Casino Royale

I watched the DVD of the latest Bond flick, Casino Royale, tonight. I was hoping I'd like it but really didn't know what to expect. I saw the original version of Casino Royale when I was a kid and in general don't like the Bond franchise. I'm happy to say that I thought this was the best Bond film I've seen. I thought the middle dragged a little but I loved the opening of the movie and that first chase scene across the construction site. Hell, for the first time ever in a Bond flick I even enjoyed the background animation going on during the titles.

By the way, that initial chase scene used Parkour (similar to Free Running), an unusual physical art in which participants use buildings and other obstructions to facilitate their ability to move from one place to another. It has to be seen to be believed. I read several reviews online of this movie and I'm surprised that not one made note of this. It's the first time I've seen Parkour used so effectively in a movie.

A lot of pre-film speculation went on about Daniel Craig, the actor playing Bond in this film, and I think his performance must have more than satisfied the critics. Craig is Bond. Not even Sean Connery was this good. Since this is based on the first Bond novel by Fleming, it opens the gate to an entirely new series of movies--and it's about time. The Bond movies have been insipid and boring--all tricks and gadgets and no heart. Daniel Craig is all heart and that's what these Bond movies have needed.

I do have some complaints about the film. Like I said, I thought the middle got slow and tepid. I also wasn't very impressed with the chemistry--or lack thereof--between Craig and Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), the female lead. This hurt the film to me since their relationship was supposed to be nuanced and deep--unlike the usual wham-bam romances in Bond films--for plot reasons and without that chemistry the setup for the final stages of the film lost some traction. Still, I just loved the ending. Craig delivered the knock out line at the end perfectly.

On the positive side, Q and Miss Moneypenny are nowhere to be found and Judi Dench is so sharp and strong that she dominates every scene she's in. You can totally believe that she keeps her stable of government assassins in line simply with the strength of her personality and the sharpness of her tongue. The scenes in which she needs to bring Bond back in line are intense.

Anyway, if you've seen it let me know what you thought of it--and if you've not seen it, by all means watch it!


mariamusic said…
I really like to watch the movie. I went through so many doubts deciding if I go or not while on theaters, but actually I missed it.
Anonymous said…
Parkour - oh, those crazy French! I loved the movie. Judi Dench and Craig were great. I'm with you, I didn't like the skinny wench either. Bah.
kenju said…
The deefinitive Bond was Sean Connery (for me) and I simply cannot imagine Craig in the role. Or I can't imagine liking Craig in the role. Maybe I'll watch it someday, when there's nothing else around. So, did you go to the zoo?
Deana said…
Martin thought it was one of the best Bond films ever too. I liked it but I don't know if I liked it better than the older ones....I too thought the chemistry between the lovers was lacking. I didn't even like her for a long time because she seemed so useless!
Cravey said…
I'm with Judy.
Noone but Connery equals Bond.

I wasn't a fan of anything other than Judy Dench in this movie.

Plus, I think there's something weirdly asymmetrical about Craig's face.
srp said…
Haven't seen this but I adore Judi Dench. My favorite show on PBS is "As Time Goes By".
Rosalee said…
I guess you and I are the only ones who feel there was no chemistry between Craig and Green. The book was smoking, but sadly that did not happen in the film IMO
I hope they do better in the next installment....
I've always had a crush on James Bond. I remember as a little girl taking the time to watch different Bond movies with my dad. Granted, I am a Sean Connery girl myself, but I have to say that Craig did a wonderful job. The opening scene was definitely what made the movie worth it for me.

Also, the poison scene was pretty intense and I found my heart racing.

Either way it was a great Bond movie that I'm glad I own.

Popular posts from this blog

ankles: the sequel

is my potato breathing?

Bread is Dangerous