Casino Royale

I just got back from the first show (yes, I am a geek). I enjoyed the movie, I liked Daniel Craig a lot and there are some fantastic action sequences… but it isn’t a James Bond movie.  It’s not your father’s James Bond or even your grandfather’s James Bond.  Sure, there are Aston Martins and casinos and exotic locales  and villians with scars near their eyes. But something was missing. Maybe for the better. (Though it could also have missed about twenty minutes, the film goes on way too long).

The producers weren’t kidding when they said they were reinventing Bond (unlike, say, their attempt with LIVING DAYLIGHTS). This truly is a new interpretation, clearly one that’s heavily influenced by the Jason Bourne movies… with a touch of DIE HARD’s John McClaine thrown in for good measure. But if they are jettisoning so much from the old intepretation, the few
hangers-on (the women who swoon at his glance, the scar-faced villains
and Aston Martins) should be scrapped, too.

This Bond is basically Connery’s take on the character as a ruthless assassin, a working-class  "blunt instrument" in a tuxedo.  In fact, you could say that Daniel Craig is dramatizing the formative days of  Connery’s 007.  If so, then the next film will be a James Bond film. At least more so than this one was… or so they seem to be hinting at the end.

8 thoughts on “Casino Royale”

  1. I doubt you went to the first show. This post wasn’t up when I check in this morning, and I know they had midnight showings….
    I think I’ve seen one or two of the Bond movies, the recent ones. I’m going to see this one in a few hours, so I’ll have to see what this non-Bond fan things.

  2. Saw the Second Show here. I loved it. Was it Bond? Not the Bond we know. Was it good? I think so. Is it the start of a “new” Bond? Hope so. Craig actually bled when he fought, had to calm down, clean up, etc. I agree with Lee, it was a shade long, but overall, I loved it. Acknowledging the past (the martini joke made me laugh out loud), but making it clear this is a new take. It’s the first 007 movie in a long time that made me want to sit there and watch it again, like we used to be able to do when we were kids….

  3. How interesting that Craig is doing a ‘Connery’-who was, by the way, my favorite Bond. In my interview last week with Raymond Benson (who wrote so many of the Bond books)at On The Bubble over at Murderati- he’d said Connery was his favorite as well.
    Guess I’d better check this one out.

  4. I haven’t seen it yet, but I watched one of those overly long, give away everything trailers, and was particularly struck by how much the character reminded me of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. Considering that the Bond folks tried to get Lee to write the next James Bond novel, I wonder if that resemblance was coincidental.
    I’m looking forward to seeing the film, although I’ll probably have to wait for the DVD.

  5. I’m definitely grateful for the Bond reboot… origin story… whatever you want to call it. It was much needed, as I wish I could purge the last 2 Brosnan movies out of my mind.
    I loved Craig’s Casino Royale.

  6. Your comment about this not being a Bond film is interesting since the movie does follow the Ian Fleming novel pretty well after the first half hour stuntfest.
    From Russia with Love and Goldfinger also followed Fleming’s novels. To me Casino Royale is the return of the Bond film.
    Daniel Craig was excellent although they had him grinning boyishly too often. Timothy Dalton actually channeled Fleming’s Bond better than Sean Connery, but the fellow in the books is a shade too neurotic and serious to be fun in a movie.
    I agree with your comment about the direction of the next film; however, I hope that they keep the character’s struggle to hide feelings that he does, in fact, have and keep his fallibility. Bond was a man, not a superman. That is what I love about Bond in the novels, but that is what the screenwriters left out of the Brosnan films.

  7. Sounds like this incarnation of Bond might be closer to the novels.
    I read Dr. No as a young teen, nearly 20 years ago. I still remember the duct scene where Bond struggles against the limits of his endurance and pain. HIs limitations are something the movies have rarely captured well.
    Well except for being tortured by Koreans.


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