After a four year hiatus, Bond is back in grand fashion. Casino Royale gives this series the desperately needed jump start to keep the Bond legend going. Daniel Craig brings a lot to the table as 007. He combines the suave and the brutal qualities that make Bond great, possibly making him the best James Bond since Sean Connery.
With each release of a new Bond film, the recipe had remained so constant that for a better part of its franchise history, Bond films had been as predictable as they were enjoyable. Casino Royale shakes the pattern, restarting with Bond's roots and creating a new framework for the series. Bond has just achieved his promotion to double-0 status and with it he is assigned to catch a bomb-maker in Madagascar. He chases the parkouring bomb-maker to an embassy and causes havoc. After the embassy shootout, Bond is wanted by foreign governments and must take a temporary leave from MI6.
Bond's leave of absence doesn't help to stop him from following up on the man who hired the bomb-maker. The trail leads to Le Chiffre, private banker to the world's terrorists. He sets up a high stakes poker game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro, and Bond is backed by the British treasury to play poker and beat Le Chiffre. The plot than leads to paths of murder, betrayal and it climaxes in a great sequence in Venice.
Director Martin Campbell, who previously did Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan, brings a brand new style to 007 films. Casino Royale has great action sequences which are filmed primarily on location and look realistic. Also, the closed off and dimmer interior world of the Casino give the film a nice contrast, as this setting is juxtaposed with the wide shots in Madagascar and the climatic sequences in Venice. Despite having many wide open chases and stunt scenes, a large portion of the human sequences take place within closed off rooms. These include a shoot out in a collapsing Venice building and the torture of James Bond in a dim warehouse basement (one of the best torture scenes I've ever seen).
The hero in Casino Royale is one who is both suave and deadly, as Bond should be, and lead actor Daniel Craig brings a lot to the table. He's most likely the best Bond actor since Sean Connery. Craig is an elegant Bond, and he is believable in the role of a killer. His version of Bond contains more depth than his predecessors, and Casino Royale taps into more human emotion than previous Bond films. This is thanks to both the wonderful writing and the great cast. To conclude, Casino Royale is a terrific film and is in competition for the best 007 movie to date.