our film reviews: from armchair viewing to the festival front row

27 November 2006

[Reel-Reviews] Casino Royale (4 stars)


Being a Bond fan, from the days when I was allowed to go and see the newest release in the cinema around my birthday (The Living Daylights since you ask – ooo, and an Aha theme tune), it seemed right and fitting that about 10 of us made the trip to the Odeon on Saturday afternoon to indulge my birthday whim of seeing Casino Royale

Latterly, I’ve hated and felt a little betrayed by the silliness of the films – their kitsch/ spoof of a spoof plots, characters, opening titles, everything (ref the invisible car in Die Another Day)! As Peter Bradshaw put it – “it’s as if Austin Powers had never happened”.

But this is a whole new level - not just the best Bond film in years, but one of the best action films I’ve seen. Just seeing the words “Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007” on the screen sent shivers down my spine...

In a similar vein to Batman Begins, it explores the back story of one of the bad boys of cinema. And I loved every minute of it – the black and white sequences, the free-running opening chase, Daniel Craig’s homage to Ursula Andres in those trunks, the believable bad guy, Bond winning his now traditional spoils (the martini, the Aston, etc), James and Vesper’s verbal sparring on the train, Mary’s whispered “oh no!...” about a key character just before the film’s closing minutes, the fact they held the music and *that* line to the very end… Perfect!

The only thing that felt a little silly and/or contrived was the love story section… but even that was a necessary plot device, so I’m going to forgive them.

Bond is dead. Long live Bond.

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Blogger Fat Roland said...

I enjoyed it. The dialogue varied between entertaining and apalling, and vast sections of the film were too stupid for me to stomach. I don't know many accountants that know how to administer first aid in the way that it was done in the poisoning / car scene. The shower scene made my flesh creep because the script was so bad. The guy in the eye patch was telegraphed so badly, it made the film look like it was made up as it went along. I could go on. And often do.

But it was great fun in places, and it was a pretty good action film.

I wanted to like Daniel Craig and I did. I wanted to be a Bond convert, but after seeing this, I still think, in the general scheme of things, James Bond films suck. I don't think I'll remember anything about that film in a year's time. Apart from Daniel Craig with his kit off. I'll be buying the calendar.

27/11/06 23:16


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