Facebook Twitter


Daniel-Craig-James-BondThe much anticipated rebooting of the James Bond franchise is finally in theatres after months of controversy. The unceremonious canning of Pierce Brosnan, who had played the role for the better part of a decade, and the hiring of Daniel Craig, a blonde largely unknown actor, generated hate amongst Bond die-hards. Websites like craignotbond.com—and others with names I can’t repeat here—sprung up all over the net and it seemed like the barrage of bad pre-release publicity might sink the new movie before it even opened in theatres. The Craig-bashing is likely to cease, not only because it is unwarranted, but also because after seeing the movie nay-sayers may fear for their safety.

Craig is an inspired choice to reinvent Bond for a new generation. He’s a good actor—check out his turns in Enduring Love and The Mother—and he’s good looking, but in a more dangerous way than Brosnan or Roger Moore, the slickest of the Bonds. Craig has the looks of a leading man, but is lean and mean, and seems like he could punch you in the mouth and not think too much of it. Not since Sean Connery has a Bond been so volatile.

Craig takes the formerly bloated Bond franchise in a new direction. Gone are the high tech gadgets, the lasers and the pens that contain nuclear bombs. This Bond, built like a muscular British bulldog dispatched bad guys the old-fashioned way—with his hands. In one scene when he is asked how one of his victims died he replies with a wink, “Not well.”

The story, based on the first Bond novel by Ian Flemming, is typical Bond. A series of missions in far-flung corners of the world leads Bond to a high-stakes poker game hosted by an international banker who launders money for terrorists. Bond’s goal is to bankrupt the banker at the poker table so the Secret Service can use financial leverage to get the banker to turn on his terrorist contacts. Along the way there are beautiful girls, exotic locations, a great bad guy who cries blood tears and lots of over-the-top action.
Casino Royale isn’t your father’s Bond. It may, however, be a little closer to your grandfather’s. Sean Connery officially hung up his Bond tuxedo in 1971 (we won’t count Never Say Never Again, the 1983 non-starter) and since then the franchise has drifted, becoming a cartoony, pun spewing vision of the Cold War spy. Craig (with the help of a script by {Paul Haggis) brings the franchise back to its roots. His Bond is a vicious anti-hero who happens to be on the side of right. He is at once the most contemporary of heroes and one of the most old-fashioned. He’s savvy enough to understand the intricacies of the international espionage but primitive enough to use force when necessary.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.