RELEASED 2006 RUNTIME 144 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION MARTIN CAMPBELL SCREENPLAY NEAL PURVIS, ROBERT WADE, PAUL HAGGIS STARRING DANIEL CRAIG, EVA GREEN, MADS MIKKELSEN, JUDI DENCH, GIANCARLO GIANNINI, JEFFREY WRIGHT, CATERINA MURINO, SIMON ABKARIAN MUSIC DAVID ARNOLD
My favorite Bond movie of them all. Why? Because they had the balls to reboot the franchise and reimagine Bond as a hard edged assassin rather than a smooth charming flirt machine who happens to own a license to kill. Don’t get me wrong, he still is a lady’s man, but he uses that skill sparingly and mostly to get something out of it that will help him in his mission.
Also, he is brutal!
Ok, so the movie is set at the beginning of Bonds career. In fact, at the start he doesn’t even have the 00 status yet. Consequently, there is no Money Penny, no Q, no gadgets and the car he gets for the mission has no special features, other than a placeholder for a gun and a defibrillator. Instead the movie focuses on story and action and my god does it exceed in those.
The foot chase at the beginning of the movie is one of the best action scenes I have ever seen and perfectly introduces our new Bond. He is merciless and just overall hardcore. He is focused and doesn’t care to hurt people who stand between him and his goal.
DEEP & MODERN
But he also is vulnerable which is explored in the plot and gives him more personality than any Bond ever had in my opinion.
When it comes to the story the movie likes to show a big middle finger towards Bond cliches. Funny scene: “I need a vodka martini.” – “shaken or stirred?” – “Do I look like I give damn?!”
Then there is a scene where he washes off all the blood in front of the mirror after one of his brutal kills. After all these years we had never seen something like that before, where Bond seems to reflect on his life and what he has chosen as a career path. There is so many more instances where the movie makers had a clear vision of how to modernize Bond in a good way and actually portray him as he was portrayed in the Ian Flemming novels. He is a killer or as Vesper, the new Bond girl, states a “tool”.
Let’s talk about Vesper. Finally a Bond girl who stands up to him. She gives him a run for his money. She is intelligent and doesn’t let anyone use her for pleasure, not even Bond. In fact, she will talk back and take no shit from anyone. She is a strong character and, without spoiling, is one of the key parts in the 3rd act of the movie, responsible for some big emotional drama that would change Bond forever and how he treats people around him, especially women.
Then there is Le Chivre, played by the amazing Matts Mikelssen. He is just a great Bond villain, not only because of his dangerous presence, but because of his vulnerability. He acts out of pressure and the viewer understands his motivation. It makes him so much more interesting and makes for some interesting dynamic between him and Bond, especially at the poker table and later at the torture scene, which is probably the most amazing scene in the movie.
Here we really get to know what Daniel Craig’s Bond is all about. He is just a fucking badass! A perfect Bond in a perfect movie, that’s Casino Royale.