With his newly appointed ‘Double O’ status, MI6 agent, James Bond, is given a mission which leads to a high stakes poker game set up by the villainous Le Chiffre. In the hopes of forcing Le Chiffre to ask the British government for protection against those whose money he has recently lost, Bond must defeat him. However, with the odds against him as well as a few enemies hot on his heels, Bond’s naive arrogance may cost him dearly before the tournament is finished.

Casino Royale (2006) – Director: Martin Campbell

Is Casino Royale appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 144 mins

Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen

Genre: Action, Thriller

REVIEW

With fresh style and enthusiasm, ‘Casino Royale’ was designed to reboot the James Bond franchise with a brand new timeline. Taking its cues from the successful and realistic ‘Bourne’ trilogy of films, ‘Casino Royale’ manages to keep the essence of the originals while at the same time breathe some fresh air into an old-fashioned and tired franchise; ensuring that both old fans and new can enjoy James Bond like any other good action flick. Gone are the silly jokes and ridiculous gadgets and while Judi Dench reprises her role as ‘M’, there is no sign of Moneypenny . Thankfully, the sexism has been toned down and while Bond does take women to bed very easily, they are strong and empowered, not the simpering girls of yesteryear.  This isn’t to say that ‘Casino Royale’ isn’t good fun, it’s simply more of an adult experience than its predecessors.

There was much controversy over whether Daniel Craig would be able to take on the mantel of such an icon of cool, calm and sophistication but he pulls it off with aplomb. He has, in fact, quickly become the epitome of Bond for many people. Vesper (played by Eva Green) has a cool and authoritative exterior but is slightly vulnerable on the inside and Le Chiffre (played by Mads Mikkelson), who weeps blood, is the perfect Bond villain; evil yet charismatic. ‘Casino Royale’ is an excellent stand alone movie but also fits in perfectly with its sequels, ‘Quantum of Solace’ and ‘Skyfall’ and is bound to keep action fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

IS ‘CASINO ROYALE’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

In the opening scene, Bond is remembering his ‘first kill’ (it is revealed that he needs to have 2 kills in order to become a ‘00’). This leads to a black and white flashback of him fighting a man in a public bathroom. This is quite a brutal fist fight which results in Bond drowning the man in a sink. The camera focuses on the back of the man’s head for approximately 20 seconds as he struggles and then goes limp. The credits then begin with Bond turning to shoot an unknown assailant and animated blood drips down the screen. The intro sequence is entirely animated and the various people depicted are all black silhouettes, they are seen to be shot or stabbed and some animated blood sometimes pools around their bodies.

Towards the beginning of the movie, some characters visit a Ugandan warlord. While it is not mentioned at all in the dialogue, several child soldiers can be clearly seen in the area, carrying large guns. While this isn’t necessarily distressing, we wish to mention it in order to make parents aware before questions are raised by younger viewers who do not understand why the children are there.

A small part of the movie is set in an area where people are forcing a snake and a mongoose to fight to the death and taking bets on which one will win. This isn’t overly graphic but there is a brief shot of the snake biting the mongoose’s head. This cruel animal bating, which mostly happens in the background as Bond moves in on one of his targets, lasts approximately 2 minutes and could be rather distressing for children who are sensitive to animal cruelty.

There are many violent action scenes in ‘Casino Royale’, most involving people being shot, engulfed in flames, drowned, punched and kicked. One man is shot in the leg and the camera focuses on the wound for a couple of seconds but it is not gory. The body of a woman is seen lying face down in a hammock with her eyes open. While the cause of her death is unclear and there is no visible blood on her body, the dialogue of one of the characters states ‘she was tortured first’. One of the ‘bad’ characters is brutally strangled; he struggles violently but gradually stops fighting as he dies. Another character who witnesses this is clearly distressed by what they are seeing and is later shown to be traumatised. Another character is killed when a nail, shot from a nail gun, hits his eye. While the camera focuses on the wound for a few seconds, there is no blood and this part is not gory.

There are a couple of stronger violent scenes, including two characters being attacked where one has a wire aggressively pulled around their neck and another is forced to hold out their arm while the assailant brandishes a machete, saying ‘I’ll take a hand for this betrayal’. A later scene graphically depicts a man being tortured by being stripped naked and sat on a chair with its seat cut out. The torturer then uses a large rope with a knot at one end to hit the man’s private parts. They do this several times with increasing strength and the man screams in pain each time.

As might be expected of a James Bond film, the majority of the female characters are very attractive, wear relatively revealing clothing (although nothing more revealing than a swimsuit) and are usually the objects of Bond’s desire. There are several scenes where intimacy is implied, including passionate kissing, characters lying naked in bed (although the nudity is kept to a minimum) and several lines of innuendo fuelled dialogue.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

‘Casino Royale’ is an exciting action movie which is definitely a film for adults. It is an excellent example of a James Bond film but, as previous instalments have been quite child-friendly, it could be easy to assume the same is the case for this movie. However, the violence alone is likely to be too strong for the majority of kids. We would therefore not recommend this movie as appropriate for kids younger than 10 and would also advise caution for children aged 10-12 who are sensitive to violence.

  • Violence:  5/5 (several graphic scenes of violence, gore is kept to a minimum but the dialogue often increases the intensity of the violence. After one fight scene, Bond’s shirt is covered in blood and he washes blood of his hands and body)
  • Emotional Distress: 3/5 (one character commits suicide and is mourned by someone who loved them)
  • Fear Factor: 3/5 (several suspenseful action sequences where it is unclear who will survive)
  • Sexual Content: 4/5       
  • Bad Language: 3/5 (some mild cursing and blasphemy, a few more moderate words are used)
  • Dialogue: 3/5 (most of the questionable content in the dialogue is sexual in nature)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of the effects that an arrogant personality can have, the dangers of being a secret agent and the importance of knowing who to trust. This movie also glamorises gambling and drinking.

Words by Laura Record

Daniel Craig 007 Triple Pack [Blu-ray] [2006]


New From: £8.62 GBP In Stock

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