Director: Martin Campbell
Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis
Based on: Ian Fleming‘s James Bond novels
Cast: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian, Isaach de Bankolé, Jesper Christensen
James Bond (Daniel Craig) is a special agent who just recently graduated to 00-status. And in his first mission, he has to take on Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), banker to the upper leagues of terrorism. Le Chiffre is about to play a high-stakes game of poker; and if Bond can beat him and take his money, they will have him cornered. So Bond’s boss M (Judi Dench) sends him and accountant Vesper (Eva Green) to Montenegro to win at poker.
Casino Royale is an extremely satisfying action movie that also holds up to second viewing. Daniel Craig is a cool bond and the whole thing is very entertaining.
Casino Royale is well-paced and has cool action scenes. I especially liked the parkours/free running chasing scene. Even though they are all over the place, I remember it was pretty new at the time and it is still a very tight scene.
But even better than the action in this film was the cast. Daniel Craig is fantastic as Bond. As usual, I can only sing the praises of Mads Mikkelsen and Judi Dench who are made of win and awesome and are generally great. As was Jeffrey Wright. Eva Green wasn’t bad either, but she just isn’t in the same league, acting-wise.
But I just love the story between Vesper and Bond. I love how it’s set up and how it plays out and how the two of them fit together. It’s heartbreaking, really. Though I still don’t really understand why she had to die in the end. It feels unnecessary.
The thing that doesn’t work that well, admittedly, is that Casino Royale lacks a bit of humor. It does make a couple of jokes, but a little lightheartedness probably wouldn’t hurt. As it wouldn’t have hurt if it had been a little more creative with the format itself. But in the end it’s a classic format very well dealt with.
Summarising: great action cinema.