Casino Royale
Our Rating
3½ Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity)
Directed By
Martin Campbell
Run Time
2 hours 24 minutes
Cast
Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench
Theatre Release
November 17, 2006 by Columbia Pictures

Let's get right to it: Daniel Craig is good. Daniel Craig is Bond.

So how does he compare to Connery, Moore, Brosnan, and the others? Tricky question—but not just because we've only seen one movie with Craig, Daniel Craig. Instead, the comparison is flawed because Craig isn't really playing the same Bond. This is a new Bond for a new time. And for that guy, Craig fits like a tailored tuxedo.

Successful long-running characters survive because they adapt to new times, changing audiences, and the popular styles of storytelling. For instance, observing the gradual changes in the Batman and James Bond franchises show how these heroes bent and flexed through various decades of camp, darkness, and far-fetched goofiness. When both guys were last seen, their stories had been watered down to showcase big budget, overblown action set pieces.

Now in the mid-'00s, we have a wholly new Bat and Bond. They've both stripped down to the basics, grown more gritty and serious, and brought in personal drama. Perhaps it's because we're in a more sober, less black-and-white era after 9/11. Perhaps it's because audiences have grown tired of heartless and systematic adventure. Or maybe it's because complicated TV serials (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alias, and Lost) and films with three-dimensional heroes (Spider-Man 1 & 2) have shown you can tell exciting stories with real drama, realism and character.

Batman Begins went back to the start to explain why Bruce Wayne needs to dress up like a big bat and how he got all his body armor. Casino Royale starts the adventure all over to explain how James Bond got his license to kill and why he needs emotional armor.

The movie begins, pre-credits, with a fantastic black-and-white film noir sequence of Bond ...

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