Casino Royale was the first Ian Fleming James Bond novel written back in 1953. Since then, the movie rights have been tied up in legal matters and just recently joined the ranks of the official Bond movie series. The 2006 movie was essentially a reboot of the franchise. It introduced a BLONDE Bond in Daniel Craig who I am having a hard time warming to. Hopefully with a new adventure arriving in November, he will grow on me. In any case, the lates movie opens in traditional fashion with a pre-credit sequence which illustrates Mr. Bond’s first two kills… thereby granting him his Double-O status. That is about as similar to most films in the series as it gets. This film is considerably darker but no less entertaining than the rest.
The plot of the movie concerns Bond and a female treasury agent (Vesper Lynde) on the trail of a weapons financier, Le Chiffre, who has a rather disturbing physical abnormality. Bond is entered into a literal life and death Texas Hold ‘Em tournament with the villain. The hope is to defeat Le Chiffre and force him to aid the British government in exchange for protection from his creditors.
I found the character of Bond to be quite interesting. He is not the seasoned super spy who has been out in the field thwarting the evil plans of countless bad guys. Instead, he is careless, untried, and has an enormous ego making M question her decision to promote him to 007. Along the way, Bond learns an important lesson in the espionage game both from experience and from the advice from his superior: “Trust no one.”
As usual, the action sequences are quite thrilling to watch. One of the most memorable scenes (in fact one taken directly from the novel) involves 007 being tortured by Le Chiffre in a way which would seem to decimate his manhood forever. In true form, Bond is able to make a quick though painful quip. Also like any good Bond film, is the double entendre and suggestive character name. Ms. Lynde’s cover identity is Miss Tiffany Broadchest.
Although dark in tone, Casino Royale does provide enough heart-pounding action to satisfy. I’m not entirely sure if this was a total reboot of the series. I hope we have not seen the end of original supporting characters like weapons master Q or flirtatious secretary Miss Moneypenny. Casino Royale ALMOST took itself too seriously.