Daniel Craig was given a very hard time when he was chosen to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Personally I always thought he was a good choice, having seen him in 'Layer Cake' with a steely glint in his eye and that great voice. But the proof really is in the pudding. The whole idea of who and what Bond is has been rejuvenated - but without sacrificing the quintessential elements of Bond that we know and love: namely the car, the car and the car (sorry but it was PAINFUL to watch what happened to it), the beautiful leading lady (who is a little more complex than our usual Bond girls), exotic locations, incredible action sequences (the opening action sequence is jaw-dropping), some humour (I defy anyone not to cringe and laugh during the torture scene), a quirky bad guy, gadgets galore and a finger at rather than a nod to some of the other Bond-isms ('Would you like your Martini shaken or stirred?' Do I look like I give a damn?'). Not to mention the incredible credit sequence, thankfully replacing the chauvinistic dancing girls we usually get - and a fantastic theme tune by Chris Cornell which sticks in your head.
But the most interesting aspect of 'Casino Royale' for me is the way we see Bond as never before: as a rough diamond, a thug, before his job truly took his soul. We see him struggle with his feelings about killing, how he learns to trust no-one and how his heart gets broken. Judi Dench is, as usual, wonderful as M and the chemistry crackles between her and Craig as they develop their relationship which often resembles that of exasperated parent and wilful child.
There are some nice extras on the 2-disc edition which is worth having - but just make sure you get the film. In my opinion the best film of 2006 and possibly one of the best Bond films ever. Now THAT'S how to answer the critics!