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Filmmakers Bleed: Casino Royale
Jul 8th, 2008 by Dan

I can still remember the buzz behind Casino Royale when it came out last year. It was supposedly a reboot of the James Bond universe, a revisit to his origins and a way to bring the movies closer to their source material, the Ian Fleming novels.

It wouldn’t have been the first franchise to do this in recent history, the biggest and most prominent example being the Batman Begins movie. The question is, could this series mimic the masterpiece that was the new Batman movie? If you put your money on a resounding yes, you’d be absolutely right.

Absolutely gone is all of the camp of Pierce Brosnan and company’s respective Bonds. I haven’t seen any of the original Bond movies, but my guess is that they were thematically similar to all of the other exaggerated James Bond movies. Not that I know what the novels are like at all, but given that Ian Fleming was, himself, an actual spy and that supposedly Casino Royale is similar to the book of the same name, my guess is that there were significant changes from the atmosphere of the James Bond novels to the silver screen.

How is the Daniel Craig Bond different? Think of it as a shift from the most absurd of all Bond gadgets I’ve ever witnessed, a car with a cloaking shield, to a movie whose most advanced gadgets are portable defibrillators and cell phones. Casino Royale is still an amazing action movie, but it feels a lot more grounded in real life espionage. Instead of being an over-the-top action movie like the days of old, it’s an actual cloak and dagger-type movie. Bond is still a charming, womanizing agent employed in Her Majesty’s service, but he lacks the “super-powers,” if you will, of the Bonds of old. He can be caught, he can be tortured, he can be hit. Someone recently described Daniel Craig’s Bond as a much more physical and brutal Bond and he had it right on the money.

Rather than delve into spoilers at all, let me just give a general overview of the plot: being a reset, of sorts, this is an origin story about James Bond. Luckily, he’s not a superhero, so we don’t have to spend all this time waiting for him to get his super powers or start being a badass. He starts the movie in employ of MI6 and raring to go, but this is, more or less, his first mission. Also worth noting is that this is the first James Bond that will have a direct sequel. Planned as a trilogy (I know…it’s very trite), the upcoming Quantum of Solace and whichever movie that succeeds it will be related in story to one another. This aspect does make Casino Royale‘s ending a bit of a letdown, but also pumps you up to see the latest flick.

So now we arrive at the question I know all of you are asking: “Is this movie worth spending some of my valuable time watching?” The real question you should be asking is “When is the soonest I can get my hands on this movie to watch?” It’s that good. Casino Royale will restore your faith in the Bond universe and should be watched immediately. Lucky for you and I, the wait for some closure on the story will be a short one, since Quantum of Solace will be released this fall. Go rent it or something!

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