Casino Royale (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner10/11/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 144 mins

Craig acquits himself well in this thoroughly enjoyable, superbly directed Bond flick, although it drags a bit in the third act.

What's it all about?
Goldeneye director Martin Campbell is back on board for this reinvention of the Bond franchise, in which British intelligence agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) has only just received his licence to kill status. After a spectacular early chase sequence leads to a costly mistake, Bond does some investigating of his own in the Bahamas and discovers a lead to gammy-eyed terrorism financier Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen).

Tentatively back in M's (Judi Dench) good books, Bond conceives a plan to crash Le Chiffre's high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. Bombshell accountant Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) is assigned as Bond's accomplice, but can she be trusted?

The Good
Craig is excellent in his first outing as Bond, nailing the dramatic scenes and lending an impressive physicality to the action scenes. Most important of all, the man can run without looking like a girl.

The script is based on Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, previously only filmed as a spoof. This allows for some intriguing character development, lending the plot some valuable dramatic weight.

The only problem is that the action tails off around two thirds of the way through the film, leading to a finale that is less than rousing, despite its imaginative setting. Similarly, as exciting as the poker game is, it was probably a mistake to have everyone sitting down for 25 minutes of the film.

The Great
The action scenes are terrific, particularly the jaw-dropping opening chase scene, in which Bond squares off against a free-running bombmaker (Sebastien Foucan). In addition, Green brings an alluring intelligence and vulnerability to the Bond Girl role, and there's strong support from Judi Dench (deliciously spiky as ever), Caterina Murino (as the other Bond girl) and a superbly cast Mads Mikkelsen.

Worth seeing?
It drags a bit towards the end and is slightly too long, but Casino Royale is still a thoroughly enjoyable Bond film and Craig is a welcome addition to the franchise.

Film Trailer

Casino Royale (12A)
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Content updated: 19/07/2018 14:37

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