a foot chase that would make even Jackie Chan with his wall climbing skills nod in appreciation. Some amazing athletics here.
Director Martin Campbell is no stranger to action and shows it, but he also manages to coax out just enough of Bond to make him vulnerable underneath his “amour”. Great action, great purpose and not overkill on the special effects.
Bottom Line – This is the Bond machine back at its modernized best and I can’t wait for more.