Saturday, December 02, 2006

Review: Casino Royale

The film world was buzzing with horror just a year or so ago. The producers of the forthcoming Bond movie had announced their choice for Pierce Brosnan's replacement, and fans weren't happy about it. They wanted to know what the hell they were thinking, hiring a relatively short (5'11") blond guy to play their hero. Many thought Brosnan (a full 6'1", and dark hair) to be the perfect physical specimen to play Bond, while others argued that it was Sean Connery who was the number one Bond of all time. They all agreed that Daniel Craig was not suitable.

However, I think the producers were trying to get as far away from Brosnan as they could. That surely isn't a slam against Brosnan, but the Bond series needed a push in another direction. It had become a little bit more like a futuristic comic book series lately rather than gritty spy series. Craig, as it turns out, can act, and quite well. Also, as I learned from two female spectators sitting to my left, he's rather nicely built and has a great butt.

The film returns to the beginning, in an obvious move to reset and redefine the on-screen Bond. If it seems like a somewhat familiar move, recall Batman Begins. We get to see Bond gaining his 00 status, making rookie mistakes, falling in love, and learning just what makes a great martini. Some things are kept rather traditional, such as the "Bond women", Eva Green and Caterina Murino.

But this edition of Bond focuses more squarely on the story and rebuilding the character. It keeps moving and keeps you guessing, sometimes not quite correctly as it turns out. And this new Bond still has a sense of humor. You won't forget the torture scene. I know that sounds odd, but you'll understand once you see it.

It's not that the movie isn't flawed. As a poker player, I had to avert my eyes at some of the Texas Hold'em scenes. And, it's clear that the writers are running thin on physical ailments that the villains possess. All things considered, though, I can forgive them. My imdb rating: 8.


Anonymous said...

I saw this film and you are right - I will not forget the torture scene and the lines that were said. Inventive.

Another scene I'll not soon forget is the first chase scene. I had to look away a couple of times because of vertigo.

Andrew said...

haha yea twas a good movie
im guessing by female spectators you meant my mother and grandmother

Sean Sexton said...

How astute...