After the “Pierce Brosnan years” James Bond had commenced to get a little stale. Goldeneye was great but unfortunately Brosnan’s movies slowly went all downhill. Perhaps it was the focus on action over story or maybe after nearly 40 years of watching the MI6 Secret Agent save the world again and again audiences simply got tired of him. No matter what reason the James Bond franchise Judi Mpo would have to be resuscitated quickly. Casino Royale did that with a bang because it did something that few other movies in the franchise did before, focused on the type of James Bond and gave us a go into the mind of this complex character while still giving audiences classic moments and action sequences that rival any other films nowadays.
First off raising change in Casino Royale was Daniel Craig as James Bond. This has been an option that infuriated many people as denoted by countless websites and blogs that were attempting to provoke a mass boycott of the movie because of Craig’s involvement. Luckily Daniel Craig brought a fresh look and attitude to the secret agent; making Bond a more particular sports and humanized character that audiences see have the transformation that caused him to become what we have been used to in other movies.
Another change to Casino Royale was the lack of the type Q. While Q was just not a fault in the Bond films his different led to less crazy gadgets like exploding smoking cigarettes and cell phone tasers. This allowed the focus to be placed on Bond’s abilities and not his dumb luck of being in a situation where a villain wants to open Bond’s briefcase and then is hit in the face by a smoke bomb. Bond is agile and quick thinking; continuing to keep Meters and the rest of MI6 on their toes.
While Casino Royale has a heavy focus on action scenes like some of the more recent movies it also slows things down; raising case being the card game that fills the room with tension all around. It hearkens back to Bond’s early days; one of the first scenes in the series involves the spy credit cards with an foe of his. In between poker hands we are treated to fighting that convinces the audience that Bond could very well be untouchable; until, minutes later, we are shown one of the most vulnerable scenes ever when Bond is forced to take some slack from the game and nearly loses his life. Casino Royale mixes the unstoppable, emotionless spy with a vulnerable person who is quickly learning that being a 00 agent is going to require him to make some changes to himself. Bond is forced to strike a balance between detaching himself from everything but not allowing himself becoming a completely cold-hearted killer for hire.
Like Batman Begins before it Casino Royale has completely reinvigorated a franchise that had been screwing up. The film, again like Batman, felt black and gritty than previous entries in the franchise. This new direction blended with a new lead actor that surely could exemplify the type of James Bond and just enough mix of classic Bond moments with newer ideas makes Bond a very relevant movie franchise again. Batman, like Bond movies, had gotten out of touch with what made the first ones loved by everyone. Both movie franchises became “silly” and lost focus by throwing ridiculous npcs and tons of unnecessary gadgets into the mix. The Batman movies became focused more on their star studded villain cast and Bond movies added hidden cars mixing that with a elaborate James Bond who clearly had forgotten the events of his past.
With Quantum of Solace right around the corner and already getting great reviews audiences everywhere should be very excited about James Bond’s return. I’m just really excited that we are getting a Bond movie that is a direct continuation of the previous one; most likely going even more in-depth into the character of Bond, something that has been absent from many other movies in the franchise. Similarly to how the Dark Knight continued to show the tortured soul of Batman and focus even more on his character Quantum of Solace looks to go deeper into James Bond’s attempts to deal with the events at the end of Casino Royale. The black tone that fit Batman so well also works together Bond as well. Possibly the best part of Casino Royale is how, despite being a more realistic and black look at the character, we still see the same one-liners and carefree attitude that has been a staple of the Bond franchise since its creation.