Casino Royale Movie Review

Andrea and I just got back from seeing the latest Ian Flemming’s James Bond movie. Originally when I first heard a new James Bond movie was being made, I was quite ecstatic. I have always been a James Bond fan, but my interest in the series was starting to wan because I could no longer buy into believing the possible existence of James Bond’s equipment and/or tools (i.e. an invisible Aston Martin).

When I first heard that Pierce Bronson was no longer going to portray James Bond, I was skeptical with where they would be going with the movie. I had thought Bronson done quite well as James Bond, but I guess the way he portrayed Bond as a suave, never get hurt, always cool guy took away some suspense from each of the movies. Then when it was announced that Daniel Craig would be the new James Bond, I didn’t think he looked the part of Bond either, which actually turns out to be a good thing. After seeing the movie, I do definitely think that Daniel Craig does fit the bill as the new James Bond. Gone is some of the pretentiousness of Pierce Bronson’s James Bond such as the Brioni suits and emphasis on always looking and being cool.

In Casino Royale, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is beaten, cut, drugged, whipped, tortured as one would expect being on dangerous missions. There is something more believable when the hero barely nicks death not always by skill, but sometimes by sheer utter stupid luck. This is definitely a darker and more accurate James Bond than the previous four Bond flicks.

The storyline seems more mature with the evil villains not merely out to conquer or destroy the world because they are evil villains, but rather villains who have actual agendas and use standard means to achieve those dastardly goals. I think this makes the story appeal more to an older audience versus trying to hit the 15-25 age group.

Some of the major points we liked in the movie was that:

  • No more metrosexual Bond, now it’s the I-don’t-take-shit-from-anyone Bond
  • the humor doesn’t always involve some form of sexual connotations or sexual harrassment joke towards M or any of the other ladies
  • No more over-emphasis on fancy, cool “toys”
  • Not so many clich├ęs

The Aston Martin DBS was quite nice and nothing overtly fancy about it such as laser or a cloaking device, it was just mainly a stylish car for James Bond. I also like how they paid homage to Goldfinger in which James Bond wins a 1954 Aston Martin DB5 from a poker match.

One major gripe we do have is that the movie seemed a bit long. There were parts where it seemed like it was going to end with a cliffhanger, but then they decided they didn’t want to leave viewers there and continued more with the story. The total run time of the movie is some two and half hours.

All in all, we definitely recommend this movie. It seemed like the writers, producers, and director wanted a more authentic James Bond and took cues from Ian Flemming’s first book and went with it. Daniel Craig is definitely the new Bond, James Bond.

My rating: 4.0 stars
****

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