Why Is Casino Royale Classed As The Best James Bond Movie Of All Time?

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According to a vote organised by IMDB, Casino Royale beat Goldeneye in the final of a poll to find out which James Bond movie was the viewers’ favourite.

It was a landslide victory as well, with 70.8 percent of the 4500 votes cast opting for Martin Campbell’s 2006 film over the 1995 classic.

The high octane gambling-focused reboot of the franchise with Daniel Craig in the lead role has a number of aspects that served to draw in large audiences.

But what exactly was it that got it voted the best Bond film ever made?

Its Poker Theme Was Perfect For Its Time

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Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale – Credit: Sony Pictures

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One of the main things to note about Casino Royale was the fact that it was perfectly aware of a rapidly emerging trend in popular culture throughout the world in the year of its release.

In 2006, the planet was in the midst of a poker revolution, the so-called “poker boom”, during which the popularity of the card game skyrocketed.

Internet poker sites were sprouting up on all corners of the web, giving players a chance to play the game with others online from the comfort of their homes. 

In online poker, the most played version of the card game is Texas Hold’em, although providers are increasingly featuring more variants, including some that offer a faster pace often considered more suited to the digital realm.

Its simplicity and the abundance of games available is why it became so famous, and this strain of the game makes for great tension in cinema as well.

What’s interesting to note is that traditionally, 007’s game of choice in a casino is baccarat based on the books and earlier films.

But Campbell opted to use Texas Hold’em poker as the central theme in Casino Royale because he knew that a wider audience would be able to identify with this and understand what was going on.

Thanks to its relative simplicity, secondary characters were able to commentate and explain what was happening so that those with no knowledge of poker were able to follow as well.

There were some amazing poker hands in the movie too, some of which would be extremely rare in real life.

In the ultimate showdown at the end of the tournament, each of the main characters is holding a monster hand.

One of the players has a high flush, two have full houses, and Bond has the best of all – the straight flush.

This scene was fairly unrealistic as Le Chiffre shouldn’t have gone all in behind two other massive bets without the nuts, but it did make for an incredibly tense scene. 

Craig Is An Exceptional 007

Daniel Craig in his swim suit in Casino Royale – Credit: Sony Pictures

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Die Another Day was the last Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan before Eon Productions decided to freshen things up with a recasting in the central role.

The 2002 offering is considered by many to be one of the weakest in the franchise, so it made sense to have a major reshuffle.

In Casino Royale, the filmmakers opted to start again with a much younger and inexperienced Bond, just at the beginning of his career.

Craig was initially a controversial choice as the lead, but he swiftly proved his doubters wrong with an incredibly slick and assured performance.

The Layer Cake star was able to pull off the traditional brooding charm of 007 while at the same time revealing a reckless streak, and this has led some to consider him as the best Bond ever.

Bond purists may feel that the original movies starring Sean Connery are impossible to top.

However, Casino Royale managed to encapsulate some of the most important aspects of the franchise while also being suitable for contemporary audiences.

For that reason, the 2006 picture is quite deserving of its crown.

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Do you also think that Casino Royale is one of the best James Bond movies ever made?

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