After just having earned his 00-status and hence his license to kill, James Bond (Daniel Craig) tracks a terrorist bomb maker from Madagascar to Miami where the latter is plotting to blow up the all-new Airbus A340-600. Suffice it to say that the plans are foiled and that le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelson), a private banker to the world’s terrorists, loses a considerable amount of money in the process. Le Chiffre then sets up a high stakes poker game in Casino Royale in Montenegro in order to win his investors’ money back. Bond being the best player in her Majesty’s Secret Service is sent to Montenegro to beat le Chiffre and make him lose everything he’s got.
After 2002′s Die Another Day it was clear to many that something had to be changed in order to keep the 007 franchise thriving. So the producers decided to get rid of Pierce Brosnan and cast a 38-year-old Liverpuddlian with (and here it comes) blond hair. Daniel Craig (lovingly called Mr. Potato Head in the UK) however, is probably the best thing that could have happened to the franchise. We are not saying Brosnan or any of the previous Bond incarnations were bad actors but we believe no one could have pulled this one off better than Craig. It took a lot of guts to strip Bond of the many things that audiences have come to expect from the movies. Q is gone and so are the gadgets as well as Moneypenny and the theme song is nearly completely omitted. But (and Bond fans may not like this) it makes absolutely sense. Bond has been taken back to the roots of how Ian Fleming originally created the character. A rugged and blunt tool who is not afraid of getting his hands dirty and above all who is not an invincible superhero. Second time Bond director Martin Campell (Goldeneye, Vertical Limit) goes with a gritty, realistic look, mind-blowing action sequences (no CGI here and thank God no invisible car) as well as an artsy, state-of-the-art credits sequence and delivers the most visceral and bloody Bond movie yet.
Casino Royale is rated PG-13 for a ‘ballsy’ torture sequence.