Casino Royale
2006
The 007 franchise revisits its roots with Daniel Craig making his debut as newly minted secret agent James Bond, who's pitted against an infamous financier of international terrorism in a shootout -- at the poker table.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

The producing family behind the 007 franchise have wisely made a course correction with this latest entry, reinventing him for this post-9/11 decade just as the similarly Martin Campbell-directed GoldenEye reinvented him for the 1990s. That's not to say that he's chasing terrorists or oil magnates or fundamentalists, just that the world around this Bond is much more sinister and plays for keeps, and so must he. Gone are the gimmicks and the super-villains and the cartoony action (there's no CGI Bond windsurfing into North Korea here), and in their place is a tough, athletic, virile Bond who has emotional weakness, underestimates his enemies, and gets blood on his shirt – a lot of blood. Fans will appreciate the renewed energy of the series, and non-fans will enjoy an engaging action thriller that jettisons any series backstory, but most of all, the film seems tailor-made for onetime series fans who lost their faith in the Moore and Brosnan eras when the once elegant, sophisticated series became an action cartoon. Why does it feel like it's been such a very long time when we see this new Bond practice actual spycraft?

− November 19, 2006 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

Kris Weberg: Speaking as a long-time series fan myself -- I've seen them all, yes, all, at least 3 times apiece -- I can't quite work out the point of a Bond film that's simply Jason Bourne with a different brand name.

Some of us like Bond because it is an action cartoon. − November 19, 2006 • more by Kris

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