- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D)
- Promise, The
- Belko Experiment, The
- Finding Fatimah
- Free Fire
- Their Finest
- Fast & Furious 8
- Hatton Garden Job, The
- Boss Baby, The (3D)
- Autopsy of Jane Doe, The
- Lost City of Z, The
- City of Tiny Lights
- Quiet Passion, A
- Void, The
- Man Down
- Ghost in the Shell (3D)
Stars: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Jeffrey Wright
Director: Martin Campbell
Bond is back - back to the beginning, with a new adaptation of Ian Fleming's first novel, a TV version of which appeared as long ago as 1954. Bond, now hard-edged and slightly less sophisticated in the capable hands of grim-jawed, azure-eyed Daniel Craig, only wins his spurs as a double-0 agent with his first two kills at the start of the movie (although its events are now set in 2006).
In traditional style, the action - beginning with a muscle-busting if improbable chase across the cranes and scaffolding of a building site - sweeps from Uganda and the Bahamas, to Miami, Montenegro and Venice, as Bond trails international arms broker Le Chiffre (a lip-curling Mads Mikkelsen) and attempts to win several million dollars from him at the Casino Royale poker table.
This gives rise to just about the only old-fashioned Bondian quip in the script, after he's been poisoned with digitalis at the table, and saved only by beautiful Treasury watchdog Vesper Lynd (an unrecognisably sultry Eva Green, a French actress with almost perfect English). Returning to play after losing heavily earlier, he proclaims 'That last hand nearly killed me.'
There's a bit of a romantic lull before the slam-bang battle at the climax, but otherwise this is vintage stuff with action that looks as though it means it. It's also one of the most beautifully-dressed 007 films on record.
'I understand,' Bond tells M (still Judi Dench) at the beginning, 'that 00 agents have a very short life expectancy.' How wrong he was.
UK/Czech Republic/Germany/US 2006. UK Distributor: Sony/Columbia/MGM. Colour by De Luxe.
144 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.
Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.
Review date: 11 Nov 2006