We’ll now look at three movies spanning different genres of film that have used casinos to enhance the plot of their action on the silver screen.
1. Casino (1995)
Casino was the eighth time Martin Scorsese and Robert de Niro combined, and for the third time with Joe Pesci. The film revolves around the life of De Niro’s character Sam Rothstein as he is placed in charge of a casino in Las Vegas – earning a huge promotion from his previous position as a sports handicapper.
Rothstein, aka “Ace”, has a tumultuous relationship with Pesci’s character Nicky Santoro. Although they start off the movie on good terms, which includes a brilliant grovelling apology made at the bequest of Santoro by his associate ‘the Cowboy’ for his poor decorum in the casino, matters begin to sour between the two men.
It results in the death of Santoro and his brother, while Sharon Stone’s character Goldie – for which Stone was also nominated for an Academy Award – also meets an unpleasant end. De Niro excels in his role as the manager of the casino, even if his character ends up back where he started after a wealthy conglomerate buys out the venue at the end of the film. It’s a classic Scorsese movie full of drama and one that should not be missed.
2. Casino Royale (2006)
Daniel Craig makes his debut as James Bond in the classic. Bond attempts to defeat Le Chiffre – played by the outstanding Mads Mikkelsen – forcing him to hand over crucial information to MI6.
The two face off in an intense battle of wills in Texas hold ’em, gambling with huge stakes. Notably, poker replaces baccarat from the 1967 original, reflecting the popularity of the game in land-based venues as well as online sites like Wildz Casino. Bond wins the day with a flush, but that only begins the action with his winnings becoming the target of Le Chiffre and other nefarious organisations. Bond’s love interest Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) pays the price for her involvement with the MI6 agent. It’s an intense thriller all the way to the end and was a perfect way to begin Craig’s tenure as Bond.
3. Rush Hour 2 (2001)
Following the success of Rush Hour, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker combined once again for Rush Hour 2. As agents Lee and Carter, the two travel from Hong Kong to Los Angeles to foil a plot by Steven Reign and Ricky Tan in their casino – the Red Dragon.
The relationship between Lee and Carter provides all the laughs you’ll need, while there might not be a funnier scene involving a casino in Carter’s at the craps table – it’s Tucker at his finest. Chan takes over with his incredible martial arts at the climax of the movie, ending on a very satisfying note.