Not only does this movie give us a new Bond, but it also gives us a completely new style, direction, and tone. The Bond franchise has been running for quite some time when this was released and was badly in need of a facelift. On top of that, to me, the story seemed to be getting stale, an the ideas were beginning to run out. So this movie was here to put the Bond franchise back on the map, and it certainly stepped up to the plate.
This Bond goes completely back to the roots, rebooting the series. Casino Royale was the first Bond novel written by Ian Fleming, this is before Bond is a '00' agent, and is yet to be given a licence to kill. This reboot of the series gives us a great re-introduction to the character and strips him back to his bare roots, so he can once become the cold-blooding killing super spy.
We get a super stylish opening sequence, set in black and white, where we witness Bond's first two kill's. The first, he killls a contact in a heated battle in a Gents toilet, which I thought was very well choreographed and realistic, and the second as it is dewscribed, a lot easier, when he kills a MI6 Section Chief, who had been discovered to be selling secrets.
The opening titles are again a super stylish affair, with a great opening theme and the title video oozes sophistication and has an excellent retro look about it. If I was to try and describe it, I could only imagine this as a moving version of the book cover, and on watching it I would be able to immediately associate it with a Bond moive.
We are re-introduced to Bond on assignment in Madagascar, which ends in Bond chasing a bomb-maker in a very high-impact and exciting chase scene, which ends in an embassy, Bond escaping by causing an explostion. Bond manages to retrieve a mobile phone from his chase, and discovers a message linking him to terrorist financer Le Chiffre. Bond travels to the Bahamas on the trail of Le Chiffre, in which he ends up foiling Le Chiffre's plan to destroy the Skyfleet Airliner. In order to recover the money he has lost for his clients, Le Chiffre sets up a high stakes game of Teas Hold'em ad the Casino Royale. Bond enters the game but loses $10 million government money, and a British Treasury refuse to give him any more money. A CIA agent helps him out named Felix Leiter in exchange for custody of Le Chiffre. Bond begins to winning the tournamnet but is poisoned. However Bond survives and wins the tournament. Le Chiffre caputres Bond and totures him, in order to get the money he won, but Mr. White kills Le Chiffre. Bond had fallen in love with Vesper, the British Treasury agent and resigns from MI6 and the to go off to Venice. However, Vesper was working for Mr White all along, as he had earlier kidnapped her boyfriend and was blackmailing her. Vesper leaves Bond to give the money to White, but a gunfight erupts and Vesper drowns in a cage she locks herself into. Bond finds a text on Vespers phone with Mr Whites real name and eventually captures him, giving his names as "Bond, James Bond".
The first thing I can say is that Daniel Craig is now my favourite Bond, his portrail of the chrarcter is fantastic, although this reboot is grounded by realism he can still pull off a realistic super spy, he is perfectly cast as Bond and takes the character back to the source material. You can look at Daniel Craig in the role and instantly belive he would kill you without thinking twice, he looks deadly, and he is. From his first kill in the movie, he seems to be able to kill without dinting his conscience. He is definately in line with Timothy Dalton in the portrayal of the character making him edgier and alot more cold that previous actors. At the same time I always feel a sense of vulnerability with Daniel Craig which makers the character that bit more exciting to watch. he is not the finished article in super spydom, but he is raw spy talent. I would go as far as to say this is the best Bond debut for any actor to undertake the role.
The movie is very much story-drvien, with some exotic locations and and colourful characters, in the right balance, we don't get anything over-the-top or flamboyant, it is realistic in its modern setting but the action, gadgets and use of modern technology is very much here and now making it all the more believable.
Le Chiffre is an excellent bad guy, again grounded by believability but a ruthless killer. Daniel Craigs chemistry with Mads Mikkelsen is fantastic to watch on screen, and the card game scenes are very enjoyable.
Judi Dench returns to the role as M and here uneasy chemistry with Daniel Craig is great. She seems to have a much better chemistry with Craig than what she had with Pierce Brosnan. I am not sure how to describe it but her character seems to reach new levels working with Craig.
This movie has some jaw dropping aciton sequences, great fight scenes, a well thought out plot, and grounding of realism make this movie a excellent return to form for the series. I loved the refreshing look and the new direction of the franchise, and Daniel Craig is the best Bond in a very long time (if not the best?). This movie is on for well over two hours, but watching it you wouldn't think it the time just seems to fly by.
Whether you are a Bond fan or not, i thinki everyone can find something to enjoy in this movie.