Casino Royale is a James Bond spy thriller movie released in 2006. It was directed by Martin Campbell. It is also the first James Bond film in which Daniel Craig portrayed 007. The film is based on the 1953 novel Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. This is the first Bond film in which Columbia Pictures owned MGM, which is no longer a major distributor.
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
At the opening of the film, Bond is sent on a mission to kill an MI6 section chief, Dryden, who has sold British secrets. Bond must make two kills to qualify for Double-0 status, granting him a licence to kill: first, Dryden's associate, and then the section chief himself. The killing of the associate in the men's room leads to the opening credits. Unlike in other Bond films the opening is filmed in black and white, and the gunbarrel sequence is modified to form part of the opening titles.
Bond then travels to Madagascar in pursuit of an international bomb-maker, Mollaka. The two engage in a parkour-inspired chase sequence that ends in the embassy building of Nambutu. When surrounded by embassy soldiers, Bond kills the bomb-maker and blows up part of the embassy in the process. Bond's actions are recorded on closed-circuit television and exposed in the world press, which enrages M, his boss at MI6.
Le Chiffre, an unscrupulous banker who manages money for terrorist organizations, uses his connections to stage attacks against certain companies in order to buy put options for their shares with his clients' funds. Anticipating a plan to blow up a new airplane, Le Chiffre short sells shares of the airliner's manufacturer. Bond foils the attack and stock price does not fall, causing huge losses for Le Chiffre.
To recoup this loss, Le Chiffre sets up a high-stakes Texas hold 'em poker tournament at Casino Royale in Montenegro. MI6 enters Bond in the tournament to bankrupt Le Chiffre; if he succeeds, it will deny Le Chiffre the money he needs and force him to aid the British government in exchange for protection from his creditors. Bond meets up with Mathis, his contact in Montenegro, and Vesper Lynd, a Treasury agent, who is assigned to look after Bond's handling of the $10 million buy-in.
During the game, Bond discovers the poker tell that Le Chiffre commits when he is bluffing. However, Bond is later betrayed when Le Chiffre misleads Bond by committing his tell when he has a strong hand, and Bond loses his entire initial stake. Vesper refuses to grant Bond the $5 million necessary to re-buy, so he decides to assassinate Le Chiffre, but American CIA agent Felix Leiter intervenes. Leiter, who is also undercover playing the game, feels that Bond can beat Le Chiffre and gives him the $5 million. In return, Bond agrees to let the CIA take custody of Le Chiffre instead of MI6.
Back at the table, Bond is poisoned by Le Chiffre's henchwoman, Valenka, who slips digitalis into his drink. He leaves the table and staggers out to his car, where MI6 uses his implant to diagnose the poison. After administering the antidote from the car's medical kit, he tries to activate a defibrillator. However, due to a loose connector, he nearly dies until Vesper comes to his aid. Bond returns to defeat Le Chiffre, but the villain eludes capture and kidnaps Vesper. After a near-fatal car chase, Bond is also captured. Le Chiffre tortures Bond by repeatedly striking his testicles with a large knotted rope to make him reveal the account password to the game's winnings. Bond does not yield and, in the process, taunts Le Chiffre. When it becomes clear that Bond will not give in, Le Chiffre moves to castrate him. An instant before he does, Mr. White arrives and kills everyone, including Le Chiffre, leaving Bond and Vesper alive. Bond awakens in a hospital on Lake Como and has Mathis, whom Le Chiffre identified as a double agent, arrested.
Later, a banker arrives to transfer the winnings and Bond reveals to Vesper that the password for the transfer is her own name. He admits his love for Vesper and vows to quit the service before it strips him of his humanity. When she agrees, Bond e-mails his resignation to M, and the two go on a romantic holiday in Venice.
Bond soon learns that the funds were never deposited in the Treasury's account and discovers Vesper taking the money to a mysterious organisation only vaguely alluded to throughout the film. Bond pursues them into a building under renovation. Upon locating several of this group's men hiding there, he deliberately shoots and ruptures the floatation devices supporting the structure and the foundation collapses slowly into the Grand Canal. Vesper commits suicide by locking herself in an elevator that sinks underwater. Mr. White is shown on an opposite balcony surveying the scene, then walking away with the money. Bond, feeling betrayed ("The bitch is dead," he says, a direct quote from the original novel), learns from M that Vesper had a French-Algerian boyfriend who was kidnapped by the organisation for whom she negotiated the handover of money in order to save his life. Bond, who has Vesper's mobile phone, discovers that, as a last act, Vesper left Mr. White's name and number in her phone for Bond to find. In the next scene, Mr. White, arriving at a palatial estate, receives a phone call. A voice on the line says, "Mr. White? We need to talk." As White asks, "Who is this?" he is shot in the leg. As he crawls towards the villa, Bond appears, revealing himself as the shooter, and responds to Mr. White's question with the iconic catch phrase, "The name's Bond. James Bond."
Spoilers end here.
- Daniel Craig as James Bond
- Eva Green as Vesper Lynd
- Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre
- Judi Dench as M
- Caterina Murino as Solange Dimitrios
- Simon Abkarian as Alex Dimitrios
- Jesper Christensen as Mr. White
Controversy struck when EON Productions announced in October 2005 that Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond (mainly because Craig had blonde hair). It was revealed that Craig could not drive a stick shift automobile and was averse to guns, two traits his character James Bond did not share.
But after Casino Royale was released, Craig became a critic's favourite. Some critics even said Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery, the first actor to play James Bond.