The new James Bond, Daniel Craig, has a very different personality than the previous. Originally Bond would use gadgets and guns to kill and would consider women as lesser beings. Martin Campbell, director, changed Bond’s characteristics to suit the more modern audience (i.e. female audience and action lovers). Campbell also changed the expectation from the plot by cutting of the car chase scene, Bond getting captured instead of girl, first Bond girl dying un-expectantly, etc. This was because Bond films where getting too predictable.
These days the old James Bond could be said to be ‘invincible’, sexist and old fashioned which is not what the audience is interested in anymore, what people want to see though is hand to hand combat and charm because this is what the male audience want to see and Bond always has an interesting relationship with Bond girls.
The opening scene in ‘Casino Royale’ shows us how James Bond gets the 007 status. You need to kill two people to obtain this and the opening scene shows us these kills. His first kill was very hard to obtain, he fights in hand-to-hand combat with the villain in a public toilet and Bond gets hit several times. This already shows us that the new Bond is not afraid to get his hands dirty. The second kill is a lot easier; he shoot’s a villain sitting down looking relaxed which goes back to how Bond killed during the Pierce Brosnan period. The whole opening scene is shot in noire with low-key lighting and with a Chiascuro effect showing a moment passed in time than the rest of the film.
The invisible car in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ was just too much for the audience so the new Bond fights in hand to hand combat on cranes instead of using fancy gadgets to stop the criminals. Martin Campbell also thought that it was becoming too predictable because the previous films all followed the same pattern so he decided to cut off the car chase scene. He also decided to limit the gadgets used, the only gadgets present in ‘Casino Royale’ is a mobile phone which he stole from a previous villain in the film which is a change from the idea that he gets the gadgets from MI6.
The Bond girls are better treated and are equal to men in the new James Bond film; this has been adapted for the modern audience. Bond himself is viewed as a sexual object in ‘Casino Royale’, which is a big difference with the previous Bond films because it used to be a girl that came out of the see in a bikini (Ursula Andress in Dr No) but in ‘Casino Royale’ James Bond comes out of the see in a similar way in tight Speedo’s.
Of course some typical James Bond features are still seen or it would not merit to be called a Bond film. Bond is still wearing a tuxedo, which gives him a very gentlemanly look, and he still uses ‘cheesy’ lines such as the famous “My name is Bond, James Bond.” Which all boys say when telling their name.
Campbell has done a very good job at blending the old (the tuxedo, the cheesy lines, the Bond girls, the gadgets and the killing) with the new (first Bond girl dying, limiting gadgets, killing in hand to hand combat and Bond as sexual object) and has made ‘Casino Royale’ a very successful film for the modern audience.