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The 21st movie in the James Bond "007" franchise, based upon Ian Fleming's first novel. The story examines James Bond's formative years and how he developed his penchant for Aston Martins, Martinis... View more >
Starring Daniel Craig, Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green... View more >
Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.
Nov 21, 2006
After "Die Another Day" I was pretty sure that it was going to be awhile before Bond was good again. By the time you've got a guy in a Robocop suit controlling a giant space magnifying glass from the cockpit of an airplane, you've gone too far over the edge to try to rein it back in. So with "Casino Royale", they didn't even try. They just started over.
Think "Batman Begins". "Casino Royale" isn't a sequel or a prequel, but a complete reboot, bringing Bond back to his early days as a 21st Century British spy. There's no great plot to destroy the world, just some desperate men trying to stay alive and get rich, willing to do anything to do it. The stakes here are raised by our investment in the characters rather than by the threat the villains pose.
Luckily the actors are up to the challenge. Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery, but gives the superspy a human element that was only seen once before, in George Lazenby's underrated turn in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." Eva Green is beautiful as Vesper, the main love interest, but this girl's got some acting chops, too, and holds her own in her sexual-tension filled scenes with Craig. Mads Mikkelson is fine as Le Chiffre, the main antagonist, and has one great scene in particular with Craig that. . . but never mind. You'll know it when you see it.
"Casino Royale" lives up to the hype. It retains some high-tech, but more grounded, gadgets, the plot is more realistic, Bond is actually a character rather than an ice-cold killing machine, and the action scenes pack a gritty punch. If I had one complaint, it'd be that the last half hour seems to meander a bit, mostly because there's a central mystery to the plot that Bond doesn't seem too interested in solving for several scenes. Still, once he gets around to it, it results in the most rousing rendition of Bond's most famous line ever. Ever.
"Casino Royale" is a must for die-hard Bond fans, action fans, and especially anyone who started laughing at the last couple Brosnan outings because of their ridiculousness. ***1/2 out of 4, and bring on the sequel!
Nov 22, 2006
The film "Casino Royale" introduced us to another James Bond. He's Daniel Craig, who palyed off Bond as a hard-core killer. Not a Bond with can utter one-line zingers. The new bond has ignited complaints from Bond fans. Even sat up a anti-Craig website to protest the movie. I didn't buy it. I wish those Bond fans will give Craig a chance, and he has. "Casino Royale" isn't the best Bond movie ever made, but I like Craig's performance. Even the villain is credible, he's a weapons dealer who battle Bond both on the field of battle and on the card table, where it became intense. "Casino Royale" is is a good, not a great movie. I hope Craig returns for another Bond movie. And please shut dow the Anti-Craig website, since now that he has proven himself.
Nov 23, 2006
Daniel Craig does a excellent job as James Bond. He's a much tougher character than the Bond played by suave, wry Roger Moore, for example, and closer to the original Bond, played by Sean Connery. Great action scenes in the movie, beautiful Bond women, and exotic locales make for another excellent Jame Bond flick. I found the casino gaming scenes a bit too long. But otherwise, a very enjoyable movie.
Nov 25, 2006
I'm old enough to have seen every Bond film on its release, even though after Sean Connery, they all have been at least somewhat of a let down. Not so with Casino Royale. It matched the hype and I was thouroughly entertained.
Some critics thought the pace lagged in the middle. It didn't bother me at all. Could the plot have been better? Probably, but it wasn't bad and it was an effective vehicle to develop the Bond character, the whole point of the movie. It does so in very satisfying manner. I liked the reduced reliance on gadgetry and the better acting/directing. "M" was great. Casting for Vesper was perfect. Villian was creepy but not unrealistic. Action was good without getting too rediculous. The card game, whose length some complained about, was terrific. Loved the tougher, grittier, raw "blunt instrument" Bond (more like the books).
As to the big question, does Craig measure up to Connery? Yes and no. Connery defined the role and he has an exceedingly unique screen presence. Few actors have had such success for so long. The odds are quite slim audiences will respond to Craig the same way. That being said, Craig is excellent for the role. FAR better in my opinion than all the other immitators. He's not Connery, no one is, but he has his own uniqueness and magnetic screen presence. Is it real or just good direction. Only time will tell.
Now they've really got me looking forward to the next installment.
Nov 27, 2006
The best Bond film in decades. An interesting look into the psyche and origin of Bond.
Dec 8, 2006
Dec 9, 2006
I was disappointed that 007 was not Pierce Brosnan(?) but the movie was very good. Some parts were a bit predictable but there were some good twists. I highly recommend the movie.
Jan 1, 2007
Let me first say that I've seen all the Bond movies and I'm a big, big fan. The first was Dr. No. The second was From Russia with Love. The third was Goldfinger. I would compare this Casino Royale with From Russia with Love. It is more of just a regular spy movie. Not a lot of special effects, nor Bond women, nor really any spy gadgetry. Remember the scene from Dr. No where Ursala Andress comes walking out of the ocean onto the beach? And Dr. No wanted to rule the world? The producers must have thought that this movie was too out there and then followed Dr. No with From Russia with Love, which is as I said, was a plain Jane spy flick and really somewhat boring. They found out that this didn't work and followed up with Goldfinger (which was extremely succesful and set the stage for the following Bond movies).
Bond movies are a total movie experience: You have the music (which often ends up on top 10 lists); you have the beautiful cinematography of the different locals; you have the beautiful Bond girls; you have terrific villians; you have great special effects; you have the inventions of Q and his spy gadgetry; a great story line; and finally the Bond character himself.
Daniel Craig is a great Bond and plays the part well. I believe he's the best since Sean Connery. I hope he makes many more Bond films. So that takes care of the character of Bond. However Casino Royale is lacking so much of the entire Bond experience. The music pretty much sucks (what little there is of it). Eva Green as Vesper does not make it as a Bond girl and the villian's girl only makes a extremely brief appearance and really has no role in the movie. The cinematograpy of the film is lacking as most of this movie is film at night or inside buildings (not like climbing the mountain in For Your Eyes Only) and there's really no special effects to speak of so I really don't know why you would have to see it on the big screen. There is no spy gadgetry to speak of and the one that is included (heart defibullator) isn't anything out of the ordinary. I don't know how this can be a retro film about Bond and have current technology (e.g. laptops) and not have had any advancement in spy espionage technology such as Q alway provided. The action sequence through the construction site is one that is shot with this almost time lapse type of flimography which I don't like anyway.
Casino Royale is certainly worth watching, but I'd wait for the rental. No real reason to see it in theaters. But you need to see it so you can know what happened and be realy for the next Bond film. I hope the producers follow this with the next film being more reflective of the real breakout hit Goldfinger when it followed From Russia with Love and provide the total Bond experience. Another one of these and I think I'll be done with Bond, even though they got it right with Daniel Craig. You need more than just a gread Bond to make a great Bond film!
Jan 4, 2007
Pretty good action. Not much plot. Very thin on character development but the action was superb!
Jan 13, 2007
Feb 16, 2007
Not your normal James Bond movie. Do not wait for the technical novelties to carry the movie, in this instance, there is actual character development, and it is a pleasant change. Worth the wait, see it in a theatre, you won't regret it!
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