Casino Royale (5/5*)(edit)
This film sees Bond in his early days getting his double-oh license and playing high stakes poker against the financiers of terrorists.
Originally based on a game of baccarat - where I'm sure most, including myself, wouldn't have the first idea how the game would work, Bond is asked to play against a maths and chess mastermind-bad ass (obligatory scars included) in a high stakes game of Texas Hold'em
The film's guts is really based around the game, and lends some explanation as to how Bond becomes who he is.
When I watch Bond films - certainly the newer ones I always felt I would walk away a touch short from satisfied. I think that's because some of the later films relied a little on the prestige that is the Bond franchise.
With Casino Royale, it feels like a film that stands on it's own two feet.
What's most exciting for me about this film, is how we see Bond at a very early stage of his career, and how we're reminded that Bond, although an infamous lady killer, is actually ultimately a hired hit man.
Casino Royale gets brutal a few times, and more often than not, though Bond kicks ass, he's usually coming away like a battered old shoe!
Don't worry though, if seeing Bond knocked about there's plenty for everyone - babes, brawn and a bit of "now Mr Bond, I am going to hit you in the balls".
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Casino Royale is a superb debut for Daniel Craig as Bond, and it delivers some pretty hard and damn cold punches.
Dark, hard hitting, breath of life in to a franchise that should be about a cold hearted killer.
What do you mean, there's a fly in your soup?