Casino Royale introduces Bond
before he holds his licence to kill, but he’s no less dangerous,
and with two professional assassinations in quick succession –
just to start the story off with a bang – he is elevated to '00'
status and sets out to stop a terrorist bank-rolling terrorists.
There is everything here for the true Bond aficionado. Thrills, spills,
explosions, car-crashes, collapsing buildings, surprises and gorgeous
women galore. The big difference is how the character is portrayed.
Gone is the Royal Navy Admiral stiff-upper lipness of old. Here’s
a man prone to making mistakes, which in turn make his off the cuff
one-liners come across as more measured, thought out responses than
the usual glib fillers they once were. Also, Bond bruises, apparently,
and has a heart, as the action takes its toll on him physically and
Eva Green, playing Vesper, is coolness personified opposite Craig, whereas
Mads Mikkelsen is all a good villain should be, including bleeding eyes.
If there is one criticism it is the poker game that takes place in Casino
Royale itself. A little long, this can be said to be a hand overplayed,
but this is minor quibbling in the extreme. Everything else on show
was as near perfect as anybody has a right to expect.
After Roger Moore took the franchise to new heights before levelling
off only for Timothy Dalton to take it to new lows, Pierce Brosnan saved
the day. Now in the safe, capable hands of Daniel Craig, the future
looks bright – the future looks blond.
Chris High would like
to recommend your nearest Vue Cinema