Casino Royale (possible spoilers)

Saturday, December 16, 2006
Last night was girls night out and we were off to see the latest incarnation of Bond, James Bond. I'm certainly not as eloquent a reviewer as *Asterisk or Coyote so I won't try. I'll just give you my general impressions.

Overall, Daniel Craig makes a decent Bond but he's not the best. However he's a bit too fit. Normally most women wouldn't complain about this but he was too chiseled, if you know what I mean. Bond doesn't spend hours every day in the gym working out, pumping iron, and oiling up his muscles so they catch the light just so. You'd never catch the other Bond boys flexing their biceps and pursing their lips as they look pensively off into the distance.

I enjoyed the movie but miss the days of Connery and yes, even Roger Moore. There was something timeless about their version of Bond. The image of Sean Connery sitting at the poker table in his white tuxedo, martini by his side, and cigarette hanging non-chalantly out of the corner of his mouth. Sigh...very dashing.

Casino Royale had much more action than any other of the films in the series that I can remember. Lots of explosions, car chases and guns blazing. There were a few things however that I found a bit disappointing. It was too long for one thing. The acting was so so. Craig seemed a bit stiff but not too bad. Perhaps his tuxedo was just a bit too tight. Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, the villian, was disappointing. His character had such potential to be badass but he came across as a bit of a wimp. Even during the torture scene he was too tentative. And they didn't explore his background at all. How did he get that bleeding eye?

As for the torture scene, I'm not going to ruin it for anyone but I will say ... OUCH. It's a pain only a man could experience and you could see every man in the theatre cring with the first shot. I highly recommend they include a warning just before this scene so the men can look away until it's overs. It does however involve a completely nude Bond which my companions did not find objectionable at all. It also provided the best line of any 007 movie to date:

Now the whole world will know that you died scratching my balls!

We had quite the conversation about the various 00's over dinner. It was certainly interesting to see the kind of man, based on their choice of Bond, that each of us is attracted to. Did you also know that the Bond men have been (in order): Australian, Scottish, English, Welsh, Irish, and now English again?

Overall, worth seeing but not the best Bond in my opinion. Better than some, worse than others. Connery will always be the super spy for me, but I'd put Craig a very close third behind Moore and ahead of Brosnan. Dalton, while fine in some of the things he's done, doesn't even rate on my 007 metre. As for Lazenby, I've never seen "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" so I can't comment. If you're looking for a fun way to spend your evening, grab some popcorn and pull up a seat. It's a fun ride.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

That's the best way to see a film - with a group who are able to deconstruct it and argue it out.
Sounds like a fun film actually, but I'll likely wait till it's a rental.

Wandering Coyote said...

Ahead of Brosnan, eh? That's actually saying a lot in my books. I don't think I'll be going to the theatre to see this, but perhaps my brother will download it for me one day. If you want to see great acting by Craig, I highly recommend The Mother - I even have a review of it conveniently on my sidebar!

* (asterisk) said...

Not a Bond fan, but I may give this a go on DVD when it comes out. Thanks, Karen.

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