Casino Royale Review or How The New James Bond Is Quite Different

 

In this post, I review the new Bond movie with Daniel Craig which started in theatres on Friday, the 17th of November. A lot to say about this, some good, some bad. But in the end, it’s good entertainment.

This review contains spoilers but as always, is Safe For Work.

After months of waiting, the new Bond movie finally opened worldwide last Friday, on the 17.11.2006. I guess I counted myself lucky for the opening of the lastest Bond movie as being worldwide, because it seems that worldwide launches are peculiar. By this I infer about the launches of the PS3 and Wii and I am seriously wondering how I am going to get these consoles. Most likely, I will have to have them shipped from Canada by friends.

 

But let’s get back to business at hand.

 

007.

 

A new actor, Daniel Craig, incarnates 007 in this movie. I knewown Craig for his good performance in Layer Cake with Sienna Miller. I enjoyed the movie. A lot of critics and fans have been denigrating the “blond Bond” phenomenon, but I was more concerned about the plot. The main reason for this, is because the story is actually a prequel to the series of Bond movies, predating all of them.

 

Chris Cornell, formed lead member of Soundgarden and current singer of Audioslave does the title music. It was a lot better than the horrendous song that Madonna contributed to the last James Bond movie, Die Another Day. Naturally, her acting wasn’t any better in that movie either.

 

***** Warning Spoilers Ahead*****

 

One of the main thing that I didn’t like about this movie is the James Bond Girls. They weren’t enough of them and they weren’t Bond girl enough for my taste. Eva Green plays Vesper Lynd, Bond’s main interest in this movie. The villain’s girlfriend doesn’t even get to speak.

 

The movie starts out with an incredible free-running chase, in which Bond with his newly acquired 00 status is chasing after a bomb maker in Africa. I didn’t think that free-running could be made possible in small African towns, but this wasn’t a problem, since most of the chase took place on a construction site of a building. For more information on free-running and parkour, please read my post about that sport.

 

This was the best chase sequence of the whole movie, and it didn’t even involve a car. Speaking of which, the beautiful Aston Martin DBS doesn’t get enough airtime and there are not enough chase scenes or escape scenes with this beauty.

 

Gadgets. There are none of them. Be warned. If you expect Bond to use his latest tricks, you are going to be a bit disappointed. Mainly, he just beats men to a pulp in this movie. I liked this about the flick, it made the action more realistic. Craig spends most of the movie covered in cuts and bruises.

 

Craig is a great James Bond. This movie sets up S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and sets up the next series of movies in a great fashion. One of the best scenes is actually at the end of this movie, when he shoots a baddie and is immaculately dressed holding a submachine gun. He couldn’t be more British than in this scene. A quick note though; S.P.E.C.T.R.E. isn’t mentioned by name once, but my guess is that this is the mysterious organization that brokers terrorists.

 

The plot of this movie revolves around a ring of terrorist being brokered by some agents. Le Chiffre is the main baddie who manages the money of the world’s most notorious “freedom fighters”. Le Chiffre tries to bet against the current market by staging a terrorist attack on a new airplane that will be launched by Skyfleet. This is stopped in time by Bond and Le Chiffre looses a lot of money from the baddies.

Bond spends some time as a rogue agent, but M quickly finds him again and lets him loose in order to find the culprits.

 

Le Chiffre desperately tries to organize a high stakes poker game in which the buy in is a cool 10 million USD at Casino Royale in Montenegro. With 10 players, and a 5 million buy back, he will stand to make over 150 million USD if he wins it all. Naturally, Her Majesty’s Secret Service sends in Bond with an accountant to spoil the game.

 

Bond looses it all but Felix Lighter, a CIA agent, sets him up with another 5 million so that he can continue the game at Casino Royale. Naturally, Bond manages to win all the money and makes his escape after uncovering double agents. He gets away with Vesper Lynd the accountant who doesn’t know how to dress and looks a bit like a hoochie with her giant boobs hanging out of her halter top. This is a good intro to Felix and how Bond’s relationship with him gets started.

 

At this point in time, I was concerned that this movie was going to turn out like George Lazenby’s Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Bad. But it all works out. Lynd actually betrays Bond and dies and Bond gets a step closer to S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

 

Craig is a good Bond. He can probably kick Pierce Brosnan’s ass. Though I am somewhat surprised at how different this Bond movie is from the previous, Die Another Day. No gadgets, no glam, no trash, no flash.

 

Only Craig working as a smarter Bond, being a bit of a detective as well as a spy and hitman and trying to find out where this is all going. All in all, great fun for the lads out on the town.

 

I was surprised to see Bond actually drive a subcompact Ford in this movie. Wow, I guess that he started small. But in the end he does get the DBS, even if he destroys is within minutes.

 

I didn’t like Eva Green. She sucked. And some familiar faces where missing like Q and Charles Robinson, played well by Colin Salmon in the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies. Hopefully, they will make a return in the later movies.

18 Responses to “Casino Royale Review or How The New James Bond Is Quite Different”


  1. 1 Luke Clifford November 24, 2006 at 05:03

    Hello R… Its L…lets talk code names…or you know James Bond style!

    I personally thought this movie is amazing….gone was the saving the world at every turn or macro dealings as some might see it to a more fleshed out bond micro type film(I know it is a remake of a prequil…but the first couple of bond films had a lot of history that reveals why he acts…the way he acts). He is not saving the world, but slowly working his way up by taking out a bomber…taking out a henchman here or there then finds someone who is up on the food chain that can lead him to where he is going. More like a cog working in a large machine. A simple poker game, yet very interesting how they through in little surprises here or there. This movie was simply about stopping a terrorsist funder or reduce the operation to a lower level.

    I think what made this movie work well was the character driven story. Yes, James Bond is human and gets banged up unlike in most other JB films. James bond is in shape, and is able to do what you expect someone to be able to do who is in shape. The scene at the beginning where Bond is chasing the bomb builder. It was very exciting and reminded me of the film Cell Block 13 either this year. Some of the jumps, climbing was just faboulous. This set the pace of the film! Exciting!!

    On your comment about not enough or high enough class of james bond women….that also i think is part of the plot. Bond is busy keeping himself busy being a good agent and fell in love with Accountant who is more wholesome..and wife material unlike some of the Amazing women Bond will conqueor later on in his career. Maybe now he is more of an innocent person. Like you said maybe he was lacking his flash and bling he poseses later on….??

    This makes me think i wonder if they will make a bond film that goes over how he became an agent in the first place. This might make an interesting tale…??

    The visuals in the movie is and will always be stunning.

  2. 2 range November 24, 2006 at 07:09

    Yep knowing how he got recruited into the Service would be cool. I’m looking forward to the next Bond films. As usual though, since I have been watching them since I was a boy and finally realized my fantasy of having them all at home.

  3. 3 Bill DeMaria November 24, 2006 at 15:32

    In one of the more memorable lines of the film, Craig’s paramour
    tells him after an injury to his testicles, “I would still love you if all you
    have left is one little finger to wiggle”.
    Daniel Craig proved in his debut that he has more acting ability in
    his little finger than all the previous Bonds’ combined.
    Will Fleming’s character be able to withstand a strong dose
    of the method?

  4. 4 JAY CENTER November 26, 2006 at 19:56

    I have just seen Casino Royale in Frankfurt.
    Overall I liked it. I agree with most of the comments posted above.

    However, the Bond theme was so ordinary.
    I was hoping to hear something as great as Madonna’s Die Another Day, which gives wibes and energy to the Bond series.
    I still recall the opening night of the previous Bond movie, and half the audience joining the opening song Die Another Day either dancing, or clapping hands or moving in their seats.. Tonight the opening scene energy was low, nothing spectacular. The audience was busier eating their popcorns than paying attention to the Bond theme…

    Pity!

  5. 5 SERKAN MUTLU November 26, 2006 at 20:03

    talking about Madonna, I could not stop thinking of her Confessions Tour this past summer where Parkour was taking significant place in the show during Jump and beginning of Hung Up.
    And who was on the stage every night of the 61 shows: Sebastien Foucan- the villain Mollaka!
    I saw the Confessions Tour a total of 7 times in London (2x), Atlantic City, Paris, Hannover, Dusseldorf and Amsterdam. And in all the shows, Sebastien was amazing on the stage.

    Here is one paragraph about him:
    In an interview with Donald Ward (Evry, October 2006), Sebastien spoke about parkour and his role in “Casino Royale”and in Madonna’s videos and World Tour:

    “I see myself as an artist and I’m glad to be able to work as an artist with other artists, for example, I was lucky to be invited by Madonna to perform on her ‘Hung Up’ video, her recent (2006) world tour, and the video of her song ‘Jump’.”

  6. 6 range November 26, 2006 at 20:05

    I agree with you. Plot is a bit weak. The song was Ok, nothing fabulous. Though you enjoyed Madonna’s song, I preferred Garbage’s for The World Is Not Enough and others.

    The series is definitely moving into another form. Maybe it’s because of all of the spy movies out there, they wanted to do something more realistic. At the same time, even though I enjoyed the movie and I enjoyed seeing Bond investigate, a super-villain was sorely missed.

    Not some weird accountant.

  7. 7 Morphius November 28, 2006 at 01:39

    [Ed. note: This comment was edited and modified due to its racial slurs. Views portrayed here are the commentator's.]

    [Basically, what the guy says is that he finds the movie disgusting and throws out a bunch of racial slurs. We at The Memoirs do not approve of such language and have taken out the most offensive bits.]

    This movie was racist, period. The chase scene between Bond and the black man in the beginning was the most racist thing I have seen in my life, yeah. I’m white by the way, and I want my ****** money back.

  8. 8 range November 28, 2006 at 04:04

    Hm, parkour is a great sport. It is known as free running and one of the best free runners of the sport, Sébastien Foucan, participated in the scenes. Try watching Banlieue 13, it actually features one of the inventors of parkour, a Frenchman named David Belle.

    Morphius, eh? I don’t think you should be using the name of the Lord of Dreams lightly. I don’t think that The Sandman ever was racist in his comics, especially since they were written by Neil Gaiman.

    Probably you are referring to Morphius from The Matrix. Well, you are a bigot. You should try thinking about Jesus a bit more when you spout out hate like that.

  9. 9 Doug December 7, 2006 at 13:47

    I really liked it. “Casino Royale” is the only one of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels that I have ever read. It was also the first of the novels. It was written in 1953. Obviously, it did not have cell phones in it or computers or global positioning maps on computers. But the core plot and characterization is basically the same in the movie as in the novel. In fact, it was funny reading comments elsewhere on-line about how this or that was clearly a shot at modern events. For instance, there is a sequence in the movie where Bond is viciously tortured and I read a comment on-line that this was meant to be a reflection of American soldiers accused of torturing Iraqi prisoners. Just one problem: the movie faithfully follows how he was tortured in the novel, written 53 years ago.

    The movie lacks some of the typical Bond stuff. There is no larger than life villain. There are no gadgets per se. I mean, there are endless technological toys in almost every other scene, but they are cell phones that are also computers and secret government websites (that are on on-line computers just so they can be hacked) and so on. Its as if the movie takes the point of view that real life technology has become so compact and advanced that the old Bond gadgets are pointless. We are so surrounded by gadgets in real life now that we take it all for granted.

    Daniel Craig makes a very good James Bond, especially in a movie that tells his origin. I don’t know yet how he will be as the series goes on and the character becomes the Bond we are used to (if he does). It will be interesting to see if he has the ability to play it on the level of Connery or Brosnan. He has an advantage in this movie because no Bond movie had ever portrayed him as this real of a person emotionally. So the script helps.

    While I think some people will miss certain elements of the mythos, it had reached the point where Bond simply had to adapt to the era to stay alive.

    A friend of mine illustrated the one negative I felt to this movie though. He was not able to see the movie the day I did and we talked after. The conversation went like this:

    Him: So what’s the basic plot of this?

    Me: Well, it tells the origin of Bond, how he becomes a 00.

    Him: Cool. So it takes place in the 1950s or very early 1960s then. That sounds interesting.

    Me: Well, no. It is set in the present. There are even references to September 11th.

    Him: Then they are throwing out all the Sean Connery movies and the others and saying they never happened? So this isn’t really a prequel, its a restart. (sigh indicating he doesn’t like that).

    I too would prefer a Bond set in the era he really belongs in. If you did a Sherlock Holmes movie, you’d set it in the 1880s and a Bond movie, in my opinion, is integrally bound to the Cold War era (the movie even makes a joke to that effect). But I fully understand why they did not do that. To feel relevant, Bond must become a man of the 21st century. I love this movie but I actually miss the lighthearted manic insanity of the Connery and even the Moore era when movie makers felt it was okay to be less serious and have fun.

  10. 10 Doug December 7, 2006 at 13:55

    “This movie was racist, period. The chase scene between Bond and the black man in the beginning was the most racist thing I have seen in my life, yeah. I’m white by the way, and I want my ****** money back.”

    Um, yes, because any scene in which a white person chases a black person or in which a black person is the villain is automatically racist?

  11. 11 colleen tigue December 17, 2006 at 01:27

    what u all talkin about this is the best bond i have seen proper acting for once and finally i once stayed to the end

  12. 13 K December 20, 2006 at 19:39

    I’ve seen it yesterday. It was a good movie – not that I am good with the movie reviews however, I enjoyed the ‘chasing scenes”. Craig definately is a different 007. I love the scene on the turbo train where He and Eva just met, talks about how men behaves & dress up with an expensive watches. I think that was very English, superb performance from Craig. I don’t know how to play cards but it gives me the balls to understand the whole secret agent thing. At the end of the movie I realized, a sony erricson is quite fancy as a gadget really.

    I so love his car.

  13. 14 range December 21, 2006 at 00:30

    Too bad he didn’t drive it that much. The DBS is a fine car.

  14. 15 RICHARD December 21, 2006 at 01:58

    Best Bond ever! period!

  15. 16 radtjack January 12, 2007 at 20:51

    Well, I dislike this movie, and I gonna tell you why.

    The storyline is a kind of weird. It starts good, which the chase and the jumps…but after that, it is a kind of long flat moment. The chiffre is not a powerfull bad guys, everything turns around a pocker game…
    it is not very exiting as you dont know really why it is so important to win…
    The first girl james fu**s is a whore with nothing really interessant. The accountant is a kind of useless to, she is there to check about the money problem..is the MI6 on the verge of collapse??
    James is a tourmented guy, he as some relationship problem with M..he breaks in her flat to get some informations…why didnt he ask her.
    There is no gadget, only the one he uses in his car to make him breath again but the wire is not connected…
    It looked like a joke for me!

    Daniel craig was good enough in Layer cake. But he sucks as James Bond!
    He doesnt look like a Bond, he doesnt smile like a bond…
    in few words he is not a winner!

    So I understand the idea of changing the 007 concept to give more action, and a more realistic storyline. But Bond is not an ordinary man, He is like a super spy. And unfortunately, the new Bond is like a rebel, weak in his mind Hero with reduced funding…
    He fu**s some whores and stupid women…

    If some of you used to like Bond because he was a model for every man, a winner, a rich man, a playboy…
    Well, you will be desappointed by casino royal and the new Bond.

    Check by yourself.


  1. 1 Lost In My Own World « memoirs on a rainy day Trackback on November 28, 2006 at 01:32
  2. 2 Getting Stiffed In Taiwan Or How Checking Out The Details On Your Paycheck Pays Off « memoirs on a rainy day Trackback on December 1, 2006 at 13:04

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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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