With James Bond returning with a fresh new adventure this year in No Time To Die, fans are eagerly awaiting the final movie with Daniel Craig as the iconic British super spy. And what better way to prepare yourself for 007’s next rollercoaster ride than looking back at Casino Royale?
Casino Royale was Craig’s first outing as Bond and you could argue it’s his greatest to date. We now take a look at 10 reasons why the 2006 blockbuster tops our list.
10 It’s Craig Time
Before Daniel Craig, Bond had to have black hair. Everybody who had taken on the role previously ticked that box, with Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, and Piers Brosnan all painting this image of what 007 should look like.
But then came the first blonde Bond in Craig. The actor was determined to prove his critics wrong and stepped up, making the movie his own with a stellar performance. We’re hoping he brings the same grit and determination shown in his first attempt at the character to his last when No Time To Die releases later this year.
9 The Sprint Scene
Relatively early on in Casino Royale, Bond is in Madagascar. After he gets news that a bomb maker is in close proximity, he embarks on a frantic hunt to bring him in.
What happens next is a thrilling chase scene, with Bond and the bomber both having to perform some truly sensational stunts. From jumping off a crane to throwing themselves through walls. It eventually ends with the bomb maker dying, gunned down in front of an embassy, and paving the way for what’s to come.
8 The Airport Scene
There’s a whole lot of running involved during the early stages of the movie, and this continues when Bond has to go to Miami airport in order to bring a corrupt Greek official Alex Dimitros to justice. The killer, who had slaughtered his girlfriend after she’d slept with Bond, then proceeds to try and get an associate to destroy a new airplane that was being unveiled for the first time.
It’s a scene full of twists and turns, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. It’s also ultra-cool when Bond succeeds, smirking as Dimitrios’ ally detonates the bomb and, consequently, kills himself but nobody else.
7 Back To Basics After Die Another Die
Die Another Day had a stellar cast, including Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost and Toby Stephens as Gustav Graves. However, the movie is mostly remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Fans thought things had gone too far with invisible cars, as well as a ridiculous plot that involved a Korean military man faking his death and undergoing plastic surgery to carry out his dastardly scheme. Casino Royale, however, doesn’t have any of the same flashy gimmicks. Instead, it relies on a clever and intelligent script to make things so riveting. This, certainly, showed the power of going back to basics.
6 Le Chiffre
Le Chiffre turns out to be behind many of the strange ongoings that are unfolding in Casino Royale, and James Bond makes the decision to go after him in a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro.
And the villain is delightful. He’s cold and callous in person and only lashes out when things don’t go his way. Le Chiffre is portrayed by the excellent Mads Mikelson and he comes across as somebody you don’t want to cross, oozing charisma and evil in every scene he’s in. It’s also a major shock when he’s killed off by the mysterious Mr. White.
5 James Bond Suffers
For the most part, things usually go Bond’s way. Sure, he usually suffers a few bumps and scratches along the way but he usually almost succeeds in his missions without sustaining too much damage.
Things are different in the 2006 blockbuster, however. Bond comes close to dying when his drink is poisoned and Vesper Lynd ends up having to save him. Bond is also tortured brutally by Le Chiffre, with the scenes on him tied naked to a chair still vivid and memorable to this day. That’s not the only way he suffers, though. More on that later…
4 The Locations
The locations in Casino Royale are absolutely gorgeous to look at, making it one of the best-looking movies within the franchise to date.
Bond finds himself going to Madagascar, Montenegro, Venice and Lake Como throughout the course of the movie. He’s always been a globe-trotter but never have things looked so crisp and clean. All this works in stark contrast to the blockbuster’s dark and gritty plot.
3 Bond And Vesper’s Relationship
Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd isn’t your typical Bond girl. Normally 007 falls for someone, they end up teaming up to take down the bad guys and then she’s discarded, with the spy moving onto somebody else in the sequel that follows.
But this isn’t the case in this movie. Instead, Bond genuinely falls in love for Vesper and she does the same, with the duo settling down and moving to Venice together. This was nice and refreshing. However, their blissful relationship doesn’t stay happy for long…
2 The Vesper Lynd Twist
Fans thought that James Bond and Vesper had it all. With Le Chiffre dead, what reason was there for their romantic relationship to come to an end?
Well, in a twist that had audience members gasping, Vesper ends up betraying Bond. It’s revealed that she’s working with criminals and, in the end, she pays the ultimate price. So full of remorse for betraying her lover, she chooses to drown in Venice rather than return to shore and face punishment for her actions.
1 It Paves The Way For A Sequel
James Bond movies rarely get sequels. In truth, they don’t really need them with 007 managing to bring most enemies to justice in just one outing.
But Casino Royale, in a break from tradition, paves the way for another installment when Bond captures Mr. White at the end of the movie by shooting him in the leg. While we were glad to get a sequel, it would be no understatement to say that Quantum of Solace failed to live up to expectations.
NEXT: James Bond: 5 Title Suggestions That Were Better Than No Time To Die (& 5 That Were Worse)