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Casino Royale (2006): The Movie that Restarted the Bond Franchise

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Casino Royale 1
Photo by Kendall Hoopes CCO 1.0

“It all comes down to a game of poker.”

We all know who James Bond aka 007 is. The charismatic womanizing MI6 secret agent has been around for decades with varying British and Scottish actors portraying the agent. Actors such as Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, and Sean Connery have played Bond with big success on the big screen, and for the last few years we have had to pleasure of seeing British actor Daniel Craig as Bond. A role, he has fulfilled with extraordinary talent. Craig’s kick-off movie was the thrilling Casino Royale set in various places around the World and with a myriad of different under currents and it all comes to a head when Bond joins a poker tournament held at the famous Casino Royale in Montenegro in an effort to get the bad guy.

The epic re-boot

Basically, Casino Royale is an epic reboot of the whole Bond universe, which was originally written by Ian Fleming. It is meant to be a fresh start and thus separate from the previous Bond movies. Casino Royale was also Fleming’s first book and the point of the movie is that the following films (Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre) are part of this new universe.

The movie is fast-paced and exciting, yet an incredibly easy-to-follow and relatable piece of cinematic art that launched Daniel Craig as the new 007. With his chiseled physique and piercing blue eyes, Bond chases the movie’s bad guy, Le Chiffré (played by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen), all over the world and straight into Montenegro’s Casino Royale. This is where he beats Le Chiffré at an intense game of Texas Hold’Em.

The movie kicks off with an action-packed intro scene in which Bond kills a treacherous MI6 agent and is thereafter given his new 007 credentials. Fresh out of the gate, he heads to Madagascar and after a series of classical Bond events involving a beautiful woman, a cool car, and a couple of killings, Bond prevents the destruction of a Skyfleet airliner. This particular event ends up costing Le Chiffré an enormous amount of money seeing as he had just put a lot of money on Skyfleet’s supposed failure. Enraged and with his investors at his throat, Le Ciffré heads to Montenegro to host a high-stakes game of Texas Hold’Em at the Casino Royale in an effort to recover the money he has just lost.

Seeing as how Le Chiffré is the ultimate bad guy, MI6 understandably wants to bring him in. Therefore they enter Bond into the tournament, hoping that he will win and smoke out Le Chiffré who will have to seek asylum from the British government if he loses. MI6 sends Vesper Lynd to join Bond as the treasurer to make sure he doesn’t lose the government’s money. Vesper is, of course, very beautiful and smart and her and Bond strike up a relationship, ultimately falling in love.

The tournament is filled with brilliant fight scenes, lots of tension and anger, and eventually leads to Bond gaining the upper hand after nearly dying from poisoning. He finally manages to beat Le Chiffré with one last winning hand before sailing off into the sunset with Vesper and vowing to quit MI6 to live a happy life with her. That is until she betrays him – or so he thinks. The money from the winnings was never deposited thus making Vesper out to be a traitor – however, in reality, she was only trying to save Bond’s life. He realises this as she passes away in his arms, which prompts him to seek revenge and remain in MI6.

After Casino Royale

Casino Royale 2
Photo by Avalino Calvar Martinez CCO 1.0

“Skyfall takes us to remote Scotland to uncover Bond’s past.”

Casino Royale is incredibly exciting from start to finish, and many predicted that it would be hard to follow up. However, the subsequent movie Quantum of Solace (Craig’s 2nd) was just as amazing and takes us along as a bitter Bond searches for the people that were blackmailing Vesper.

Next comes Skyfall, which takes us back to the beginning of Bond by telling us about his parents and his childhood. It all culminates at his childhood home, Skyfall, in the remote Scottish muirs. Skyfall is a magnificent movie and a definite must-see.

That brings us to 2015 when Spectre was released. Spectre was Daniel Craig’s fourth turn as Bond and the 24th Bond movie all together. It stars the very talented Christoph Waltz as the head of a huge crime syndicate, which Bond must take on.

The next instalment of the Bond franchise will be No Time to Die, which will once again feature Daniel Craig as Bond – a role he has really grown into and performs with effortless magnificence. The much anticipated No Time to Die will be released on April 2020.

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