'Casino Royale' revisited
With 'Quantum of Solace' due to hit our screens soon, we take a daily look back at the 21 official Bond films. Day 18: ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’
Casino Royale (2006, Martin Campbell)Villain: Mads Mikkelsen as ‘Le Chiffre’At stake: Nebulous high-finance shenanigansCandy: Eva Green as Vesper LyndGizmo: Glove-box defibrillatorTheme song: Turgid grunge anthem ‘You Know My Name’ by Chris CornellQuote: ‘Now the whole world’s going to know you died scratching my balls!’There’s so much right with blue-eyed buff thug Daniel Craig’s first run at Bond that it seems churlish to pick nasty little holes, but he applies himself to a film that’s so unquestionably hampered by a single crucial flaw, that an otherwise entirely successful re-invention of the franchise is left pissing in the wind.This is certainly nothing to do with Craig himself, who excels as the ‘blunt instrument’ of MI6 that this new take on Fleming’s world requires him to be. Nor is it ‘GoldenEye’ veteran Martin Campbell’s uncluttered direction or any lack of general exuberance or stylistic wherewithal. Rather, the problem lies with the poor choice of story into which all this excellent work is invested.The fact that the two previous incarnations of ‘CR’ – in the form of a bowdlerised 1954 American TV segment and an overblown spoof starring Orson Welles and Bernard Cribbins – should have perhaps hinted that it was a property lacking in sufficient blockbuster potential. It forces 007 to spend an inordinate amount of time playing cards, before subjecting him to a torture sequence in which he is clumped repeatedly in the swingers with a length of knotted rope, then subsequently sequestered to a protracted stay in the kind of hospital usually reserved for the terminally confused.Despite this, the action is first-rate, with even an initially off-putting free-running sequence somehow coming up trumps and a seriously unruly rumpus on the tarmac of Miami International Airport lending an air of contemporary paranoia to the march of events. The same can’t be said of a climactic set-to that takes place in a collapsing Venice townhouse that creaks and groans into the Grand Canal with the authenticity of a hydraulically rigged attraction on the Universal Studios tour. Swiss pedant Marc Forster has gone in to action overdrive with the soon-to-be-released 22nd Bond instalment, ‘Quantum of Solace’, so maybe we'll just have to wait for the 23rd installment (our predicted title: 'Along Came Auntie') for a dose of old-fashioned storytelling.
James Bond will return in 'Quantum of Solace'
Read what we originally thought of 'Casino Royale'
Author: Adam Lee Davies
Director Tom Hooper and his cast tell us how they turned the super-musical into movie blockbuster.
The Time Out film team weighs in on the nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards
Get ready for the big guns… Spielberg, Tarantino and Bigelow
Daniel Craig’s 007 comeback, a genius indie romcom and all the mysteries behind ‘The Shining’ unravelled.
The results of our study on the state of films and filmgoing in 2012.
Read 'Time Out film debate 2012 highlights'
'The Hobbit' actor tells us why he wouldn't have a pint with Bilbo Baggins.
Dave Calhoun speaks to the director of 'Skyfall' about the latest film in the Bond franchise.
The genre-hopping director tells us how he invented a new genre with 'Life of Pi'
The twice Palme d'Or-winning director discusses 'Amour'.
Read our interview with Michael Haneke
The Danish director talks about his powerful new drama 'The Hunt'.
Read our interview with Thomas Vinterberg'
Time Out looks back at the impact of the 'Twilight' saga.
Discover what 'Twilight' has done for us
Time Out heads to the Lake District to visit director Ben Wheatley on set.
Read about our visit to the 'Sightseers' set
The director talks about 'Frankenweenie', which he describes as 'the ultimate memory piece'.
Read our interview with Tim burton
Our pick of the best films showing over the festive period.
Read 'The top ten Christmas films of 2012'
Mean Girls? Dirty Dancing? Tell us your favourite film guilty pleasure.
Read 'Film guilty pleasures'
What will Disney do to 'Star Wars'?
Read about the new 'Star Wars' trilogy
Ten young actors come of age on the silver screen.
Read 'When teen stars turn serious'
From Connery to Craig, we revisit all 22 Bond films.
Read '50 years of James Bond'
The director talks Scientology and working with Joaquin Phoenix.
Read the interview
Ten funny horror movies which went spectacularly off the rails.
Read 'Hilarious horror films'
The director talks psychopaths and theatre – 'my least favourite artform'.
Read the interview
We round-up the five best horror movies of Autumn 2012.
Read about this Autumn's best horror movies
Time Out visits Istanbul to see the latest Bond movie being made.
Read 'On the set of Skyfall'
Does Skyfall refresh or rehash the James Bond franchise?
The British director explains why 'Ginger and Rosa' is her most mainstream film yet.
'I’m almost as in demand as Brad Pitt’