I know naming this post “Casino Royale” won’t make it stand out from the rest but anyway. “Casino Royale” is definitely one of the best films I’ve seen this year at the Cinema, I’d put it in my top 5, if not, No. 1.
Not only is it a Film that has everything to please a filmgoer (action, a few laughs, love story, high thrills) and Bond fans but it removes all that crap of high tech gadget and gizmos and the awful flirtation’s of Money Penny (who’s been removed completely, thank goodness) and removes all the heavy CGI that plagued the last Bond Movie. This is Bond at his best, actually being Bond.
I was never a critic of Daniel Craig, since he was announced as the new Bond I’ve had no problem whatsoever with the choice and can’t really understand what the fuss was about, no doubt spurred by media and critics who couldn’t tell the difference between good acting and a hammer over the head. In fact when Craig was announced as the new Bond I decided to sit down and watch a few of his past films on the Movies Channel because it was a bit of a “huh who?” moment when he was announced as the new Bond although rumors had suggested he would play the Character. The films I watched to acquaint myself with him were Enduring Love and Layer Cake, the latter been my favorite of the Two. This past year I saw him in Munich but he didn’t have a big part, you can see his fine acting abilities in the previous Films I mentioned.
He is at his best in Bond playing the character with more character rather then a perfect hero, this Bond is more Human, over confident, cold but underneath you sense that coldness is still only a show for the characters True feelings over events that occur later in the film.
I loved the action, mostly because I didn’t feel there was anything that was too over the top and looked like just CGI. This film is the anti “Die another Day” when it comes to effects. “Die Another Day” is the only Bond film I’ve seen once, and that was in the theaters, it’s a film with way too much fanwankery and I think most people who saw it would agree, from the CGI surf board Bond to Madonna that film is the “Batman and Robin” of the Franchise.
The Bond Girls, Vesper was great, finally a real Woman in a Bond movie who can not only pull Bond emotional but the audience too, this character mattered and if she is in any future Bond movies, whether it be flashbacks or whatever I’ll be very glad.
The Poker Game was tense, and you could feel the audience hold it’s breath as they watched, Hold’em Poker is perfectly suited for this film as it’s most populat these days. Some nice nods to the older films, the Car the Aston DB5, we see how Bond wins it.
I had High hopes for “Casino Royale”, when I first heard Martin Campbell was directing I wasn’t sure if he could pull off the Bond film that needed to be made, would he take enough risks or play it safe. Sure I liked “Goldeneye” and it was a goodway to restart the franchise but I didn’t want to see another “Goldeneye”. I was a little irked that Pierce Brosnan wasn’t coming back to play Bond, mostly because he had signed on for one more movie and had planned one more outing, he was dropped in an unfair way and it’s a bit of the shame that he didn’t get one last “hurra!”, especially considering that there were rumours for him to team up with Quentin Tarantino and do a “Casino Royale” that takes place after “OHMSS”. But, that was what I thought at the Time.
Whatever loyalty with Brosnan went out the Door as I waved goodbye to smug Bond and said hello to Hard Bastard Bond.
“Casino Royale” has reinvented the franchise for many years to come, another 2 or 3 sequels of this type would be great to see, keep the same director and cast, keep the style. By the end of “Casino Royale” I was ready for more, bring on 2008 and hopefully they’ll call the next movie ”Property of a Lady”.
Favorite line: “the bitch is dead.” – Bond