Craig has the courage to present a hollow man, flooding the empty rooms where his better nature should be with brutality and threat. His smile is more frightening than his straight face, and he doesn’t bother with the throwaway quips that were meant to endear us to the other Bonds.
Stream Casino Royale
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
This Bond is haunted, not yet housebroken, still figuring out the persona. In Casino Royale, the reset button has been pressed in the manner of "Batman Begins."
Contrary to pre-release nay-sayers, Daniel Craig has done more with James Bond in one film than some previous stars have in multiple reprises. This is terrific stuff, again positioning 007 as the action franchise to beat.
What a relief to escape the series' increasing bondage to high-tech gimmicks in favor of intrigue and suspense featuring richly nuanced characters and women who think the body's sexiest organ is the brain.
The good news is Craig, who was riveting as a London pharmaceutical salesman in the recent Brit import "Layer Cake," is equally mesmerizing here.
Relaunches the series by doing something I wouldn't have thought possible: It turns Bond into a human being again -- a gruffly charming yet volatile chap who may be the swank king stud of the Western world, but who still has room for rage, fear, vulnerability, love.
Craig gives us James Bond in the fascinating act of inventing himself. This you do not want to miss.
This is a Bond with great body but no soul.
Craig, excellent in both art house endeavors (The Mother, Enduring Love) and blockbuster think pieces (Munich), has both a nasty streak and a soft side never before seen in the series; Fleming would recognize him as most like his literary creation: damaged goods in a tailored tux.
Craig comes closer to the author's original conception of this exceptionally long-lived male fantasy figure than anyone since early Sean Connery.