Armed with a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem.
I’m going to review this more as a separate film than looking at it through the Bond Universe. I’m told it is as good as a Bond film can be, but I am not experienced enough in the art of Bond that I can make valid arguments for the pros and cons of it within its expansive genre.
Daniel Craig as a spy for the British Government, and he is badass while doing it. He is fearless and does not think of any consequences, he has a gigantic ego that gets him into trouble most of the time and he loves his women nearly as much as he loves his job.
M accuses Bond of being heartless and cold, and he is most of the time, but the one time where his humanity comes through compensates for every second he was ruthless and cold. It is the most touching scene and beautifully shot, powerful to behold and probably the only of its kind in Bond’s history.
Le Chriffe: He’s so villainous and powerful and worthy of being hunted by a double-0. Mads Mikkelson has an other worldly face. If it didn’t seem so preposterous I would think he had plastic surgery – he seems almost alien but it works for him. I don’t find him attractive, but I do find him someone I would look at twice and listen to what he wanted to say. Le Chiffre is multi-talented – he could be a classy espionage like thief when he wanted to be but he could get downright dirty when the need was there.
Let’s talk about Vesper:
I’ve always seen this girl everywhere and I’ve always wondered why people love her so much. Now I know because I love her as well. She is so capable of dealing with Bond’s ego and holding him in place. She is independent and has her own agenda. She is also kind and humane and is the perfect contrast to Bond’s cold/resigned behaviour to killing people when necessary. I can get Bond being destroyed by her betrayal – she seemed the perfect mate for his character. I watched it with Zoë and told her that Vesper would either die or betray Bond but I did not expect both would happen. I was devastated for Bond because he had such a deep and open connection with her. (PS: Don’t ever try to get something out of Zoë, her lips are sealed about spoilers and nothing can pry it open).
The movie is a superb balanced show – the action is never too heavy, there is brainy action as well as brawny muscles, the car chases, athletic sprints and combat scenes looks believable, there is romance but it isn’t gross or soppy. I think this is a Bond movie anyone would enjoy, even if you are not a Bond fan.