starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Jesper Christensen and Judi Dench
screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis
directed by Martin Campbell
Another re-make of the novel by Ian Fleming, this is the first James Bond movie with the newly re-cast Bond, Daniel Craig. I knew Daniel Craig before he got this role, but I suppose many North Americans didn’t know him, or did not know him very well. Well, that’s changed now.
I saw a preview of Casino Royale on a video monitor at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Shinjuku and I was so impressed with the first big chase scene in it that I decided I had to see it on DVD as soon as it was available in the shops, or as soon as I could lay my hands on it. The opening chase scene is so fast-paced and exciting I was reminded of Eddy Murphy’s Beverley Hill’s Cop (1984, co-starring Judge Reinhold, directed by Martin Brest). This version of Casino Royale is a lot noisier than most any other Bond film, including the more recent ones with Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. And what is more, Bond displays an American level of action and aggression fighting the Bad Guys. Who would have thought that a Briton could be so tough, so manly?
But the most exciting thing for me was the cameo appearance by Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic. Branson appears as an airline passenger at MiamiInternational Airport, in Florida, being frisked by security after passing through the metal detector as all passengers do. We have a full-front picture of him, and his face is so famous that I am sure I am not mistaken, despite his name not appearing in the credits. Because it is an airport scene there are several Virgin Atlantic jets shown. Or, maybe it is just one jet shot from different angles, doing different things.