Bond in review: Casino Royale Part III

Bond woos Dimitrios’s wife, but has to leave her when he learns Dimitrios is on his way to Miami. The second main set piece begins. He takes out Dimitrios quietly at the controversial “Body worlds” exhibit that was a travelling thing a while back, and then spots his cellphone contact-heading towards Miami airport, to destroy a prototype “Skyfleet” plane so Le Chiffre can capitalize on the stock going down. There’s a bit of a cat and mouse thing going on here, and we get another fun cameo, with real-life billionaire Richard Branson going through the terminal.

We also discover what Ellipsis is-it’s the code for the restricted area of the airport, so the guy can slip in, get a uniform, and destroy the prototype. Of course, he didn’t depend on Bond also knowing the code.

Soon there’s a chaotic chase on the runway, as Bond scrambles in and out of vehicles to stop Dimitrios’s man. Plus, there’s planes taking off and landing, police cars all around…it’s not quite as innovative as the parkour chase which opens the film, but it’s still pretty good entertainment (although with a bit more obvious CG work).

After tricking the man into blowing himself up-and further frustrating Le Chiffre’s plans-M goes down and briefs Bond on Le Chiffre near the club (Where we learn Solange has been killed off). Since Le Chiffre has used Obanna’s money, he’s desperate to get it back by buying into a Texas Hold ‘Em poker game at the Casino Royale hotel and Casino-and MI6 figures if that he loses, he’ll have nowhere to hide and therefore can be captured by MI6 and they can learn valuable intelligence from him.

It’s here we take a break from some of the action, and Craig is able to project more of his charm and chemistry with Eva Green, who plays Vesper Lynd. This scene is far, far better than the goofy innuendo Brosnan had with Halle Berry in the previous film (Although admitting, “I’m just here for the birds” was kind of a good line). The two sort of size each other up, and there’s references to Bond’s orphaning (Something which also is brought up in Skyfall, and in the last Bond film Martin Campbell directed, Goldeneye) There is of course a bit of product placement here with Bond’s omega watch being mentioned in the dialogue(!), although Bond’s been using the brand since Goldeneye (Although real life Omegas don’t have lasers!).

The next scene features some more sniping between the two, and once again we have a bit of a deconstruction of a Bond trope (the suggestive names), as Bond mentions their cover names: He’s Arlington Beech, and she’s “Stephanie Broadchest” (although the film makes it look like more of a joke, the prop department actually made an offscreen passport for Vesper which has the same name!). Eva may not be an “action Bond girl” like Brosnan’s were (Even computer programmer Natayla got into a lot of fighting in the end of Goldeneye!) but neither was the original novel Vesper either.

Of course Bond decides to ditch the cover identities all together, since he figures Lechifre has probably already figured out who he is anyway; but Vesper feels that Bond is being arrogant, something that could cost him in the game.

We also meet Rene Mathis. Mathis-a french spy in the novels-who is Bond’s contact. Here, he’s sort of reimagined as a character close to Kerim Bey/Columbo/Raoul, although with perhaps a bit more of an ambiguous nature to him (Then again, Columbo had that too). This scene also features one of Michael J. Wilson (co-producer of the series and legendary Bond producer Cubby Brocolli’s stepson)’s cameos as a corrupt police chief Mathis arranges to get arrested.

Then we start to get the preparation for the big game. We see Eva without makeup here:

but most noticeably we see Bond get a proper dinner jacket, showing him becoming closer to the character we all know. In this moment-for me, Craig really becomes Bond on a visual level.

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