Movie Project #7: Casino Royale [2006]

Due to the overwhelming success of my initial Movies Project, I decided to do a second round for 2012. This time around I put a greater emphasis on directors I am not familiar with, but I also tried to compile a mix of different genres and eras. This will be an ongoing project with the finish date being sometime this year.

Casino Royale [2006]

Casino Royale [2006]
Director: Martin Campbell
Genre: Action/Adventure/Crime
Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green and Judi Dench
Runtime: 144 minutes

It seems there is always one startling revelation with these movie projects. Most people couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen Back to the Future in last year’s edition; this year, the big surprise is my lack of experience with James Bond. Somehow, despite 22 entries into the series, Mr. Bond has eluded me. I feel like I may have seen all or part of Goldeneye when I was much younger, but my memory is foggy at best. I was unsure of where to start, but the seemingly unanimous praise for the fairly recent Casino Royale sent me in that direction.

Let’s just say I want to see more of Bond.

Casino Royale marks Daniel Craig’s first appearance as 007, and the action gets started in a hurry. An early scene shows a frantic foot chase through a Madagascar construction site, including a run up some staggeringly tall ladders that gave me a case of vertigo. Seriously, it was a freakin’ thrill ride, and from that point on I was hooked.

Casino Royale [2006]

The movie follows the early days of Bond’s career as Agent 007. His first mission is to find and stop Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelson), a banker who funds terrorist organizations, from winning a high-stakes poker tournament in Montenegro. In this instance, high stakes equals a $10 million buy-in. Le Chiffre is something of a poker aficionado, so this isn’t an easy task.

Along the way, Bond seduces a married man’s wife, stops a terrorist attack at the Miami International Airport, and falls in love with a stunningly beautiful (and intelligent) Treasury agent, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). Oh yeah, he is also brutally tortured and has a near-death experience. All in a day’s work, right?

Casino Royale is a wild ride, and I wish I had been able to experience this intense adrenaline rush on the big screen. Daniel Craig is on top of his game here, effortlessly stepping in to play one of cinema’s biggest names, and the famous Bond women are phenomenal. I could have done without the stop-start double ending, but I liked the way it set things up for future entries. This movie is a lot of fun, and more importantly, it has me interested in seeing more from the franchise.

8/10

So, Bond fans, where do I go next? I want to see Quantum Solace despite hearing mixed reviews, but what else would you recommend?

39 thoughts on “Movie Project #7: Casino Royale [2006]

  1. Paragraph Film Reviews says:

    Glad you enjoyed this, it’s definitely one of the better films in the franchise, it was great in the cinema, looks immense on Blu Ray, and the book is also worth hunting down.

    I can’t believe someone’s gone their whole life without seeing a Bond Film!!! If you want a quick run-down of them all, I did ‘James Bond January’ last year – lots of links to reviews etc here: http://paragraphfilmreviews.com/category/james-bond-january/

    Enjoy!

    • Eric says:

      Haha yep, I don’t know how I made it this far without seeing a Bond movie either! Thanks for linking me to your marathon. I remember seeing it back then, but it will be great to go back and reference it as I go through more of the series. Cheers!

      • rtm says:

        Hi Eric, if you’ve clicked on the link above you’ll know I’m partial to Dalton as Bond, so I’m really curious to hear what you think of Living Daylights & Licence To Kill, both are very good IMO.

        • Eric says:

          Great, thanks Ruth! License to Kill seems to be getting mentioned a lot so I will be sure to check that one out. I will try to keep a running tally on here of what Bond films I see and when.

  2. VictorsMovieReviews says:

    I put a list of my favorite Bond films on my blog. Take a look if you want some ideas on where to start.

    The whole franchise is hit or miss, but the reboot w/ Craig got the train back on its track.

    • Eric says:

      Awesome, I think I’ll do Quantum next and then go back from there. I am especially looking forward to seeing some of the Sean Connery films!

  3. moviesandsongs365 says:

    I’m with Scott that I prefer the Roger Moore campy days, but Casino Royale was indeed a great thrill ride, no dull moments for me. Martin Campbell also made the excellent GoldenEye, he should direct more Bond in future! Hope so
    ps That’s incredible you missed watching Bond, they are on TV so often

    • Eric says:

      Yeah, it’s strange how the series eluded me for all these years. I’ll definitely be checking out GoldenEye — that one looks like a lot of fun.

  4. pgcooper1939 says:

    Nice, glad you liked it man. As for where to go now, that depends…

    -If you want another action-packed Bond film, GoldenEye is a good pick. Same director as Casino Royale too.

    -If you want a similarly driven and cold Bond, Timothy Dalton’s License to Kill would be a good choice.

    -If your just in the mood for classic Bond, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger are the way to go. Much slower than Casino Royale, but they make up for it by being awesome.

    • Eric says:

      Awesome, dude, thanks for the recs! GoldenEye seems to be a popular choice so I will bump that one up in the queue. I’ll be sure to check out the others, too, as I feel I should dig into the classics sooner rather than later.

    • fogsmoviereviews says:

      Good choices PG. I’d second that selection and that reasoning. Nicely put.

      The Roger Moore era is a campy kind of era, Eric, if you’re going to go there, be forewarned.

      If you honestly haven’t seen any other bonds? I’d go back to Goldfinger. It’s a classic, and set so much of the perceptions of Bond in the pop culture memory going forward. It’s a great, great flick.

      I love most of the Connerys as classics, but that one is probably the most highly recommendable.

      • Eric says:

        Campy Bond sounds like fun to me. It will be interesting to compare that with the ultra-badass Daniel Craig from this one.

        Goldfinger and GoldenEye have been bumped up in the ol’ queue. Thanks guys!

    • Eric says:

      Yeah, I don’t have high hopes for Quantum based on what I’ve heard, but I imagine it could still be a fun way to spend a couple hours. Plus it will get me ready for Skyfall, which looks pretty badass. :D

  5. Dan says:

    I’ll follow the others and suggest that you see Quantum of Solace since it connects to Casino Royale. I’d rank Casino Royale as one of the top 5 Bond films, so you may not enjoy some of the others as much.

    After that, I’d suggest going back and checking out some of the Connery films, especially From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball. They’re his 2nd through 4th movies and are all great movies.

    If you’re looking to sample the others, I’d suggest On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Lasenby), The Spy Who Loved Me (Moore), License to Kill (Dalton), and Goldeneye (Brosnan). I’m not a huge fan of Brosnan’s films, but I think his first outing is his strongest (despite being dated).

    I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of some of the other Bond films.

    • Eric says:

      Hey Dan, thanks for stopping by and sharing some recommendations! I think I’ll go with Quantum next, then dig into each of the past Bond actor’s films. It sounds like there’s good stuff from all involved, and it will be fun to compare the various changes over the years.

  6. maroon5gurl88 says:

    Don’t feel bad, Casino Royale was my second Bond film (I’d seen GoldenEye before). I plan on reviewing all the Bond films closer to Skyfall’s release. I love Casino Royale 90% because it’s awesome and 10% because Daniel Craig is easy on the eyes.

    • Eric says:

      Haha cool, good to know I’m not alone. :D I’ll keep an eye out for your Bond reviews. I may have to do a little marathon of my own so I am ready for Skyfall, too.

  7. The Blog of Big Ideas says:

    I would sincerely recommend you to skip Quantum of Solace for now. It’s a big step down from how it all started with Casino Royale.
    Try going back, a few decades and Bonds back and see what you can find. Skip Pierce Brosnan altogether and go for the old goodies.

    Great pick to start your Bond project though

    • Eric says:

      Skip Quantum entirely, eh? Honestly that just made me a little more curious to check it out. :) It’s always interesting to see how a movie can drop off so much with a sequel. I definitely plan on catching up with some of the classics, though.

  8. Jaina says:

    Great to hear you enjoyed the film. I hope you watch Quantum of Solace in good time too. A lot of people thought it was a step back, but I enjoyed it. Though, moreso on repeat viewings that initial.

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