Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Casino Royale - a movie review

I just returned from the Shelbyville Great Escape Movie Theater after seeing what I believe to be the best of all the James Bond movies, Casino Royale. Based on the first Ian Fleming book published in 1953, this most recent Bond movie lets us in on the beginning of Bond's career as a 007 agent. This Bond is rougher than the James Bonds we've come to know over the past 40 years in films. Daniel Craig plays the lethal agent with the perfect blend of toughness and charm. He's a real man with real scars. The scrapes he finds himself in are much more believable than the sometimes laughable escapades of Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan. His baby blue eyes can melt the heart of any woman, but they can stare down an evil nemesis, too.

I enjoyed the love story in Casino Royale. James Bond is usually on the fast track when it comes to women, but in this movie he is a one woman man. And the woman (Vesper Lynd, played by Eva Green) is not some bimbo "Bond girl." Vesper Lynd is a British Treasury official who spars easily with James and stands her ground when faced with several opportune romantic moments. Love indeed blossoms and is put to a weighty test.

Of some note: the opening sequence doesn't feature nude women in silouette as in previous Bond films. I definitely like this "non-womanizing" aspect of James Bond.

I must admit that I went to see Casino Royale with my heart firmly in the Pierce Brosnan camp, knowing that this unknown-to-me actor, Daniel Craig, could never fill the shoes that Pierce so suavely and handsomely did. But, I walked out of the theater realizing that Daniel Craig is the new and improved and much more real Bond than any before him. I hope he stays around for a whole new round of Bond thrillers.


Anonymous said...

"Of some note: the opening sequence doesn't feature nude women in silouette as in previous Bond films. I definitely like this "non-womanizing" aspect of James Bond."

The opening titles were probably the thing I liked least about "Casino Royale". But I can't begin to say what would have made a better opening graphic.

Chuck Grantham

Kathy Mansfield said...

I guess "the powers that be" are trying to change the whole image with the new Bond movie.

Peppermint Gomez said...

I couldn't agree with you more Kathy - though my heart has always been in the Sean Connery camp. I thought Daniel Craig's bond was much less campy than any prior Bond, and much more delightful to the eye, whether in skimpy swim trunks or in excruciating agony on a bottomless chair. This will definitely be the first Bond movie I own on DVD, but will not be the last if they continue with Daniel Craig as Bond and continue to meet or exceed the story-quality found in Casino Royale.

Kathy Mansfield said...

I really liked the ragged edges of Daniel Craig's Bond -- much more realistic. I, too, hope to get this one on DVD.

Countdown to Elianna!