Casino Royale

Casino Royale ★★★★½

For all the talk of how a certain very famous amnesiac had influenced Bond's return, by the time we'd come to the end of Daniel Kleinmann's amazing opening credits and the last strain's of the much missed Chris Cornell's superb theme had faded out, it was apparent just how different Bond was and how it will have one thing that JB never will........balls out fucking 'cool'.

Craig's no-nonsense swagger in the action scenes may well have been influenced by the new school of action, but for everything else, he had the charm, the twinkle in those baby blue eyes, which, when placed in sun-drenched exotic locations and serenaded by David Arnold's amazing John Barry tribute, its simply coolness personified.

And its this cool that Craig brought that worked so well for the mid-00s - with Connery, his coolness was his machismo and raw sexuality, with Moore, it was his safari suits (shut up, you know they were) and his witty quips and Brosnan had his utter suaveness and sophistication, all right for their respective times.....yet Craig was the perfect amalgamation of all three (I know the other fella's had their plus points, but they as Bond's lacked this 'cool' factor), honing it even more for the current time by giving him his cool through his banter and repartee with Eva Green.

Without that, the entire film and possibly the franchise would have bene dead in the water - so confident were the film makers of this, they structured the entire film around it: unlike all other Bond's, its light on the action, with the entire second and third acts being little more than a card game punctuated by short, sharp bursts of gritty action. And yet it works brilliantly thanks to that wonderful relationship - like an updated 40s screwball comedy, Craig and Green bounce off each other like Grant and Hepburn, helped no end by the fact they are two of the most attractive people ever to walk the earth.

And even better, using this relationship to set up this new era of Bond was a brilliant move - how do you make a cold-hearted assassin relevant in these not very cold war days? You make him a revenge seeking cold hearted assassin, now with a plausible motive, giving cart blanche to the next films to be Bond as it was and always shall be, just updated in all the right areas.

Its not aged at all, except for the hilarious Sony product placement shoehorned in at every opportunity, and if anything, it should serve as a solid gold lesson for all film makers to go with their hearts in terms of their decision-making - in light of this, how did we ever doubt Craig as one of the very best Bond's we've had?

I'd certainly forgotten how good the film was, instead just remembering how good Craig was. And how much I wanted Eva Green to steal all my money and leave me a broken fucking wreck of a man. An utterly brilliant Bond and an utterly brilliant Bond film.

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