Let me say one thing: I was fully prepared to be disappointed by Casino Royale. I haven’t seriously enjoyed a 007 movie since the Roger Moore days. I thought Pierce Brosnan was going to be the perfect Bond; he’s a terrific actor and I’ve loved him in everything else he’s done. I think he was a great choice, but the writing in Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough just didn’t do it for me, and I never even bothered to see Die Another Day. That should tell you something.
I’m a huge James Bond fan. When I was a kid my dad and I would frequently have 007 marathons and watch four or five movies at a time. We used to make compilation VHS tapes (with a TRS-80 connected to the VCR) and put our own graphics and songs on them. I used to spend hours analyzing the bad guys and writing my own spin-offs. I’ve probably seen Octopussy a hundred times. I wanted to be James Bond.
So pay attention to me when I tell you that Casino Royale is the best Bond movie ever. It is beyond great. It is everything I always wanted a Bond movie to be. It deliciously surpasses all the previous films. The writing and plot are fantastic. The action is incredible. There are no “that’s impossible” stunts. The gadgets are awesome but they don’t overwhelm the show. The car is badass. It’s funny. It’s witty. It’s complex. It’s a smashing success.
And the new guy is perfect. When I saw him in the previews I didn’t think he was going to be very good, but I was so, so wrong. He is a perfect 007. Perfect.
My absolute only complaint is that there is no Q in this one. I thought John Cleese was a great Q, and I was surprised that he isn’t in Casino Royale. But the movie survives without him and it’s not enough of a gripe to prevent me from giving this installment five stars.
Side Note: This was the first time in 33+ years that I ever went to the movies alone. My girlfriend went to the movies with her step-mom and I had nothing to do for a few hours, so I thought, “What the hell?” I’ve always been puzzled by people who go to the movies alone, and I felt kind of weird sitting by myself. I had a good time, though. It was probably a bad choice to wear only a trenchcoat and boxer shorts, but whatever. (Just kidding.)
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