I thought I'd hate this movie and didn't see it till now because I felt Pierce Brosnan was my Bond. (Yes, Sean Connery's quite a man, but I laughed all the way through the now dated Thunderball) Actually, I've never thought much of the 007 franchise as Bond to me was an annoyingly unflappable lounge lizard. I'm an Indiana Jones gal.
I loved this movie because Bond just received his 007 status and hasn't achieved his cold, unruffled-though-bombs-are-detonating demeanor. He falls; he's frightened when he darn well should be; he sweats! Seeing that he's a human being makes the wild action scenes believable. He's still a handsome rake, but his leading lady was a real character. Every Bond woman seems like nothing more than a handful of crowd-pleasing attributes--She's gorgeous, she's a martial arts expert, or even she's a psychic! But what kind of person is she? A) Good or B) Bad. So boring. Despite lacking the typical flashy qualities, this woman had depth and I could see why Bond would care about her.
My only complaint is that Casino Royale was too intense and needed Q to lighten things up. I know Desmond died, but he did leave a replacement. I hope they'll inject a little levity into the next Bond. I'll definitely see it.