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Published:November 24th, 2006 02:11 EST
Casino Royale: The birth of James Bond, 007

Casino Royale: The birth of James Bond, 007

By Garrett Godwin

Every hero has a past-- and beginning -- that defines him and makes him who he is today.

The Dark Knight Detective known as Batman.

The Man of Steel known as Superman.

And now, there's Bond-- James Bond, as Daniel Craig takes up the mantle of 007 with the latest in the Bond franchise, Casino Royale.

Casino Royale is a prequel in which Bond receives his "00" status after his first two kills have been confirmed.  Casino Royale marks the first chapter of Ian Fleming's stories about the super spy as well as his birth.  The movie follows Bond on understanding what it means to be a secret agent while on the trail of a man who helps finance terrorism.

There was a lot of controversy about the casting of Craig, who is English and blond, in the titular role.  But the actor holds his own as James Bond, and the film delivers because Casino Royale sets itself apart from the other Bond movies.  The reason is because Bond becomes much more edgy, human, layered, and complex.  For instance, he gets a few cuts and bruises before becoming the suave, sophisticated, womanizing, super heroic spy who likes martinis shaken, not stirred that we all know and love today.

Like 1989's License to Kill with Timothy Dalton as Bond, Casino Royale is much more serious and Bond becomes a much darker character.  Like 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service with George Lazenby as Bond, 007 finds true love.  But in Casino Royale, it is different.  The movie still has humor due to the flirtation and sexual tension between 007 and the new Bond girl, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green).  In Casino Royale, James Bond falls in love for the first time.  What makes the film so great is besides having action/adventure, espionage, and suspense, there is definitely romance in this well-written, well-crafted movie.

See the birth of Bond-- James Bond -- in Casino Royale, now playing in theatres today.