I'll admit it. I was one of those protesters when Daniel Craig was announced as the new James Bond. I had been rooting for Clive Owen. I've seen all 20 Bond movies (twice) and Craig to me looked more like a villain than James Bond. Plus he was blond. So I was planning on just waiting for Casino Royale to come out on DVD before I watched it. But when the reviews came out, they were all mostly positive. And the audience reaction was pretty good too. So I caved in.
My family and I went to see the movie Thanksgiving weekend. We were all blown away. Gone is the cheeky humor from the Brosnan films. There is no Q or Moneypenny and neither are really missed. No more silly stunts, gadgets, or ridiculous situations. (invisible car, rampage fire truck anyone?) The first action scene is so exciting that you literally are scrounging in your seat, anxious as to what will happen. You've never seen Bond run this way before. The movie is more violent than the others and there isn't as much humor (although there was a very funny line during the torture scene-you know which one). But I liked that it was serious, and it was fun to see Felix Leiter again (since this is a prequel, he hasn't been eaten by the shark).
I don't know a thing about poker and any other card game, but it was obvious when Bond was doing well and when he wasn't. The whole card game scene was very tense and suspenseful. As for the Bond girls, I really like Eva Green as Vesper Lynd. I always applaud when the writers use a strong Bond girl. Why they insist on just dumb eye candy ones I have no clue. The public actually likes pretty girls with brains.
I also really liked the title song (You Know My Name by Chris Cornell). It has been on repeat in my itunes for the past 4 days. The title credits were very cool and refreshing as they were very creative with the cards (loved the spade bullets) and did not resort to using naked women. *Spoiler* This was the first Bond movie since On Her Majesty's Secret Service that did not end with Bond being with the girl. And personally I liked it better that way.
I feel like this was a really long review and I sound like I'm gushing. The truth is that I really was pleasantly surprised about this movie. Even my sisters who are only very casual Bond fans loved this movie (we debated whether to see the movie again the very next day). Daniel Craig has done such an amazing job at portraying Bond that when, at the end, he utters the famous "Bond, James Bond" line, you actually believe him. I can't wait til Bond 22.