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007 James Bond - Casino Royal 2006
Opening Sequence

The movie starts with a black and white sequence of the new James Bond (Daniel Craig) earning his double-0 status. Some nifty bathroom work of the punching and drowning kind, and then a more gentlemanly bullet in the kisser.

The opening credits are nicely crafted around the deck of cards metaphor.

Short plot summary (SPOILERS)

The newly promoted James Bond (Daniel Craig) is full of the enthusiasm for his new job. He arrogantly winds up an exasperated M (Judy Dench) by breaking into her house, and stealing her security password.

Bond has to try to stop Le Chiffre, a financier of terror, who has put some put options on airline stocks (yes like some people apparently did before 9/11) but this time the gamble is foiled by our muscled bruiser Bond.

But Bond is not alone in tracking down Le Chiffre (can we call him Chiffre?). Le Chiffre is being hunted by those who's money he has lost (as well as the CIA who help Bond out with a couple of million dollars when his gambling money dries up).

James falls in the love with Vesper Lynd, who ultimately betrays him by stealing his winnings from his account after Bond mistakenly trusts her with the password.

What our panel of critics thought

"The stunts are superb, the cinematography is amazing, it's just there is no warmth here. Where's the ding der der ding ding Bond music? It is sadly missed. (It is at the end of the movie)."

"Thank goodness they did not go with a 22 year old who apparently was screen tested for the role. Craig is a convincingly posh thug."

"I have an idea. How about all of the James Bonds do a movie together next time? They could all foil the heist from Ocean's 14."

"Couldn't they have saved some money and just brought back Pierce Brosnan and caked his 55 year-old face with kunk to make him look twenty years younger?"

"It is often said that the reason that 'Never Say Never Again', (an unofficial Bond in which Sean Connery was brought out of retirement) didn't work was because they weren't allowed to use the various James Bond trademarks, such as the music. That's my problem with this movie. They don't use the music until the end and therefore it's just like any other big budget spy movie to that point."

"So, what does M stand for then? Mabel, Muriel, Madge, Milly? Come on, give it up... Don't just float an idea like that and leave it hanging..."

"I work as a journalist on a national newspaper and the bit when M says we are all 'bastards' just cut me to the quick. Whoa is me... I cried for hours, the shame of it all!"

"The bit when Craig comes out of the Bahamas water in his trunks was about 2 seconds in duration. I feel sure the bit they put in the promo was twice that length. A disappointment from start to finish. I want my money back."

Please tell me the ending or plot overview if necessary (SPOILER)

Sassy Bond girl Vesper Lynd is being blackmailed. She steals Bond's money after being told the password (VESPER) - Bond had finally decided to trust her after telling her that he loved her, he is almost at the point of resigning.

Vesper dies (suicide?) in a collapsing building in Venice. She leaves Bond a message on her cell phone. Intriguingly it is a phone number for a Mr White.

Mr White is found by Bond (how?) and is shot in the leg in a dramatic ending... however we'll have to wait for part 2 to find out how the story ends...

Quotable quotes

"Give our guests 5 minutes to leave, or throw them overboard."

"Yes yes yes, to the right."

Was there anything which really annoyed you about this movie?

How the hell did Bond get from the Bahamas to Miami that quickly? Bond is told by the wife of the terrorist that her husband took the last flight to Miami. Bond apparently gets there just in time to beat him up as if they arrived on the same flight.

Veritable Cornucopia lets rip...
A Bond to beat Brosnan (the best Bond of all time)? Surely not?

It is pointless to deny that Daniel Craig can play the ultimate English posh thug, and does so with aplomb here.

A number of critics have said that this is a more gritty Bond (didn't they say the same thing about Timothy Dalton at the time?) It's a good sound bite. And it is true, this is a more gritty Bond, very raw. The problem with this movie is that it might as well not be a Bond at all, just a superbly stunt filled spy movie (and the stunts really are superb - they include a world record for the number of times a car rolls over (7)).

Pierce Brosan was a horrible act to follow because he was so perfectly cast, although he was getting on a bit. It looks like it has paid off however...

Other comments

A bit of a disappointment. Not as good as Goldeneye, the stunning first James Bond movie from Pierce Brosnan, but good enough.

Date of review

March 21, 2007

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