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Casino Royale lets you know practically from the first frame of film that this Bond is not the Bond you have seen before. Daniel Craig is unlike any bond there has ever been he invites no comparisons. Craig’s Bond is tough, hard hitting and as dark as any hero (not super hero) that there has ever been on screen.

After more than a year of hearing about what a lousy choice the producers had made when choosing Craig to replace the multifaceted, suave, debonair tough guy Pierce Brosnan it was a pleasant surprise to see that Craig was to coin a phrase “bloody brilliant” in the role. Craig’s Bond is one to be reckoned with – he is as tough as nails and without any of the politically correct angst written into so many characters these days. Bond doesn’t care who is right, who is wrong or what may or may not be derigeur in the world today. Bond cares about his assignment and those entrusted to his care that’s it.

Casino Royale is a refreshing Bond that plays very little tongue in cheek but still gives a tip of the hat to the decades old tradition of Bond punning and “broad” humor. In one scene Bond jokes with his undercover partner that her undercover last name is “Broadchest”.  It would be too easy to give away big chunks of plot in a movie that is so action driven there are sequences which seem to last for 10 minutes or more where there is absolutely no dialogue. That being said the basic premise of Casino Royale is that Bond has to shut down a banker who is providing financial services to the world’s terrorists. These people are nothing if not brutal and none of the finesse and elaborate devices to kill Bond are present in this movie – everything about this movie is raw and elemental. Bond aficionados will notice the distinct lack of gadgets which characterized the Bond movies of the past. Distinctive differences like the lack of gadgets, a Bond who is really tough as nails and sinister villains who behave like the villains we read about in the news make for a Bond movie that just may save the franchise.

Casino Royale is an absolute must see.