In 2006, Eon pictures decided to do a reboot of the Bond series and cast a new Bond to star in the movie. I was excited for a new Bond movie and curious about how Daniel Craig would do as Bond, but slightly worried about the whole reboot premise. Still, at the time this came out, I was in need of some cheering up and a Bond movie was definitely a good way to cheer up. So on to today’s movie, Casino Royale.
The plot: Having just earned his 00 status, Bond is sent to Madagascar to hunt down Mollaka, a known bomb maker. After killing him, Bond discovers a link between Mollaka and Le Chiffre, a known banker and financier for terrorists. Bond finds out that Le Chiffre has organized the bombing of a prototype airplane in order to take advantage of the stock market surrounding the plane. With his plan foiled, Le Chiffre hosts a poker tournament in order to recoup his client’s money. M authorizes the money for Bond to participate in the tournament in order to bring in Le Chiffre. Alongside Vesper Lynd, Bond proceeded to play and would eventually win the tournament. Le Chiffre kidnaps Bond and Vesper in order to get his money back, but there is a third party involved in this matter and it is unclear whose side they are on.
Critics were overwhelmingly positive about this movie, with it earning a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critics praised the script as well as the performance of Daniel Craig. Many critics said that Daniel Craig’s portrayal was the best to embody the character as written in Ian Fleming’s novels. Some critics did criticize the pacing at times and lack of gadgets, but mostly they all loved it. As for the audience, they went to see it in massive numbers. It earned $599 million worldwide, making it the 4th highest grossing film in 2006 and the highest grossing Bond movie of the franchise at that time.
While I admit that I was nervous about this movie before it came out, when it finally did come out, it made me fall in love with the series all over again. I loved the story and how well the action flowed throughout the movie. Daniel Craig makes a great Bond and is second only to Connery in my opinion. I did like the fact that this was showing Bond just starting out so he was not the well polished spy that he has been in previous movies. My only negative thing about the movie is the fact that Judi Dench was M. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Judi Dench as M during the Brosnan years. But this is supposed to be a reboot of the franchise. When Judi Dench started playing M, it was a big in the movies because this was the first female M (in story, not the fact that it was the first female actor playing the character). This point was brought up several times in Goldeneye. So if they rebooted the series to show how Bond is starting out, then you need a male M. Otherwise you are just giving a giant FU to the previous movies.
So if you want to watch a great Bond movie, definitely watch this one.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5