BlogalongaBond: Casino Royale (2006)

Nineteen years after finally bidding farewell to Roger Moore and his wandering eyebrow and introducing a rougher, tougher Bond, Eon productions found themselves in the exact same spot after Pierce Brosnan's tenure had literally turned to shit. Despite not being at fault for the cinematic abortion that is Die Another Day, Brosnan would never get to redeem himself and the search for his replacement was on. But just as everyone was beginning to moisten at the prospect of Clive Owen becoming 007 it was announced that Daniel "Craggy" Craig was to take the role, causing everyone to go absolutely apeshit.

Embarrassingly I was one of the many people who looked at the blue-eyed, blonde-haired Craig who I'd previously seen in classics such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and wondered what the hell the producers were smokin'. Didn't they know the Diddy formally known as Puff was available? Still, the reaction and criticism quickly became so ridiculous (and all but confirmed that it'd be a while before we see a brother in Bond's tux) that other actors had to come out and support his casting. Choosing to ignore the lunacy swirling around him Craig got on with it and even managed to look like he was having a good time whizzing down the Thames:
I can only imagine how unbearably smug he must have been when Casino Royale became the highest-grossing film of the series and he nabbed a BAFTA nomination. Despite seeing it three times in the cinema and catching it on TV occasionally it seems to have improved with age - even that piece of crap theme song sounds relatively decent these days. I am no longer annoyed by Eva Green's accent and overuse of black eyeshadow or the romantic segment that made me want to vomit all over screen 5 of Brixton's Ritzy Cinema. The action may have been heavily "inspired" by the Bourne series but even that didn't have the founder of freerunning bouncing all over Madagascar which prompts Bond to run through a bloody wall. Setting it at the beginning of his career as Agent 007 effectively freed the film from its own worst traits and allowed Craig to be the Bond that Ian Fleming created; a ruthless, heartless bastard. But as I'm the resident pervert of BlogalongaBond I'm assuming you're all after my reaction to the scene that inspired a terrifying ice lolly, so here it is:

On the left is a grown man with a shaved chest walking on a beach with as much grace as a drunk baboon in a pair of trunks about 5 sizes too small. And on the right is a grown man in a perfectly tailored suit looking hotter than holy hell. I know which one I'd prefer.

Casino Royale is so good it makes me hate it because I have nothing to complain about. Dammit.

Next This Month: Quantum of Solace