Casino Royale

Casino Royale ★★★★★

"Do you want a clean kill or do you want to send a message?"

James Bond must bankrupt a terrorist financier in a high stakes poker game in this reboot, revival and reinvigoration of the 007 series. It's the first assignment for the newly appointed 007 and the first of five movies starring Daniel Craig, all linked to this starting point.

There was plenty of doubt and speculation about casting Daniel Craig as James Bond, but Casino Royale turned out to be not only the best Bond movie in forever, but also the best one ever made (in my humble opinion). Way to silence your detractors!

Craig's Bond is wilder but no less suave and lethal. Although I love something about all of the Bond films, this more serious reinvention was beyond thrilling and much needed in a post 9/11 world.

Full of breathtaking action sequences and full of genuine human emotions, something overlooked in so many previous episodes. The ending tops even On Her Majesty's Secret Service for a nice punch to the guts.

I will admit I wasn't in love with the Chris Cornell theme, "You Know My Name" when the movie first came out. Happy to report it's really grown on me since. It's more of a theme for 007 himself than for the film as a whole, I now realize. It's really unique that way and stands out from the rest. It was stuck in my head for quite some time after rewatching, and the late Cornell sings it for all he's worth.

Casino Royale was just what 007 needed, an attentive reshaping for modern audiences that paid off all around.

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