Retro Review: Casino Royale (2006)

Today I’ll be starting a new series in the blog where I review old movies of yester years and this series shall be known as Retro Review.

Kick-starting this brand new series, we’ll go down memory lane, rewinding time to precisely 6 years ago when we all got to see the new guy who would join the VIP list of characters that have played as Ian Fleming’s James Bond; *in a magician’s voice*… I present CASINO ROYALE

Released in  autumn / harmattan 2006, Nov 17 to be precise, Casino Royale heralded the coming of a new Bond character in the person of Daniel Craig. Between the time this movie has been released till present date, there’s been a lot of debate about Craig playing the role of James Bond because he does not have the charisma of Bond and is too brutal. I personally think Pierce Brosnan has spoilt a lot of people with how Bond should be after Sean Connery… Anyways that is another discussion for another day.

Casino Royale stars Daniel Craig as James Bond, Eva Green as Vesper Lynd, Judi Dench as M, Jeffery Wright as Felix Leiter, Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, Giancarlo Giannini as Rene Mathis, Jesper Christensen as Mr. White, Isaach De Bankole as Steven Obanno, Ivana Milicevic as Valenka,  Caterina Murino as Solange, Simon Abkarian as Alex Dimitros, Sebastien Foucan as Mollaka.

Casino Royale introduces James Bond before he holds his license to kill. But Bond is no less dangerous, and with two professional assassinations in quick succession, he is elevated to ’00’ status. Bond’s first 007 mission takes him to Uganda where he is to spy on a terrorist, Mollaka. Not everything goes to plan and Bond decides to investigate, independently of MI6, in order to track down the rest of the terrorist cell. Following a lead to the Bahamas, he encounters Dimitrios and his girlfriend, Solange. He learns that Dimitrios is involved with Le Chiffre, banker to the world’s terrorist organizations. Thanks to Bond, Le Chiffre loses over $101 million dollars. Now a marked man, Le Chiffre must find another way to earn the money back so his investors will not kill him. He sets up a high stakes poker match in Montenegro for 10 players with entry fees at $10 million each + a $5 million buy back should they lose all their money. M informs Bond of the poker game and agrees to let Bond continue the mission since he’s the best poker player in the service (Hope he’s not asked to play against the guys in 21). Ultimately Bond discovers the truth behind his enemy, but also the worst of all truths: to not trust anyone.

Casino Royale was sort of a reboot of the 1967 release that starred David Niven as Bond, taking us back to who Bond was before becoming a 00 (though briefly) and who he became after being a 00. Craig plays the role of Bond who is impulsive, shoots first & asks questions later, a violent walking time bomb and plays it well. Then there is the game of poker that is executed by Le Chiffre to save himself, only for Bond to come in and try and be a spoil sport. (P.S It should be noted that the movie Kaleidoscope (1966) is seen by some school of thoughts as an uncredited adaptation of Casino Royale).

All in all i enjoyed this movie back when i saw it, especially the scene where Bond was chasing Mollaka. Damn that chase was epic and i must say Mollaka can run and jump. I remember comments in the cinemas such as “that guy is a monkey”, “can bond catch this guy?”… Could not help but laugh….

Rating: 7/10

Worthiness : Its a wonderful movie worth having and watching once again.

Favourite Quotes

James Bond: So you want me to be half-monk, half-hitman.

M: Any thug can kill. I need you to take your ego out of the equation. 

————————————

M: You’ve got a bloody cheek!

James Bond: Sorry. I’ll shoot the camera first next time.

M: Or yourself. You stormed into an Embassy. You violated the only absolutely inviolate rule of international relations, and why? So you could kill a nobody. We wanted to question him, not to kill him! For God’s sake! You’re supposed to display some kind of judgement.

James Bond: I did. I thought one less bomb maker in the world would be a good thing.

M: Exactly. One bomb maker. We’re trying to figure out how an entire network of terrorist groups is financed and you give us one bomb maker. Hardly the big picture, wouldn’t you say? 

————————————

James Bond: I have a dinner jacket.

Vesper Lynd: There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets; this is the latter. And I need you looking like a man who belongs at that table.

James Bond: How?… It’s tailored.

Vesper Lynd: I sized you up the moment we met. 

—————————————

M: Arrogance and self-awareness seldom go hand in hand.

—————————————-

James Bond: Why is it that people who can’t take advice always insist on giving it? 

—————————————–

Mr. White: Hello?

James Bond: Mr. White? We need to talk.

Mr. White: Who is this?

[a shot rings out. White’s leg is shattered. He drops to the ground in obvious pain and drags himself toward the house. He is stopped at the steps by the feet of a man in a suit. He looks up to see Bond with a cell phone in one hand and an assault weapon in the other]

James Bond: The name’s Bond. James Bond.

——————————————-

 

Vesper Lynd: [after discussing poker skills on the train] What else can you surmise, Mr. Bond?

James Bond: About you, Miss Lynd? Well, your beauty’s a problem. You worry you won’t be taken seriously.

Vesper Lynd: Which one can say of any attractive woman with half a brain.

James Bond: True. But this one overcompensates by wearing slightly masculine clothing. Being more aggressive than her female colleagues. Which gives her a somewhat *prickly* demeanor, and ironically enough, makes it less likely for her to be accepted and promoted by her male superiors, who mistake her insecurities for arrogance. Now, I’d have normally gone with “only child,” but by the way you ignored the quip about your parents… I’m going to have to go with “orphan.”

Vesper Lynd: All right… by the cut of your suit, you went to Oxford or wherever. Naturally you think human beings dress like that. But you wear it with such disdain, my guess is you didn’t come from money, and your school friends never let you forget it. Which means that you were at that school by the grace of someone else’s charity: hence that chip on your shoulder. And since you’re first thought about me ran to “orphan,” that’s what I’d say you are.

[he smiles but says nothing]

Vesper Lynd: Oh, you are? I like this poker thing. And that makes perfect sense! Since MI6 looks for maladjusted young men, who give little thought to sacrificing others in order to protect queen and country. You know… former SAS types with easy smiles and expensive watches.

[Glances at his wrist]

Vesper Lynd: Rolex?

James Bond: Omega.

Vesper Lynd: Beautiful. Now, having just met you, I wouldn’t go as far as calling you a cold-hearted bastard…

James Bond: No, of course not.

Vesper Lynd: But it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine. You think of women as disposable pleasures, rather than meaningful pursuits. So as charming as you are, Mr. Bond, I will be keeping my eye on our government’s money – and off your perfectly-formed arse.

James Bond: You noticed?

Vesper Lynd: Even accountants have imagination. How was your lamb?

James Bond: Skewered! One sympathizes.

Vesper Lynd: Good evening, Mr. Bond.

James Bond: Good evening, Ms. Lynd. 

—————————————————-

Vesper Lynd: Am I going to have a problem with you, Mr. Bond?

James Bond: No, don’t worry, you’re not my type.

Vesper Lynd: Smart?

James Bond: Single. 

—————————————————

Vesper Lynd: Ten million was wired to your account in Montenegro, with the contingency for five more if I deem it a prudent investment. I suppose you’ve given some thought to the notion that if you lose, our government will have directly financed terrorism. 

It also a worthy mention to state that the next Bond movie, Skyfall should be released in November. Would post a video trailer of it soon for your viewing pleasure.

Its a wrap folks. Speak to you soon and a Happy Independence Day Celebration to Nigeria… Cheers!!!

Without Wax,

V.

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8 thoughts on “Retro Review: Casino Royale (2006)

  1. I’m a big Casino Royale fan even though I hate Craig as Bond. His qualities, and also what makes me really love this movie are in complete contrast to what I grew up seeing James Bond as. Still the action was brilliant, and the torture scene remains an absolutely painful fave.
    …And oh LOVED YOUR 21 REFERENCE!!! REAL G SHII RIGHT THERE!

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