Review: Casino Royale

Casino Royale
Casino Royale

Casino Royale
My rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Bah. I was planning on writing this up as a proper review but now I’m feeling tired so you’re going to get the bullet point version.

  • The latest installment in the James Bond film empire is Casino Royale. This also happens to be the first installment of the books. The film doesn’t quite cover Bond’s origins, but we do get a few minutes of Bond “working up the corporate ladder”. Kind of interesting but given how little time was spent in those scenes; I wonder if there weren’t other areas that the time could have been better spent on.
  • Daniel Craig brings an interesting interpretation to the role of Bond. He has back the panache of Connery’s Bond but with a brutal violence that we’ve not seen before. I’m still not convinced this is the best path to go with but it’s certainly better than Brosnan’s somewhat stilted performances.
  • Some people seem to really like the villain of this film, Le Chiffre. However I found him to be weak and ineffectual; though to be fair had a better plan than some we’ve seen1.
  • The chase scene at the beginning was incredible. Though I know there are other movies out there which also do this sort of thing. Fortunately, I’ve not actually seen many of those movies so this still looked new/fresh/interesting rather than old and derivative.
  • It’s a pity they killed off Caterina Murino’s character so early in the movie. She was much more in the style of classic Bond women than Eva Green.2
  • Product placement sucks. In this case, I’m referring to the fact Bond was driving a Ford towards the start of the film. On the other hand, winning the classic 1964 Aston Marton in a card game was pretty cool.

1 Banker to world terrorists vs. Russian EMP satellites, no contest here.
2 Smoking hot vs. vaguely attractive.

3 Comments

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James Bond movies are pretty much camp to me. I am also suspicious of any review that Coffeebear does, as he is neither a good movie critic nor a big fan of the medium itself. The other reviews I got was that it was good. However, what’s with this craze to go back to the beginning with everything? Batman Begins was done very well, but I doubt that everything will be of that caliber. The best film I’ve seen all year is Oldboy, a dark and original view of what life means when everything you have gets taken away from you. Overall 2006 sucked for movies. I’d have to say that the summer was held up by Snakes On A Plane, the only major film that didn’t suck, and cheaper films like The Descent that comes out next week on DVD. 2007 is going to feature The Transformers and big disappointments like….oh I don’t know… Ghost Rider or say Fantastic Four (the 2.0 version), and other sad films. As for Bond movies, after Halle Berry, I doubt they can ever show any other woman as hot on the screen, but hey that’s not a suggestion, that’s a dare!

Good quick review, but I guess I’d request that, if you think anyone will read your review before seeing the movie, you rewrite the point about the love interest so as not to give stuff away. (Also, it’s not really clear whether you were saying Eva Green was smoking hot or vaguely attractive).

It was slim pickins this year, but I’d say this Bond was the best film I’ve seen since Batman Begins. And the chase scene in Royale blew BB’s gratuitous Bat-car chase scene completely away. Did I mention they’re going to do a “Batman Begins II”? Well, the title still under development.

@Player: I’ll grant I’m not the best movie critic out there, but disagree on not being a big fan of the medium. I love films. I just haven’t seen any in years truly worthy of the medium. As for going back to the beginning, that’s simply. Hollywood knows these stories are ones that work, which means low risk for big returns (e.g. profit). If you want innovative film-making; you need to watch stuff not being produced out of Hollywood. Foreign films and/or independent works are your best bets.

@Ken: I think you’re getting the women in the movie confused. Caterina Murino played a minor (though smoking hot) character at the beginning of the movie; while Eva Green played the vaguely attractive character who was Bond’s love interest for this film.

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