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Casino Royale Movie Review

Casino Royale is based on Ian Fleming’s book by the same name.

This 2006 rendition wasn’t the first of its kind and it certainly won’t be the last.

This movie took a slightly different approach than the 1967 version, keying in more on the depth of Bond’s character and focusing less on the actual events that took place.

This movie places the Bond of the 1960s into the twenty first century, as communication is done through cell phones and the spy technology they use is quite advanced.

This proves just how timeless the Bond Series can be.

Daniel Craig took on Bond’s role in the film and executed it flawlessly.

Three more movies in the Bond series have been developed with Daniel Craig as James Bond including: Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), and Spectre (2015).

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About the Movie

James Bond and Dossier Kissing in Casino Royale Movie

Director Martin Campbell

Genre Thriller

Length 2 Hours and 24 Minutes

Script Writers Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, & Robert Wade

Music David Arnold

Release Year 2006

The Cast

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Daniel Craig is best known for his role as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), and Spectre (2015).

In addition to the James Bond movies, Daniel Craig has also had major roles in The Jacket, The Golden Compass, Defiance, and others as well.

In 2012, he won the Britannia British Artist of the Year Award for British Artist of the Year and in 2013, he won Critics Choice Award for Best Actor thanks to his performance in Skyfall.

Although he didn’t receive any rewards for Casino Royale, he was nominated for both BAFTA’s Best Actor in a Leading Role and Saturn Awards’ Best Actor the year that movie was released. There have been some rumors that he’ll play James Bond in an upcoming movie called Bond 25, but that’s only speculation.

Eva Green as Vesper Lynd

Eva Green as Vesper Lynd

Eva Green is most recognized for her performance in Casino Royale, but she has had success in other roles as well. Some of the other popular films she has been a part of would be The Dreamers (2003), Dark Shadows (2012), and Rise of an Empire (2014).

She has won several awards for her performance in Casino Royale including BAFTA’s Rising Star Award and Empire Awards’ Best Female Newcomer.

In 2016, we can expect to see her in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and in the Penny Dreadful TV Series.

Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre

Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre

Even though Mads Mikkelsen had performed in several other films prior to Casino Royale, no one could argue with that fact that it was this movie that re-launched his career.

Since then, he has played leading roles in Hannibal (The TV Series), Jagten (2012), The Hunt (2012), and Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas (2013) to name a few.

He won Cannes Film Festival’s Best Actor award in 2012 for his role in Jagten and Saturn Award Best Actor in a Television Series for his role in Hannibal. Expect to see him in both Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Doctor Strange in 2016.

Judi Dench as M
Judi Dench as M

Judi Dench is best known for her role as M in in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012),and Spectre (2015).

In addition to that, she has also performed in several other popular films including The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2000), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), and Philomena (2013).

She received a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series for her role in The Last of the Blonde Bombshells in 2001, in addition to several award nominations for other performances. Coming soon in 2016, we will see her in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Tulip Fever.

Supporting Actors/Actresses

  • Simon Abkarian as Alex Dimitrios
  • Giancarlo Giannini as Rene Mathis
  • Caterina Murino as Solange
  • Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter

Brief Bio on Martin Campbell (Director)

Martin Campbell was born on October 24th, 1943 in Hastings, New Zealand. Even as a child, he had a passion for film, moving to London after school to pursue a career in directing.

He’s probably most famous for his work in the 1985 BBC television series, Edge of Darkness, having been awarded the British Academy Television Award for Best Director the year following its release.

In addition to television, he has also directed several award winning films including GoldenEye (1995), The Mask of Zorro (1998/2005), Casino Royale (2006), and Green Lantern (2011).

He won a Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in Directing in 2007 for his contributions to Casino Royale.

What Is It Rated and Why

This movie was given a PG-13 rating for a plethora of reasons. For starters, this film promotes violence including physical and gun violence. There’s a graphic torture scene where you not only watch Bond get beaten badly with a rope but you also see the perpetrator aim for his genitals.

In this same scene, viewers will be exposed to mild nudity as Bond is naked while being tortured but no private parts can be seen with clarity.

There are also several sex scenes where both Bond and Vesper are slightly exposed and where sex is implied. When it comes to profanities, only occasional uses of hell, bitch, damn, baster, and prick were used.

This film is not recommended for children under the age of thirteen or children that get startled easily.

This Film is Rated
Rated PG-13 Sign

Summary of the Movie

Bond’s Back Story

The first scene of this movie takes us back to the events that allowed James Bond to earn his 007 status, as in order to do this he needed to kill two men. This scene really gives us insight into who James Bond really is: a skilled spy who’s bold and fearless.

A tab in the corner of the screen lets us know that this scene takes place in Prague, Czech Republic.

Bond has tracked down Dryden, a double agent who has been selling information to their enemies. The scene flashes back and forth to Bond beating Dryden’s associate, Fisher, in the bathroom where we see Bond aggressively kill him.

Meanwhile, Dryden whips out his gun to shoot Bond, only to discover that Bond took out his ammunition. Bond shoots Dryden, killing him instantly.

We are soon informed about Le Chiffre, a private banker who works exclusively for terrorist groups around the world. He invests their money and manipulates stocks so they get a 100% return on investment, but we soon find out that the odds aren’t always in Le Chiffre’s favor when he makes a poor choice in selling Skyfleet stocks just days before their value skyrocketed.

Before he gets a chance to see Le Chiffre face to face, we follow Bond to Madagascar where he is spying on a terrorist named Mollaka who starts running away after a mysterious phone call.

An intense scene of Bond chasing him through a construction site takes place, resulting in Bond killing Mollaka and burning down the entire embassy. He searches through Mollaka’s backpack only to find a bomb and a cell phone with a text message that read: ELLIPSIS.

M and his other superiors are upset with his violent actions and he was asked to lay low for a while.

Bond’s Mission

Of course, laying low isn’t in Bond’s vocabulary. He appears to be taking a relaxing vacation to the Bahamas, when he’s really going there to investigate who the mysterious text message and phone call were from.

He ends up finding a man named Dmitrios who is one of Le Chiffre’s accomplices. He played poker against him, taking all of his money and his luxurious car. Dmitrios’ wife seems impressed by his actions, so Bond invites her over to his hotel room in hopes that she will leak some valuable information about her husband.

She briefly mentions that her husband is about to board a plane to Florida. Upon hearing this news, Bond immediately runs off to the airport, killing Dmitrios the first chance he gets.

Another associate of Le Chiffre immediately takes his pace to fulfil the mission of taking down the Skyfleet plane, so that their stocks would plummet and Le Chiffre would have an excuse for not having the money he promised the terrorists.

Once in the Miami Airport, Le Chiffre’s associate puts on a uniform and goes into a secured room in the airport. The door closes before Bond gets to it, but thinking on his feet, Bond enters the code ELLIPSIS and the door unlocks.

By the end of this scene, Bond managed to foil Le Chiffre’s plan and save the plane from ultimate destruction.

M officially sends Bond on a mission to take down Le Chiffre on a high stakes tournament of poker, so that he cannot earn back the money he lost in the stock market. When we say high stakes poker, we mean high stakes. The initial buy-in is $10,000,000 and the buyback fee is $5 million; Bond had to be on his game if he was going to pull this off.

M doesn’t leave Bond to handle this on his own, sending both Mathis and Vesper to assist him. Bond has known Mathis for quite some time, but this is his first encounter with Vesper.

It’s obvious that they are both attracted to each other, but they both have their guards up and chances of a relationship forming seem bleak at this point.

The tournament starts soon after the three colleagues are united; Vesper dresses in a revealing evening gown and is supposed to act as a distraction to the men at the table.

In the first round, Bond notices a tell that Le Chiffre gives off every time he bluffs; he subtly puts his left hand on his forehead near a scar over his left eye. Bond shares his findings with both Vesper and Mathis, which he later comes to regret.

There’s a break in the game, so we follow Le Chiffre to his bedroom where he’s nearly choked to death, being threatened to death by men send by the terrorists he owes money to.

This results in Bond killing these two men in a bloody fight,
asking Mathis to take care of the bodies so that he can get back to the game.

Before he makes his way back to the casino, he finds Vesper lying vulnerable in the shower with her clothes on. She shares her regrets about the killings, and we see Bond express emotions and comfort her for the first time.

Bond vs. Le Chiffre

The following day when the tournament proceeds, Bond misreads one of Le Chiffre’s bluffs and ends up surrendering all $14.5 million of his bankroll.

Not willing to give up, Bond pleads with Vesper for the $5 million emergency funds she is holding, but she refuses to give it to her. Luckily the CIA was there to take down Le Chiffre too, loaning Bond the $5 million in exchange for them being able to take Le Chiffre into custody.

Bond happily accepts this second chance and refuses to be mislead this time around. Slowly but surely Bond builds his bankroll back up to $14.5 million dollars again, going all in for one last time.

Le Chiffre calls his bluff only to find that Bong wasn’t bluffing. Le Chiffre stormed out of the game, having lost all of his money.

Bond and Vesper celebrate their victory over dinner which is abruptly cut short when Vesper receives a text message from Mathis, saying she’s needed right away. Vesper leaves, but thinks the text is very suspicious.

He finds Vesper just in time to see her thrown into an unmarked vehicle. He quickly hops in his car and chases after the vehicle in an intense high speed race. Bond loses control of the vehicle as it flips over several times, causing him to be thrown into a state of unconsciousness.

When Bond wakes up he’s naked and strapped to a chair against his will, being haunted with Vesper screaming in the background. Le Chiffre threatens to torture Bond if he doesn’t transfer the winnings into his account, but Bond won’t budge.

Le Chiffre even taunted Bond by implying that Mathis was a double agent for him this whole time. He says,

“I’m afraid that your friend Mathis… is really… my friend Mathis.”

After sharing this bewildering news, Le Chiffre brutally whips Bond to the point where you almost assume that he’s about to die. Suddenly a terrorist knocks down the doors of the building, fatally shooting Le Chiffre point blank.

Bond and Vesper

Bond wakes up in a hospital bed, not completely aware of where he is or how he got there. Mathis is the first one to really get to talk to Bond, asking him a plethora of questions before he’s dragged away by authorities for being a double agent.

When Vesper and Bond meet again, you can’t help but feel a stronger than ever connection between them. They plan to spend a month together, travelling the world and taking a break from the everyday stressors of life as a spy.

Before they can leave, they must transfer over Bond’s winnings to the British government. Bond allows Vesper to enter in the account number and password, showing his deep trust for her.

Although this is a breaking point for Bond,
the events soon to unfold will reveal that letting his guard down is always a mistake.

A Bitter End

Once they arrive in Italy, it quickly becomes obvious that things aren’t what they seem to be. Although it’s debatable whether or not Vesper truly loved Bond, we do know for sure that she lied to him about what she does and who she works for.

Vesper transferred the money into one of her private accounts and was planning to give it to Mr. White in order to save her boyfriend who had been held by Le Chiffre’s organization.

The transaction didn’t go smoothly after M called to inform Bond that she never received the money he sent over. Bond runs to find Vesper, and initiates a gun fight between the terrorists who were there to collect the money from her.

He ends up causing the building to sink, and Vesper drowns in an old elevator because she refused to come above water and actually locks herself inside. Bond desperately tries to save her, but fails to do so in time.

In the last scene of the movie, we get to see Mr. White receive a phone call where an unknown voice says, “We need to talk.” As soon as the phone call ends, Mr. White is shot in the leg by a sniper.

Bond then appears beside him with a cell phone and a silenced rifle. The classic James Bond theme song plays and Bond says his famous line,

“The name’s Bond. James Bond.”

Our Favorite Quotes from the Movie

You’re not going to let me in there, are you? You’ve got your armor back on. That’s that.

– Vesper Lynd

I have no armor left. You’ve stripped it from me. Whatever is left of me – whatever is left of me – whatever I am – I’m yours.

– James Bond

This quote represents a pivotal point in Bond’s life, as this is the first time he expresses his true feelings towards Vesper, finally taking down the wall between them and letting her get to know the real him. Unfortunately, this is a decision that he soon comes to regret.

Sometimes we pay so much attention to our enemies; we forget to watch our friends as well.

– M

This quote perfectly sums up the overriding theme in this movie. Bond let his guard down, becoming too trusting of his colleagues, which almost ends up costing him his life. It’s probably safe to say that Bond won’t make that same mistake again.

You don’t trust anyone, do you?

– M

No.

– James Bond

Then you’ve learned your lesson.

– M

This quote is exerted from one of the last scenes of the film. It’s when Bond finally realizes that both Vesper and Mathis have betrayed him. You can sense Bond’s hardness towards his former friends and his bitterness towards people in general. It really sets the tone for Bond’s attitude in the movies that follow this film.

The name’s Bond… James Bond

– James Bond

We obviously couldn’t go on without mentioning the most famous Bond quote in existence. This phrase is Bond’s signature, it shows his dominance, and the film wouldn’t be complete without it.

What Others Are Saying

The Guardian

The Guardian gave this movie 4 out of 5 stars and said, “This is the story of James Bond’s beginning, transferred forward in time to a loosely imagined post 9/11 present.”

The New York Times

“The latest James Bond vehicle — call him Bond, Bond 6.0 — finds the British spy leaner, meaner and a whole lot darker. Now played by an attractive bit of blond rough named Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan having been permanently kicked to the curb. Her Majesty’s favorite bad boy arrives on screens with the usual complement of cool toys, smooth rides, bosomy women and high expectations.”

Robert Ebert

Robert Ebert gave Casino Royale 4 Stars and said this in regards to the film, “With “Casino Royale,” we get to the obligatory concluding lovey-dovey on the tropical sands, and then the movie pulls a screeching U-turn and starts up again with the most sensational scene I have ever seen set in Venice, or most other places. It’s a movie that keeps on giving.

Rolling Stones

“Casino Royale, heavier on character than action, was the first book in Fleming’s Bond series, making it the ideal place to start the wheel spinning anew. That’s right, Casino Royale acts like the other Bond movies never existed. We’re back at square one, only the time is now, the fantasy is limited and the story is anchored in reality.”

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes scored this film at 95% and had this to say, “Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007″

Awards & Accolades

Casino Royale won the 2007 BAFTA Film Award for Best Sound, 2007 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards for Top Box Office Films, and the 2007 Saturn Award for Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film.

This film was also nominated for a plethora of awards including the BAFTA Film Award for Best Cinematography, the Saturn Award for Best Music, and the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture Screen Play to name a few.

Our Rating and Recommendation

1.5 Stars out of 5 Stars

Before we attempt to go over everything this movie did right, we will point out the one negative we saw. There were a couple major differences between this movie when comparing it to the book that it’s based on.

A major difference is found in Mathis’ character. Unlike the film, the novel never portrays Mathis as a traitor, but it actually puts an emphasis on Bond and Mathis’ friendship.

Also in the film, Bond is poisoned by one of Le Chiffre’s associates during the poker game, while in the novel someone holds a gun to his back. These differences slightly impact the authenticity of the film and cannot go unnoticed.

On the positive side of things, critics everywhere believe that the casting for this film was phenomenal and we couldn’t agree more. Daniel Craig embraced James Bond’s character and truly made it his own. He made viewers care deeply for this arrogant, broken, and bitter spy.

Eva Green also did a great job in her role as Vesper, making people feel sorry for this character, even though she turned out to be different than expected. They both won several awards for their performances. Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, and Jeffrey Wright were also recognized for their performances in this film as well.

We enjoy the fact that the producers were successfully able to modernize this film and bring it up to times with the twenty-first century. The updated technology, attire, and customs they incorporate into the film help the younger generation connect to the Bond Series on a more personal level.

The main reason why this movie received such a high rating and a big reason why we recommend it is the fact that it’s an action-packed thriller that keeps viewers on their toes at all times.

There were multiple scenes where you think it’s over, but then something dramatic happens to prove that there’s still more to come.

Our Recommendation:

This movie is just the right mix of unpredictable excitement and the classic Bond story we all know and love.