Casino Royale (2006)

“The name’s Bond, James Bond!”


Columbia Pictures in association with Eon Productions, Casino Royale Productions, Stillking Films, Babelsberg Film and Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas present…

Ian Lancaster Fleming’s first book of the British Intelligence Agency’s most well known Agent, Spy, Soldier and Commander of the Naval Fleet! His character had many depictions and basis, the first one was an actual member of the Royal Navy’s Intelligence Division who worked with Mr. Fleming in World War II, his name was Merlin Minshall, another was Serbian double agent Dusko Popov, a charismatic womanizer and lastly, a real Jewish Russian secret agent named Sidney George Reilly employed in the British SIS. To add, his character’s name came from a real life Ornithologist in Philadelphia.

Casino Royale was the main catalyst of the forthcoming adventures of James Bond. Since it was published in April 13, 1953, it was adapted on screen three times and was written and finished in Jamaica. Mixing both real life experiences and the Author’s own imagination, he was able to bring to the UK and the rest of the world a truly remarkable fictional icon and hero!

Now with Barbara Broccoli’s supervision in all upcoming and remaining projects from his late father’s Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, the daughter has been doing an overwhelming job multi-tasking from both ends of the floor while producing; she also acts as Second Unit Director in the field! Both of them have been involved in the films of the British super spy with the former starting off with Timothy Dalton’s “The Living Daylights” in 1987.

So it begins…

On his second mission, we are taken to Prague in Czech Republic. Bond was tracking down a double agent who was selling intelligence reports to make profit. The black and white ambiance gives it a more suspenseful take on the scene, even the dialogue that they did for just a few minutes with a non-linear take on his first kill was absolutely wicked. It was concise and crisp “considerably”… Thus, James Bond was now promoted to the status of “00”!

The actual battlefield is not your typical highway chase shoot them up style… here it is the Poker Table! Originally it was the card game Baccarat, it was changed to make it contemporary since it gave more reasons to relate to the fans and audiences alike. This game can tell you a lot on who’s playing and to think that it’s not only betting millions of dollars on table that makes you quiver…instead, it’s the world’s safety!! It was also segmented into three significant parts which I aptly named: 1. Bomber’s Away! ; 2. Death Poker and 3. Becoming Bond!

The latest 007, Daniel Craig (Layer Cake) was criticized heavily to be the next Bond especially with his facial attributes but they clearly underestimated his would be performance beforehand giving these unhealthy remarks, this film will absolutely put all doubters on the other side of the river! He gave a powerfully solid, straightforward and headstrong take on the Secret Agent, no more lingering too often with gadgets (it’s alright Q, you’ll be fine) which is very ideal since he relies more on his wits and physical stamina to chase the bad guys from one point into the next even putting in spectacular pursue scenes which involved the sport “free running”. This is the Bond that we are all waiting for shoot first ask questions later (give him the benefit of the doubt for being trigger happy).

The film was superbly done, with an amazing cast. The life of a spy, traveling around the world meeting beautiful women and surviving them was all in a day’s work for Mr. Bond. This story is really significant not only because it depicts his origins but also why he came to terms with having to “trust no one”. He fell in love with the leading lady Eva Green (Kingdom of Heaven) who plays the alluring Vesper Lynd, an ILO (International Liaison Officer) from the HM Treasury sent by M to aide Bond in his next assignment. Smart, strong willed and fatal even for the most dangerous man in the agency!

Together, they need to stop Mads Mikkelsen (King Arthur) is Le Chiffre, a terrorist financier, a genius bent on world domination (economically speaking); his portrayal of being the villain is fantastic! He needs to recuperate the money he owed from a brutal warlord Steven Obanno whom he met in Mbale, Uganda where his intention was to bet against the stock market in his favor by blowing up the largest prototype airplane in Miami! A remarkable actor that can play the bad guy anytime without throwing any punches and you’ll still hate him for his subtle and yet cruel simplicity! He is also backed up by an ominous organization coming from the mouth of Mr. White, played by Jesper Christensen (The Debt) another criminal in the dark, he always plays in the background of his so-called “clients”, we would see later on what his goals are and what its repercussions for Bond…

Supporting casts Jeffrey Wright (Syriana) as CIA Agent and close friend Felix Leiter since back in the early stories with Giancarlo Giannini (Man of Fire) as French local Agent Rene Mathis of the Duexieme Bureau. The only returning cast was Judi Dench (Notes of a Scandal) since Pierce Brosnan’s take in Goldeneye. She reprises her role as Bond’s superior M, the Head of the British Secret Service! Judy’s take and contribution to her character for the last 16 years has been very pleasant, she embodies M as a Superior sometimes cold and uncaring (the Author had his own experiences…) but with the guidance and demeanor of a mother figure.

Directed by Martin Campbell (The Mask of Zorro) who gave us a great film encompassing all the elements of a spy thriller! With the help of Screenwriter Neal Purvis, Robert Wade (Die Another Day) and Paul Haggis (Crash) the former two comes back from the same character with a different take and persona! They have both given a full range of authenticity and intrigue in the story! Kudos as well to Debbie McWilliams (Othello) for finding the best people to portray these characters, I seldom commend the Casting Head but this was remarkably, undeniably well thought of!

Former Sound Garden and Audioslave headman Chris Cornell is one of my favorite performer’s in the music industry! His collaboration with David Arnold to bring the sound of James Bond is truly ear candy. To add, this is the first time that the Bond film franchise chose a male lead coming from a long line of females laying down their voice to capture the fascinating and sophisticated computer generated theatrics of the film’s storyline and premise. This is one of the many films that provide an amazing opening, a synergy of seduction, thrills and excitement!

From the sun glazed Madagascar, to the beautiful beaches of the Bahamas and the classy and elegant Montenegro where the ensuing battle draws to a close! The sights and sceneries from these countries were in the eyes and hands of the brilliant Cinematographer Phil Meheux (Goldeneye), returning with the same projects collaborated with the Director, the direction of his camera provides the audience with fast paced action and the right amount of passion that makes the world of James Bond so impetuously invigorating!


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