Much has been written about Casino Royale, the recent reboot of the James Bond franchise. And even with heightened expectations, it is thrilling to watch. Along with the trademark action and the satisfying, serpentine plot, the movie dissects Bond like never before while still retaining his essential mystery.
Early on, there is a chase on foot in which Bond is trying to nail a small time terrorist called Mollaka in Madagascar. Mollaka, you see, is played by Sebastien Foucan, widely credited with inventing the sport free running, a derivative of Parkour (if you haven’t seen District B13, get it now!).
Foucan is an expert at getting from point A to point B in the most efficient arc possible. He leaps, tumbles and virtually glides his way through everything. Bond, not as proficient an athlete gamely gives chase using methods resembling a bull in a china shop. At one point, Mollaka elegantly knives through a small skylight above a door that hasn’t been put in yet. Bond responds by simply ripping through the dry wall.
It’s staged with a brutal, loose recklessness. Meet Bond, the movie seems to be telling us: disorganized, willing to improvise, fuelled by ego, dangerously cruel, pugnacious, possessing a noble if skewed intent, relentless.