Casino Royale (2006)
Bond, James Bond: Daniel Craig
Arch Rival: Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen)
Bond Girl: Vesper Lynd (Eva Green)
Daniel Craig becomes the sixth man to don the role of the British secret agent in Casino Royale. The film follows the early professional life of Bond, just after he has been elevated to the 00 status. He is naïve and trusts women he sees. In this installment he follows Le Chiffre, the investment giant who deals with the money lent to him by the leading terrorist organizations and multiplies it using Poker matches. Bond is sent to play him fair and square and turn him bankrupt, forcing himself to run out of business. He is aided by Vesper Lynd, responsible for handling the huge sum of money sent along with Bond, and Mathis, the local agent for MI6. Sure enough, the ordeal becomes one involving more than Bond’s brawns. Meanwhile, it is revealed that the match is not just between Le Chiffre and Bond, but a third hand too.
Bond is no more (or not yet!) the smooth talking, ever punning, suave gentleman. He is a mean killing machine and lives by his code of duty. Daniel Craig is an instant hit unlike someone like Roger Moore who had to convince us for a couple of movies or three. His USP remains his barely legible accent and I-mean-business attitude. Immensely stylish and high on production value, Casino Royale is still a bit unconvincing perhaps because of the nature of Bond himself. The opening stunt scene easily features in the best of Bond and one only wonders what they will come up with in the next one.