James Bond movies can be pretty hit or miss. Some are really fun action movies, while others are whatever Die Another Day (2002) is. Additionally, every actor brings something different to the character of James Bond. Casino Royal (2006) was Daniel Craig’s first turn at 007. I’d say he did pretty good. In my opinion, you need three things for a successful James Bond movie, or any action movie I suppose, a charismatic lead, a good villain, and fun action scenes. Casino Royale has all three.
Daniel Craig is charisma. Do I really need to say more? The guy has that smooth charm and style and truly embodies the character of James Bond. He does a great job as the character, even if he is blond and has blue eyes, which was a controversy when he was first casted. But every hero is only as good as their villain.
Mads Mikkelsen plays a great villain. He’s been everything from a Marvel villain to Hannibal Lecter. But most people were first introduced to him when he was a Bond villain. He does an excellent job at playing a cold, calculating villain. He manages to come across as intimidating without even throwing a punch or holding a gun. The scene where him and James Bond are playing poker? Or when he is, spoiler, torturing Bond? *Chef’s Kiss* Perfect. My only complaint is that he isn’t in the movie more.
This movie gets what James Bond should be, full of fun action scenes. This movie is chalk full of them. In the beginning of the movie, there is a pretty exciting chase scene that makes use of parkour, which was still pretty new at the time. There is an action scene where Bond tries to stop a bomb from blowing up, one in a stairwell, and a climatic finish in a crumbling building. The movie even makes a poker game feel really intense to me, and I know nothing about poker. It’s a good movie and a great Bond story. Craig and Mikkelsen are great in their roles and the action is all done almost perfectly. You can watch it on Netflix now.