Casino Royale Reviews

SiCoSiCo EnglandPosts: 1,371M
Please post your full Casino Royale reviews and thoughts here. I am hoping that we can keep a number of reviews here all in one place without interuption.

I urge that you do not directly discuss each others reviews here, please start a seperate topic or PM the member in question.

Don't forget to rate the film from 000 to 007 (being excellent).

This topic can contain spoilers so if you don't want to know then I suggest you be very careful or visit the [topic=27097]Spoiler Free Quick Reviews[/topic] topic.


  • glidroseglidrose Posts: 138MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    I've just seen it. What can I say. Speechless!!

    Opening credits, superb! Very retro 60's.
    Beginning action sequences, breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat stuff.
    Eva Green is EXACTLY as imagined her to be in the novel. Le Chiffre, suitably slippery, and again, pretty much how I imagined him to be in the novel. I'm pretty much lost for words on the film. It took me by complete suprise. I was worried as I had high expectations anyway, but this actually surpassed it (never thought that would be possible). From the card game onwards unfolds pretty much like it does in the novel. It was great seeing moments from Fleming's work again, only this time how it should have been done all along. With REALISM!!! Out are the crappy one-liners, stupid jokes and silliness. In is hard-edged, bloody, brutal action scenes and realistic dialogue - something that I have never witnessed before in the films, only in the novels.

    And last but not least, Daniel Craig himself. How does he rate. In one word, BRILLIANT! He barges his way right the way through this movie, Maximus-Gladiator style. Relentless, ruthless, violent, vulnerable and believable. Again, he surpassed what I expected of him. If anyone had doubts about Craig before as Bond (including the CnB'ers) you needn't worry. This guy is actually BETTER (yes better) than the big man himself, Sean Connery......I never thought I would ever say that, but it is true. Craig makes every other Bond actor look weak in comparison, and we all know what a hard act they are to follow (especially Connery), but somehow Craig has pulled it off.

    I am still in a state of absolute shock right now. After 20 years, I've finally seen Ian Fleming's James Bond on screen, in all his true, bloody glory.

    Daniel, don't you dare walk away from this franchise now. EON, lock this man up and keep him from straying away. You have struck pure gold with this one!!!!!

    10 out of 10.
  • mattindubaimattindubai Posts: 6MI6 Agent
    Well, it looks like I may have the honour of posting the first review of CR on this site! Firstly, in case you're wondering how I've seen it, I live in Dubai where the weekend is Friday Saturday which means that films are released on a Thursday here. As with many big films the cinemas hold screenings at midnight on Thursday morning and, as we're 4 hours ahead of GMT, the first showing took place at 8pm GMT on Wednesday night!

    So, it's now 3.15am here and I've just got back from what I can say is a fantastic film. As was the case with many people I was wary of Daniel Craig being cast as Bond just over a year ago and it wasnt until I saw Layer Cake earlier this year that I thought perhaps he might be OK. Well he's brilliant. He seems to be very natural in the role and fits Flemings initial description perfectly. But, as we all know, the literary Bond and the cinematic Bond have been very different which means that while Craig is good, he's not the Bond we're used to. That, however, is not a criticism! This is a different kind of Bond film and I don't think anyone will be surprised by that at all. You pretty much know what you're going to get from the initial film noir pre-credit sequence (which could have been a little bit longer to be honest) and the main title sequence is a big departure from any previous Bond movie. For those of you who are fans of 'Hustle' you may spot a similarity here! Very clever and it sets the tone of the movie very nicely.
    So to the main film itself. Well, you all know the story so let me pick out the highlights. The chase at the beginning is amazing and having seen Sebastian Fourcan on TV before (Jump London and Jump Britain) I can totally understand why they used him. There are one or two obvious green screen FX but apart from that excellent.
    The Miami Airport sequence again is very fast paced with great FX and stunning stunt work and I'm still not sure if the plane was a 747 with extra bits added or a CGI effect.
    The scene on the train with Vesper and Bond is very well written, very witty and well thought out. Again, DC seems natural delivering lines that may have sounded a bit cheesy had it been Pierce in his place. Eva Green is simply stunning and fits the role superbly!
    And to the poker game itself - firstly it's broken up into a few stages with the greatest tension taking place in stage 3 and as a poker player I was trying to work out which hand would beat which and I'm happy to say I guessed right! Something tells me the popularity of Texas Hold'em is going to grow even more now!
    The scenes which fill the gaps between each stage in the game are quite contrasting with action/drama/emotion and humour all having their place.
    The Aston Martin barrell roll - amazing stunt but heartbreaking to see such a fine car reduced to such a mess!
    And onto the infamous torture scene. Well, I'm not sure how much of it the UK censors have passed but here in Dubai we got a very graphic set of images - However, there's one line from DC that will have you pi**ing yourself laughing, a great tension breaking piece of writing!
    And finally the scenes set in Venice are again brilliantly done with some fantastic action once the penny has dropped! And the only Bond movie to date which ends with the unspoken words 'theres' going to be a sequel!'
    So, overall very, VERY good. Expect something different but expect a great film and if we're rating from 001 to 007 here I have to give it 006 and nine tenths - but that's only because I hate to see any harm of any kind come to the most beautifully built car in the world!
    Right, it's almost 4am now and I'm off to bed. But only cos I want to be fresh faced for a midday screening tomorrow!
    'Wait till you get to my teeth!'
  • glidroseglidrose Posts: 138MI6 Agent
    Sorry Matt, I beat you to it...;)
  • apmcapmc Posts: 2MI6 Agent
    Okay, as a seasoned bond fan, when I got my invitation to attend the Casion Royale Premiere at Chester, I was overjoyed. Okay 'Bond' was not going to be there, but with a crowds awaiting the rich and famous to arrive outside Chester's Odeon, two beautiful Aston Martin DB9's in front of the main doors, the scene was set for a special evening - even if the Hollyoaks boys did think they were the best thing since sliced bread when they arrived...incidentally, there not! hehehe!

    Anyway, I was excited for several reasons. Firstly, coming from the North West of England, I was very interested in how a Northerner, Daniel Craig, would fare as a Bond.

    I was also delighted that I was going to see the film ahead of public release...and for free! Bargain.

    So, without wanting to spoil it for anybody, I won't go into plot nor quotes.

    It started very positively with a wonderfully filmed foot chase and shoot out...but then...well then...nothing happened much!

    The lack of Q also made a big difference. No amazing gadgets or technology from the future which has engrossed Bond fan's for many many amazing features bolted to a fantastic Aston Martin DBs. No absolutely nothing. The film was rapidly becoming just another spy film...and nothing like what would usually be expected from 007.

    I really really wanted Daniel Craig to fit in as a perfect Bond, however, I dont think he does. Previous Bonds have been swarve, sophisicated, women-magnets, intelligent, calculating and powerful. Its not that Daniel Craig hasn't got these traits in the film, he just fails to deliver the goods 'enough' to be considered a real Bond.

    Don't get me wrong though, the photography is amazing, the sound effects are awesome and the script is very very good. The directors deserve a real pat of the back. It is a very very good film, but that's it...its just another, slightly better than run of the mill film.

    I hope that Daniel Craig gets another chance to grow into the roll though, as I think he will get better as time goes on.

    My recommendation...don't go with preconcieved idea's of what the film is going to be...and dont expect your usual bond film.

    Did I have an enjoyable evening...yes I think I did thanks, albeit, not as good as the bloke who won a Bond Omega watch before the screening. Nevermind, there will always be another Bond film...hopefully!

    Enjoy it though...its not that bad!


    (sorry, I originally posted my FIRST post in the WRONG place...sorry again...

    Did I say I was sorry!

  • Moonraker 5Moonraker 5 Ayrshire, ScotlandPosts: 1,821MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    James Bond is back, and my how he's changed since we last saw him.

    First and foremost, I have to get this statement out of the way. So much hype, publicity and expectation for me built up Casino Royale to a level that, quite frankly, nothing could attain. That sounds like a negative, but it's not - it's a great film and I'll come to that in a minute - but you know the idea; you look forward to something so much, you have a great time when it's there, and then when it's gone you think "Oh, is that it?" We've seen so many of the stunts and several of the key moments that when they happen, they don't send shivers down your spine like they should do.

    In saying that, Casino Royale is a truly fantastic film.

    To start with Daniel Craig. He's a terrific actor, there's no doubt about that, and he makes an absolutely terrific Bond. But this isn't a Bond we've seen before. Some of the comparisons I've read about him being "the best Bond since Connery" don't ring true, as I don't think he can be compared to any Bond that's gone before. This one, I feel, is that different. Craig's performance is nothing short of fantastic; he does humour, he does anger, he does sorrow, he does love, he does emotional detachment, he does misplaced arrogance, he does defiance. See what's different so far? Bond is a multi-dimensional man for once. And he's not a very nice man at points. In fact, he's a nasty ****** at points. He's brutal. When he's angry you know he could kill anyone, when he laughs there's a relief and genuine warmth.

    Bond's physique, well, we've all seen it. In his action sequences he's utterly believable in that he can run and jump and fight like that. At one point he comes charging through a plasterboard wall like The Terminator and you know he could do that, but you didn't know that Bond the character would do that. There's large chunks of Bond's character that are unrecognisable - it's a getting to know you film.

    Vesper is absolutely gorgeous and is well acted by Eva Green. She's not the ass-kicking action girl who's Bond's equal in every way (thankfully, or she'd have to be built like a brick shed). She's smart, she's funny, she's classy, she's strong willed and she's vulnerable. Minor criticism? She's also a bit weird. Could well be her character was meant to be a bit weird, but there's something about her demeanour that's a bit, well, weird at times. The chemistry between her and Bond was also a bit one-sided, I thought. Bond fell for her, yes, but I couldn't quite sense that it was being reciprocated. Again, perhaps deliberate.

    Mads Mikkelsen is fantastic as Le Chiffre. Creepy, smarmy little geek who's now got a bit of power and is using it for his own sadistic pleasure (and ego). Where he beats Bond in the card game and delivers a little "Oops", you know that Bond wants to choke him there and then.

    Solange, one of the truly classic Bond girls. Stunning, exotic, tragic. For her brief period on screen, she crackles.

    The acting from the rest is pretty much faultless.

    Martin Campbell's direction is also top rate. There's little more I can say other than that. It's lush, exotic, glamourous, colourful - wonderful to look at. So wonderful you want to dip your feet in.

    Dialogue, script - just wonderful, but I confess I knew it would be.

    The criticisms, though...

    It's too long. At 2hrs 24mins, I felt it. The card game, for me anyway, dragged a bit - and I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I'm not a card player, so I just took their word for it on who was winning and who was losing. I don't think anyone could make a card game exciting or tense for me.

    The Bond/Vesper bonding while he's in recuperation was also a bit on the "move along now" side.

    The theme tune is god awful. It's a different version from what we've heard, and it's just garbage - a real stinker. The titles sequence I also didn't care for. It looked good in small clips, but for the entire duration was a little bit on the cheap side.

    The product placement, while not being as bad as Moonraker, is particularly heavy that at times I thought it was intrusive. Ford Mondeo scene played out just like the advert. Nice close ups and poses of Jaguar and Land Rover too. Sunseeker got their logo prominently displayed, as did, wait for it, Sony. Everywhere. Vaio, Sony Ericsson...every available opportunity. There's a scene where Vesper takes a photo in Venice, and it serves no other purpose than to get the Sony logo in the middle of the screen again.

    To summarise though (if you're still reading). Casino Royale is a terrific Bond film, and Daniel Craig makes a terrific Bond. But neither sits comfortably with what has gone before. This will stick out in your DVD collection. It has all the elements of a Bond film, but the formula is executed so differently that it's just impossible to compare with anything prior. This is not good ol' family entertainment. This is not something to stick into your DVD player and while away a couple of hours on a rainy Sunday. This can be hard work at times, it demands your attention and slaps you round the face. It should also be a 15. I'd be uncomfortable taking my 9 year old nephew along, as at times it's simply quite fierce.

    In the film, Bond gets a blast from a defibrilator. Literally as well as metaphorically. The whole series has just been given a severe recharge with Casino Royale. I was a bit skeptical when Craig was cast - in hindsight, that skepticism was both well placed and in vain. He would make an awful old Bond, but he's making a damn good new one.
  • JamesbondmmJamesbondmm Posts: 294MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    I'm not one for long reviews, and besides M5 said it excellently anyway :) Not knowing anything about the film itself, it was interesting to see what all the fuss was about. It was good edge-of-your-seat stuff in some places, wondering what was going to happen next. The film has completely strayed from 'the formula' but this is a good thing, it has indeed given the franchise new life. While Craig does all the emotions well, he can still deliver the visual and auditory comedy elements which gives the film just that little lift it needs in the darker places.
    I have to say I wasn't expecting the Vesper twist at the end, so this provided further tension.

    A good film, both as a Bond film, but as a stand-alone film as well. Of course the many, many, glasses of free champange beforehand helped ;) Plus the stunning 'waitresses' dressed in their sexy dresses helped to create the mood :D
  • leighrogersleighrogers Posts: 1MI6 Agent
    Watched the movie at a charity premier last night.

    Won't ruin the plot; but in short - was absolutely brilliant!

    The filmakers start the film setting the precident for how this Bond works. The first chase scene shows Craig chasing a bombmaker through a construction site, the bombmaker does some amazing athletics and stunts - Bond doesn't! He's clumsy, somewhat silly and tires quicker than the guy he's chasing - but this is good! It shows immediately that Craig isn't like other Bonds, he doesn't try to be slick, sleezy or anything like that.

    The main plotline is excellent, it sticks closer to the novel than any previous bond film has - which is a true credit to Ian Fleming.

    Throughout the film, the produces resisted from using the line "The names Bond, James Bond". That is, until the very last line in the film - Which I saw as a "F*** You!" to all of Craig's credits.

    Great movie, great stunts. Didn't disapoint.

    The only people that will not like this film are the ones that prefer the ultra high levels of cheesy content, ott gadgets and the general formula that shaped the last three Bond films.

    Daniel Craig - The man that made Bond cool again.

    I've seen every Bond film, Craig is definately a contender for best bond. Only difficulty is: Casino Royale is such a damn good film, I wonder if it will be too good for him to beat next time :-)
  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,667MI6 Agent
    A pretty fair and accurate review M5. I agree with about 95% of your findings though I didn't find the film long at all.

    Craig is flawless IMO. A pretty bold statement I know but I really could not find anything to fault him on.

    He is very different and the playing with the formula is very clever. Yes, its all there, but not as we know it. Putting the 'Bond, James Bond' at the end worked and the 'shaken not stirred' sequence made my night. You cannot compare this to the other films or Bonds.

    As for Vesper, I really liked Eva Greens performance. Like you say M5, she is not Bonds equal,which has become so tiresome in recent years, yet she still comes across strong.

    Mads was excellent. Suitably slimy and I liked the return to the villain of old with a tear duct that produces blood. Classic.

    Not sure I liked the openended-ness of the film. This is obviously going to spill over into the next one. No conclusion with Mathis, the ending with Mr White.

    So much to say and so little time.

    Its a bold move by Eon but I think it will pay dividends. I think they have may just get another 44 years out of this franchise.
  • A7ceA7ce Birmingham, EnglandPosts: 655MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    Saw an arfo showing 2day.

    I'm not as detailed in my posting as many are on here and I do not have that much familiartity with the literay Bond so apologies first off. The following are more a list of obervations rather than a comprehensive review.

    Firstly I thought I had read that there was no PTS or GunBarrell, or they were at the end of the movie , or similar.
    I believe we had a gritty PTS back story and the reason for the Gunbarrell was done well. Definitely a rewind on the DVD.

    Well i'm stunned, nothing has taken my breath away in recent times as this film, the action pieces and tender moments were balanced well.

    Elements of The James Bond theme were introduced gradually in the film with the crescendo in the main titles at the end. I quite enjoyed the main title sequence with the card figures ( similar to BBC's Hustle titles). wasn't to keen on the title track - just noisy.

    Opening embassy scene - great stunt work and pace.

    Don't know anything whatsoever about cards but I found the Casino scenes very interesting. Miami Scene was execellent. Pity Solange such a small role.
    JB and Chiffre torture scene done very well.
    Venice set piece - good stuff.
    Felix role a bit brief but a good intro.

    JB was shown in about 25 secs into the movie, would have preffred a delayed reveal like DN, DAF, GE

    DC, looking chiseled and rough but also Pout Master General through most of the film.

    M - wow was she ****ed off or what

    Would've preferred a closed ending rather than open.

    Stuning locations, scenery , photography. Due to all of DC's running around like the Terminator, he at times even seemed to look like Robert Patrick from T2 when he was observing.

    Some good lines and quips - from 3/4 of movie to end.

    Surely the defibrulator and his phone were gadgets, just not given to him by Q; although the 'bug planter in arm man' was from the service/department.
    Good to see old spy techniques in use, such as reflection in broken glass bottle

    What a lot of blood. I can't even recall blood in RM or PB' films but this was well brutal. Smashing heads against sinks, the lot.

    I recall I watched GE, TWINE, TND about 4 times in 10 days in the cinema. But I don't think I will watch this again in such a short time - I need to get my breath back. Probably in a month's time.

    All year waiting for this, posting on this - now what do we do, it's all over !!!
  • unclecliveuncleclive Posts: 1MI6 Agent
    Hi all just seen the Casino Royale this aft and I felt so moved by it I decided to join and post on this forum! This film has redefined the Bond franchise for me back to basics proper gritty spy stuff with lots of twists and turns. Out goes the silly computer generated effects that seem to have become the Hollywood normal these days!

    You have to put the typical Bond out your mind and remember this is his first mission he's learning and screws up a good few times but at the end you are left in no doubt that he’s Bond! That last scene with the typical Bond theme and him stood over Mr White just sent a tingle down my spine. Well done Daniel Craig and the rest of the crew this is one perfect ten of a film so good I’m off back to watch it again next week.
  • Thomas CrownThomas Crown Posts: 119MI6 Agent
    edited July 2008
    Casino Royale: Return of the Classic
    By Thomas Crown

    Before I see a new Bond film, I always contemplate about how I would envision the perfect Bond film. While the details we Bond fans love to squabble about: who should play Bond, the Bond girl, who should direct, etc, are important, for me the quintessential Bond film succeeds on three primary levels: a true sense of authenticity to Ian Flemings 007, a respect for the earliest Bond films that set the series standards, and new/surprising takes on what we have come to see as the “traditional” formula for a Bond film. Surely, it’s quite a challenge to remember that, for no matter how objective I see those standards, they are biased towards my own views of the series. Most of the pre-film buzz is filled with me reminding myself this film was not made with just me in mind, but a whole audience with varying expectations for 007. Nevertheless, this is the perspective from which I come from, and the perspective in which I evaluate the film.

    Now, on to the review.

    In a word, fantastic.

    Casino Royale, by succeeding on all the fronts I had mentioned above, re-defines the cinematic interpretation of 007. So often, Bond fans will pinpoint particular aspects of a 007 film that scream authenticity to Fleming, or prove the characteristics that made Bond so initially popular are still alive and well in some form. With this film, we don’t have to worry about pinpointing them; they are what define the film. In this sense, the film stands out from all others before it as it doesn't claim the traditional “Bond formula” as its roots, rather the transformation of the 007 character as seen in Ian Fleming’s original novel. Surely, there is enough about the film that makes it familiar, but this time, those familiar “Bond elements” are what we have to pinpoint, rather than a true closeness to Fleming source material. Here, that closeness is unrivaled in the series.

    True credit has to be given to both the producers and Martin Campbell for making this happen. 007’s initial journey has never been given true justice, and long time fans of the series should be pleased that it’s finally taken seriously (as that has been a dream of their’s for such a long time). Before I get into analyzing the film in depth however, I want to make a quick point about Pierce Brosnan. It seems many critics and fans have taken to revisionist history on his era of films, classifying them as mind-numbing, all-action-no-plot extravaganza’s that merely impeded this type of film from being made. First and foremost, this is the type of film Brosnan had advocated making since the beginning of his tenure. In many cases, his push for a deeper characterization of 007 that is evidenced in his films has helped make the Casino Royale we now watch possible. In no way is praise of this film an indictment of the Brosnan era. In my view, it’s a vindication of what Pierce Brosnan wanted to achieve all along and did so in his run as 007.

    Now, on to the 64,000 dollar question: how was Daniel Craig? Perhaps Fleming described him best: “ironical, brutal, and cold.” His face, quite truly a “taciturn mask” evokes danger, charm, and animal instinct. His parading around topless is a throwback to the earlier films and novels, where Bond was seen as physically competent enough to move around shirtless. “Competent” however, is not a strong enough word for Craig, who re-defines action intensity in the 007 films. Seeing him dangle from crane’s, jump on to tankers, finding the energy to sprint after running through jungle’s and construction sites, and employ more hand-to-hand combat on his foes than any other Bond before him instantly convinced me this guys bad side is not the place to be. The high amount of close ups in the action scenes let us inside 007’s mind, getting a feel for the tension that must be going through his brain. The best action scenes are really at the beginning of the film, which I believe help us later on understand the fatalism Bond will demonstrate about his own life. Oh, and I absolutely loved Bonds clever escape from the embassy: those that deride Bond for never thinking on his feet and always looking for the nearest gadget will find themselves eating their own words merely 15 or so minutes into the film. Amazing!

    As we move towards the second act, we get less physicality and a great understanding of why Craig is not only a great actor, but how he re-defines 007. He simply can’t be compared to the actors before him as, unlike all his predecessors, was not cast in the mold of Sean Connery, and doesn’t cite him as such. This is essential to re-defining the role in a prequel, and requires an actor willing to change some fundamental tenets of the part to make it work. And it works so well because Craig isn’t trying to put his own face to the role, rather give us what many fans have long waited for: a true adaptation of Fleming’s killer. Like I mentioned before, this is not a Bond film where you have to pinpoint the silver lining of Fleming moments, rather they are put at the forefront of the film. We see Craig’s 007 as one willing to take risks not only out of arrogance, but a genuine fatalism about his own life. He walks a tight rope of confidence (that, like Flemings hero, sometimes doesn’t serve well at all) and emotional attachment that, at the end of the film, lets him come to the same conclusion Flemings Bond came to: He would not go after those that spy, but rather the threats that made him spy. There is no advantage in being emotionally attached to those in a world of deceit, and this tragic outlook on life begins to form the smooth exterior evidenced at the end of the film when Craig confidently executes his name. A brilliant performance and probably the first 007 performance I would consider truly Oscar worthy. He has won me over as the quintessential interpreter of Flemings James Bond. And I add the pre-cursor of "Fleming's" James Bond as Connery is still the cinematic benchmark.

    The film itself greatly adds to Craig’s faithfulness to the novel by transforming the lush, exotic surroundings, and twist-layered plot into the 21st century while still having the feel of the 1950’s. Michael Wilson has always mentioned 007 takes place in the times in which the films are made, yet this is the first film since 1969 to feel timeless as it incorporates a retro look to its black and white opening scene, 60’s looking title sequence, and Fleming-era furniture and set pieces into M’s apartment, and Casino Royale itself. Martin Campbell really delivered this balance and hats off to him for doing so. The color, slow pacing, and action sequences, are representative of the intensity he showed off in GoldenEye. Surely, Casino Royale could pass for where Bond met Xenia, and the chase sequence with the bomb maker in the beginning showed off the speed of the wonderful 007/006 finale on top of the satellite dish. It’s great to have him back, and I really hope he stays.

    Purvis, Wade, and Paul Haggis are really a great combination. They have the advantage of a great book as their source material and use it very well. It was hard to focus on the film at times as I was attempting to keep a mental tally of all the scenes that were straight literary adaptations. Purvis and Wade proved with The World Is Not Enough and most of Die Another Day that they know how to bring Fleming source material into the modern era, and they do their most loyal job here, keeping/adding to the travelogue style locations, and keeping the plot relatively tight. I can see how the third act, beginning with Vesper and Bond wanting to travel the world together can seem to drag, and I toss that up to the anti-climatic feel of some of the Venice sequences.

    The action in the latter half really doesn’t add up to the intensity of the first act, and some better pacing of the action may have to be in order for Bond 22. Nevertheless, we are given plenty to go on with regard to an eventual sequel, and an entire network of terrorist organizations that could be developed because of this film and how it ends. I love the idea of Bond films actually being “sequel’s” of each other, something felt up to Thunderball, brought back a bit with the references to previous films in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service but only hinted at since. Again, we don’t have to look for the silver lining of a sequel in this film, its right in front of us.

    I deliberately refrained from speaking on Haggis because I wanted to talk about his great use of dialogue, a real let down in the majority of the Brosnan films, especially Die Another Day. Here the characters bantering with each other is actually funny rather than corny, and brings back a Maibum/Connery/Young quality of using humor to release tension and develop relationships. The best example of this was the torture sequence. If you thought Bond telling General Moon to “tell it to the concierge” was entertaining, you will be both laughing and shrieking during this torture sequence. I was very impressed and hope he continues to polish Bond scripts.

    The delivery of dialogue was also essential, and can be credited to what I believe was the series best ever cast. Like GoldenEye and many of the earlier films, stars were chosen by what they can bring to the story, rather than box office clout. The double billing of Halle Berry and Pierce Brosnan really got to me last time ‘round, and I was pleased to see Eva Green brings an “intellectual” match to Bond. Rather than proving her worth physically, she does so emotionally, and with her wits. The chemistry between her and Craig is fun, enjoyable, and even for those like myself have read the book, believable enough to think she may actually not betray him after all. I love the fact that the door is open for her to come back in Bond 22 in some form, and she should, perhaps in an audio message. A real opportunity was lost with Diamonds Are Forever to use Tracy’s death as a motivational factor in the story. With Craig at the helm, I don’t see that happening with Vesper, someone who, as Bond says, “you get one sip of, and it’s all you want to drink.”

    Madds Mikkleson and Judi Dench fill their roles admirably. Both give great characterizations and add something to their characters not seen in a long time. Le Chieffre mirrors what made Franz Sanchez so good: a Bond villain who is a mirror image of Bonds arrogance, but emotional detachment leads him to pursue the gods of money and power instead of Queen and Country. To know that’s really all that separates the two men makes their dialogue together quite frightening. You really believe for a moment Bond may just turn in the torture sequence, it’s quite suspenseful. Dench is also excellent, giving her M an edge not seen in the Brosnan years. She is still quite involved in the story, which I think the Brosnan films used to their advantage and Casino Royale does as well. She was also given some of the best lines.

    David Arnold’s score is also quite notable, evoking the emotion of scenes and saving the Bond theme for when it would be recognizable; when Craig’s 007 first truly evokes a suave exterior. His use of an aptly title song, “You Know My Name” proves to be a great way to connect the scenes, and the song itself works well with the film and the retro-looking title sequence. Though I do wish a few dancing girls were noticeable, and it seems a bit too simple given some of the treats we've been exposed to in recent years thanks to Danny Klieman.

    Ultimately, this is the Bond many fans have been waiting for all their lives. I know that’s quite a loaded pronouncement, and perhaps I should clarify its meaning. Like I started with, the cinematic Bond has always been relatively distinctive from its literary counterpart, and since Thunderball most Bond fans have accepted the cinematic formula to be far too accepted and praise to be tampered with. Of course there have been exceptions, like On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which have proven less successful and increased the timidness about a return to the authenticity of Ian Fleming’s 007 evidenced in the first four films. Yet the concerted effort beginning with Dalton, and what became popular with Brosnan, has been towards a return of the essential qualities of Ian Fleming’s 007.

    Casino Royale is without a doubt the climax of that return of the classic. While I'm not quite willing to crown it with "greatest ever" status yet as it's newness factor has yet to wear off completely, let’s hope now that the return is upon us and it lasts for a long, long time.

  • Walther 00Walther 00 Posts: 31MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    Just got back from the cinema. I will keep this brief because the other ones have been long!

    The good:

    Craig is Flemings Bond. Totally Believable. Sadistic, brutal and tough. He shoots people in the face at point blank range and shows no compasion or ethical dilemas over their deaths.

    I liked the PTS, and the music. Upbeat and different.

    Craig uses the P-99 with a silencer, alot.

    Vesper looks fantastic and Eva Green, which could well be a Bond girls name in itself, is a brilliant actor.

    Le Chiffre is again wonderfull and skillfully acted. The blood tear from the eye is a classic!

    Dame Judy Dench as M, very well done and gets a bigger role, which is well portraid. She looks genuinely pi**ed off at times.

    The poker game is well done, some say too long but there's alot of money to play for!

    Torture scene: Just brilliant and quite funny, if you've seen it you will understand.

    The bad:

    Product placement:

    I dont mind the phones or laptops, but the Ford Mondeo! Awfull, he should have got a taxi from the airport.

    Wanted to see more of the DBS.

    Bond has a kind of team at MI6 that help him out, this is simply wrong. He should have known what to do when poisoned. It feels strange that he has to ring up and ask about it. Bond should be on his own except for the other agents in the field.

    Mathis a traitor! Or perhaps not, who knows. annoyed me a bit because hes a really good guy in the book. He discovers Bond at Le Chiffres hideout and gets him to hospital.

    Its a bit questionable that some inflated bags can hold a building up. Maybe possible but I doubt it.

    The end line seems a little lame.


    Excellent. Flemings Bond makes it onto the big screen after 20 films. Literary fans will like the references and this isn't just a great Bond film... its a great film as well. Don't expect to see the typical Bond outing though, this is better than that.

    Barman "shaken or stirred sir?"
    Bond "Do I look like I give a damn!"

    Congratulations Craig, may he make many more, and boo's and hisses go out to all the Craig doubters. You should be ashamed to judge it before you have seen it.

    Also, anyone else spot Richard Branson at the airport, in the metal detector and Michael Wilson as the Chief of Police?

    Best Regards

  • casinoroyale_suxcasinoroyale_sux Posts: 1MI6 Agent
    sorry to tell u guys but this movie is such a bummer... action sequence was speechless... but over all its not a good 007 movie.. i would rate it as 001 well not only me... ppl. around me with me.. none liked it.. i hope daniel does somethin next time which can be speechless... cheers guys..
  • LoyalLoyal Posts: 5MI6 Agent
    I no i said i was'nt going to watch the movie, but i did anyway, after all how can i judge somthing i had'nt seen;)?
    Well its a great ACTION movie died abit round the card game, but defaintly not even a dent on a proper bond movie, too hollywood, not the correct type of bond, very like a Mission Impossable movie charater, so in the sence of a action movie rating 005/007
    in the sence of a Bond movie 001/007
    They've left the Bond reputation in tatters, wrong Bond, wrong style, its like Daniel Craig walked into the wrong movie set!
  • gedoo7gedoo7 Posts: 2MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    Congratulations Craig, may you make many more top job as bond love it :D :D
  • pickles003pickles003 Posts: 3MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    005 Rating
    Well guys after following bond all of my 23 years I thought I would give you my experienced view on the film.

    1. Daniel Craig as a Bond is superb the word that comes to mind is quite simply Different ! He has the anger and mean element. One critisim is perhaps something different could be done with his hair.

    2. The narrative, well as a bond fan I can see where the director and producers have tried to take this film. It brings back memories of OHMSS and FRWL, venice and falling in love. Also Dr No and thunderball in Nassau. But in the middle of the film when bond is rescued from torture the film seems lost. I had a feeling of is that it.

    3. "The action" I know there has been a real effort to take bond away from the set piece gadget action sequences but why ? Is it really needed ? I feel if the next bond film contains the same hard edged action sequences then audience will sooner get tiered of this than the previous tried and tested methods.

    4. "Bad Guys" This really is the weak point to the film I know the world has changed and terroism is the No1 risk factor and terrorists are not usually the goldfingers or strombergs of this world. But the lack of the main set piece battle. Plus low threat to the world doesnt seem substancial enough. The guy bond kills at the end loses his gravitas and I was felt with a real feeling of unfinished business at the end. A bad guy that last through a good number of films like blofelt is sadly missing.

    "the girls" - Although a natural beauty I wouldn't see vespa as the most beautiful bond girl. If anything le chifres lady seemed like she would have more to give in the bedroom department.

    Solve this quite simply buy dumping pervis and wade. If the producers wanted to have a new direction a new set of writers would have been an excellent way of doing this.

    All in all I feel the next film for craig will be the real test of his metal. But in comparison with other first bond films for actors -

    Dr No, On her majestys secret service, live and let die, the living daylights and goldeneye. I would place casino royale third place behind Goldeneye and OHMSS.

    All in all well done team but especially Daniel Craig ! One factor to think about if you are about to watch Casino royale is it reminded me of Licence to kill quite a lot I hope this isnt reflected in the box office figure as we need Bond to continue and I am sure James bond will return.
  • SiCoSiCo EnglandPosts: 1,371M
    edited November 2006
    Cutting in here, this is for reviews not arguments, cut it out and stick to the topic. Anyone is welcome to post a review. If we think some are obviously fake then yes we will remove them and follow it up.

    Please use the post report feature if you feel you wish to draw our attention to a particular post.

    In the mean time reviews only please.

    Various posts removed, we will look into your views, but like I say leave it out.
  • i expect u2 diei expect u2 die LondonPosts: 583MI6 Agent
    I've just got back, and I'm still on a high, but here goes.

    'Incredible' is the word. Who'd have thought that after DAD, Bond could return to such an all time high? No, not 'return', Bond has never reached these heights before.

    Daniel Craig is the most charismatic, likeable James Bond ever on screen. His presence was simply magnetic.

    The ending made me cry

    The PTS showed that Bond can be artistic, and it was wonderfully dark

    The torture sequence was painful to watch, but could have done without a few of the laughs.

    Craig was superb. Did I mention that?

  • Christmas TounesChristmas Tounes GloucestershirePosts: 164MI6 Agent
    This is a great new direction for Bond films, and whilst some scenes and moments in the film were simply outstanding, I have to say that overall the film lacked what I had expected, but like others my expecations were probably too high.

    I wanted to see a proper gunbarrel sequence a the start. The pre-titles was very good and attention-grabbing. 'You know my name' I thought was very good and did fit in very well with film, however the titles sequence was spoilt by cheap looking graphics which weren't appropriate for this film. Daniel Craig is a brilliant James bond, and I can't wait to see him in the next film, but some scenes are too non-bond, such as watching him chew up food. The relationship between Bond and Vesper is good, and Eva Green does the job very well, but at times scenes between them drag on. The action sequences are excellent, but the car chase was much too short and the ending sequence seemed rushed. M was excellent, but I missed Q and the gadgets. Felix Leiters role was too breif. Product placement was too obvious and cheesy, although the scene at the hotel was brilliant with Bond smashing the land rover. The torture scene was very good but a bit too much joking. The casino scenes were very good but did drag on at times.

    I didn't like the ending being left so open, and the ending line from Craig wasn't appropriate for the end, and where was the 'James Bond Will Return'.

    Theres a lot I have left out but, overall, a great new direction, great new Bond, very good film - excellent story, acting and action. A very good James Bond film, but too much lacking, I think it could have been better - 7.5/10.
    1. Goldeneye 2. OHMSS 3. Goldfinger 4. TND 5. Octopussy 6. FYEO
    7. LALD 8. TWINE 9. Skyfall 10. AVTAK 11. CR 12. TLD 13. YOLT
    14. TMWTGG 15. Moonraker 16. TSWLM 17. Thunderball 18. FRWL
    19. Dr. No 20. DAF 21. LTK 22. DAD 23. QoS 24. Spectre 25. NTTD
  • heartbroken_mr_draxheartbroken_mr_drax New Zealand Posts: 2,073MI6 Agent
    Empire's review, Four Stars!!!!!! {[]
    Beats DAD's two stars lol
    1. TWINE 2. FYEO 3. MR 4. TLD 5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS 7. DN 8. OP 9. AVTAK 10. TMWTGG 11. QoS 12. GE 13. CR 14. TB 15. FRWL 16. TND 17. LTK 18. GF 19. SF 20. LaLD 21. YOLT 22. NTTD 23. DAD 24. DAF. 25. SP

    "Better make that two."
  • Klaus HergescheimerKlaus Hergescheimer Posts: 332MI6 Agent
    Just got back from the midnight show. I'm not going to write a lot of detail right now, because I've got to get some sleep sometime tonight, but I will say that I found the film fantastic and Craig to be fantastic. The film has some pretty dark moments, but overall, it is entertaining in the fashion of the great Bond films, and it most certainly has humor. It has the familiar cinematic elements, but it's dressed in an unfamiliar way. Craig is interesting; he nails Fleming's Bond. In terms of the cinematic Bond, he has all the elements, but it's in an unfamiliar style. But right at the very end, when he meets up with Mr. White and takes his leg out, making him crawl to him; and he's dressed in the dark blue three-piece suit with the rifle (A G22?) and says the magic line, it's all familiar again, and he is, without a doubt, the cinematic Bond we have come to know. My advice is just to go in, no analytical mind about it with no expectations, and just watch and enjoy.

    The pre-title sequence is the best in the franchise, and the gunbarrel is terrific. But the title sequence is simply horrible; the animation is rediculous, and the mix of You Know My Name is awful. They should have kept the concept of the original title sequence, because this one just sucks.

    As for the length of the film... I asked myself where the 2 and a half hours went afterward. In fact, this may be one of the problems I have with the film: it zooms through, full speed ahead. Part of it is that it's so entertaining, you just take it all in, and part if it may be the fact that it opens with so much action, but it definitely is very much a fast-paced film.

    The relationship with Bond and Vesper is terrific. Eva Green is great as Vesper, and extremely beautiful. Gianni is great as Mathis. Mads' version of Le Chiffre, while not bearing a great deal of resemblance to the literary character, is still great. Wright pulls off a great Leiter. But as far as the acting is concerned, the show belongs to Craig and Dench.
  • Jermaine76Jermaine76 Posts: 40MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    I just got back from a midnight showing of the film here near Washington, D.C. I'll start off by saying that I enjoyed the film, but at the same time, I don't have that feeling that I just came back from watching a Bond film. I knew already that this was going to be an "un-traditional" Bond film, but still felt uncertain about some things.

    I felt that Craig did a pretty good job. The fight scenes were pretty good with grittiness. Its about time we have a Bond who is in shape. It took me awhile to get use to his dry humor. Others in the theater laughed, while I was too busy trying to analyze Craig's demeanor to see if he's Bond material. His acting was suspect at times, but he'll get better and better with each movie. I will say that he doesn't have that big presense on screen as the other Bonds.

    Jeffrey Wright was good as Felix Leiter. The audience laughed at his emotions and lines when he was losing against Le Chiffre. I liked it when he said, "the brother from Langley." when he stopped James Bond from going after Le Chiffre with a knife. I think the other actors/actresses were ok, but they lacked any depth. To me, Le Chiffre was a punk. I'm not use to Bond villians acting all scared and what not.

    Once more the producer, Michael G. Wilson makes a cameo in this film. This has to be the most screen time he's ever had in a Bond film.

    I know its a reboot and what not, but that new gun sequence leaves a bad taste in my mouth. First of all, its happens so damn fast that you can't really analyze the design of it. Second, the way it was set up. Bond drowns the guy in a bathroom sink and then the guy gets up and trys to shoot Bond only for Bond to bust a cap in him. And finally, the blood drips down the screen looked like Kool-Aid. I just didn't feel this sequence at all. I pray this was only a one time deal.

    The movie could have used more plot development. It seemed like they rushed through a few things. I haven't read the book in 16 years so now I'm skimming back to refresh my memory on it. I do remember that SMERSH was the organization behind Le Chiffre, but they don't mention them by name in the movie.

    I give is a 005.5 rating. I thought the torture scene should have been more evil. Craig started acting like a clown towards the end of it. In the chapter 'My Dear Boy' I don't remember Bond making fun of Le Chiffre while getting his nuts beat in. I'll probably go see it one more time and then wait until I get it on DVD or something. Now I'm looking forward to May 2nd, 2008 for the next film.
  • amdb590amdb590 Posts: 3MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    ok i'm a newby i know,just discovered forum but here goes...
    got back last end sat in cinema breathless watching credits...
    despite the doomsayers elesewhere i always new daniel craig was an excellent actor and a good choice...he proved it in spades...
    excellent stuff::D
    the free running sequence madagascar sequence,
    the aston dbs
    the line about the omega or rolex i have a seamaster so very pleased he kept it...still working on getting a rolex submariner (a la live & let die)
    the vodka martini lines...
    the aston db5 won in game
    the fight sequences
    daniel craig
    lake como where the convalescence and ending was shot....(i'm there on sunday so also delighted spotting that and i'll order a vodka martini in tribute when i'm in the bar!!{[]
    daniel craig and THAT LINE quite rightly kept to the very end..

    not so good:#
    the title sequence looks gorgeous,very clever and pop arty but where was the girl? to have lost that is a lttle pc step too far
    all the ford product placement
    all the sony ericsson placement and use of mobiles though it was clever and not too far fetched so i'm slightly split on this
    seeing the same black bentley flying spur in "prague" repeatedly
    very brief denoument of la chiffre...he should have suffered a more agonising end with bond looking over him(perhaps testes revenge somehow?
    the line about scratching his balls? somehow jarred, they managed to keep real profanity out which is good but that line seemed to be a bit crass and unecessary

    poker was little bit dragged out perhaps....and having a character called fukutu seems crass and unbondlike too..what were eon thinking??:)
    how did no one else hear the guerrilla's gunshot at the door in the hotel and why did le chiffre have so little henchmen?
    the aston crash- too brief..should have had proper car chase + my own fault being too excited kept catching "making of's" and saw how made...well i've driven that piece at millbrook they used to do the stunt so it spoilt it rather for me personally,2008 i won't watch till afterwards...
    i also am reluctant with content to take my 11 yr old to see it which is a shame for new youth audiences though for quality of film and character it is the right way to go.

    otherwise....fantastic..loved it,think it is near enough exactly what they needed to do... and that ending set us up for 2008 for craig to to really grow into a great bond....i'm serious..
    connery/craig/ could be in that order for me...{[]
  • Klaus HergescheimerKlaus Hergescheimer Posts: 332MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    benskelly wrote:

    I can't believe people are talking "Best Bond Ever" and all that. They must be really caught up in the moment. Make no mistake, he is as much using his own personality as Brosnan did. All this talk is just ridiculous IMO. Way over the top and exaggerated. That bad press was probably the best thing that ever happened to him because now everyone's gone too far the other direction.

    Maybe people are talking like that because they really feel that way, not because of the expectations set up by bad press.

    For me? He very well could be, in my eyes. I'm going to give him more movies. I thought he nailed the spirit of the Literary Bond in demeanor, he nailed the range of feelings and reactions, and he did a great job with the humor he was given. (In fact, he may have nailed the humor better than anything in the movie)

    The thing I find with him in cinematic terms is that he does the same entertaining elements that Connery, Moore, and Brosnan brought, but he does it in a variation of style that we're not quite used to. He does it in a sort of unabridged arrogance that I don't think any previous Bond has had. Also, to me at least, he is given a lot of opportunity to show characteristics of an actual real world spy (the thinking on the fly, the technical savvy, the physicality, etc.), with probably Connery being the only one given as much material along these lines. I would say that Craig did just as good of a job with this stuff as Connery did, although the stuff he is given is different. (Granted, since the world has changed a lot in 4 decades)

    Would you agree with me on the horrifying title sequence and mix of YKMN? Goodness gracious, I almost wanted to vomit when I saw that.
  • xtraterrestrialxtraterrestrial Posts: 1MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    Went to see Casino Royale last night, totally blown away!

    The action was incredible, fantastic acting, excellent musicical score, DC is an amazing Bond, every location looked stunning, the audience at the cinema were clapping at the end!

    I fell a bit stupid asking but I'm not quite sure i totally got the plot at the end, am I right in thinking...

    Vesper was a baddy all along, working for the unnamed organisation that Le Chiffre, the eye patch guy & the man at the end were all also working for, or was she only working for them as her boyfriend had been kidnapped (something M said) & if so at what stage did she start working for them?
  • C_WalkenC_Walken Posts: 125MI6 Agent
    I will keep this very brief. It was a good movie - but I only have three REAL qualms...

    1. Craig did a good job as 007, but he was missing a true suave air about him. Granted they may have been going for that, yet it takes away from some of the character we know as 007.

    2. The whole continuity thing was a real bummer. I'm a big fan of it - and this series is confusing enough at times, with many random looose connections, but having Judi Dench as M, how he wins the Aston Martin, etc. It leaves me with a sour taste.

    3. Lastly, to me, it seems like the romance between Bond and Vesper was a bit forced and sudden. Maybe that's just my view - but their "love" sort of just happens without a real cataylist, etc... or anything that would make him love her besides her being beautiful.

    other than that - everything else was stellar. It was a very good movie, with some great lines and scenes. 006/007
  • Klaus HergescheimerKlaus Hergescheimer Posts: 332MI6 Agent
    Great review, Thomas Crown.
  • Golrush007Golrush007 South AfricaPosts: 3,421Quartermasters
    edited November 2006
    Well, I've just seen Casino Royale and am certainly impressed. The fact that an Ian Fleming story has been transferred relatively intact onto the screen makes a lovely change. The film managed to surprise me, even though I already knew the plot from the novel and had seen lots of the footage that has been floating around on the net. I also thought that the film was well paced. It had a long running time, but it went along at quite a pace that it didn't feel long at all.

    The opening really pulled me in. Seeing Bond kill his first two people in cold blood was something I have imagined for a long time. In fact I was even thinking of writing this as a fan fiction at one point. I was a little disappointed by the gunbarrel sequence though. I knew that it was going to come at the end of the PTS and I quite like the concept, but the actual gunbarrel imagery didn't look very good to me. There just seemed to be too many spirals in the gunbarrel, but worst of all, the blood looked really bad. The normal blood animation that was used in Kleinmann's previous gunbarrels would have been far better.

    On to Kleinmann's title sequence - well, I thought it was very good. I think it did everything a good James Bond title sequence should do, while having a very retro feel. The title song was so-so in my opinion.

    The Madagascar chase scene was awesome. Sebastian Foucan's freerunning stunts were breathtaking on the big screen, as was the stuff on the cranes. Even though I had already seen much of this stuff on the various 'making of' documentaries, the scene still had impact.

    I think good acting really came to the fore in Casino Royale, not just with Daniel Craig, but, even more so with Judi Dench. She was fantastic, by far her best performance as M. Her dialogue was excellent and her delivery of her lines spot on. I was surprised that she actually drew the most laughs from the audience.

    While I'm talking actors, the cast on the whole was rather good. Eva Green was top notch as Vesper, as was Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre. I was very happy to finally see Mathis realised on screen, and I enjoyed Giancarlo Gianinni's performance. The only member of the cast who I felt a little let down by was Jeffrey Wright's Felix Leiter. Probably my least favourite Leiter performance, although Norman Burton wasn't great either in DAF.

    The card game worked quite well I think, although I didn't really like the way it was broken up so. But the game had all the atmosphere and tension as the Baccarat game in the original novel, the only trouble though is I don't know poker very well, and had difficulty working out what was a good hand and what wasn't. The only scene in the film which didn't really ring true with me was the scene were Bond's drink is spiked and he uses the defibrilator in the DBS. The reason it didn't convince me was this: What the hell was a defibrilator doing in the Aston Martin. It just seemed a little too conveniant and I can't imagine that that sort of contingency would have been considered when equipping the car.

    The torture scene was well realized, although Bond's defiant humour caught me a little off guard. And also, if I didn't know the story already I might have had difficulty following what was going on after Le Chiffre's 'blink and you'll miss it' death.

    The relationship between Vesper and Bond was well handled by Martin Campbell, and the scenes between the two of them after the torture didn't drag as much as I expected them to.

    Now, the score - I listened to the soundtrack before watching the film, so knew what to expect, and I thought it was good, except that the action music sounded too much like generic action music and lacked that Bondian touch. Still, I understand the reason for David Arnold's very limited use of the James Bond theme until right at the end. Good to hear the James Bond theme at the end though! Hopefully the score for Bond 22 will go back to the more typical Bondian sound.

    Finally, the leading man - Daniel Craig. I was impressed by his performance in all aspects. He actually had more witty dialogue than I had expected and his delivery was very good. He is certainly a classy actor, and has plenty of potential as Bond. It is very difficult to compare him to previous Bonds, so I won't try to. He is very different, but his performance was very convincing. Long may he continue to play Bond!

    So - Ian Fleming's James Bond has returned, and I think this film deserves to do very well. My congratulations to Martin Campbell, as well as Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. I think that if Cubby Broccoli and Ian Fleming were still with us they would both be very proud. The series has been revitalized and I can see it continuing to be succesful for the foreseeable future - something I wasn't so sure about a year ago. I think I can rest assured that our James is in good hands. Kudos to all involved.
  • highhopeshighhopes Posts: 1,358MI6 Agent
    Casino Royale is a 0010

    There are Bond films and there are Bond films.

    "Casino Royale" is a Bond film.

    I know, I know -- so it's not nearly long enough. What's the matter, Eon? Never heard of an intermission? Trying to save a few lousy bucks on the budget? But the truth is even if the movie had begun with Bond on the train to Montenegro, I still would have loved it.

    But that's all for now. I'll do my complete review later. Right now, I've gotta get to the gym and work that torso. I figure since Craig's detractors say he looks 50, and I actually AM 50, I got a shot of looking that good. :D
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,997Quartermasters
    edited November 2006
    "Daniel Craig is the second coming!!!"*

    ...Sorry. Couldn't resist :v Of all the many quotes mis-attributed to the long-suffering Give Craig A Chance community, this has always been my favourite---and, as near as I can tell, it's never actually been said by one of us...until now. Glad I could be the first B-)

    Just got back from the cinema---saw it with my two sons and a life-long friend (after downing the requisite vodka martini in a long-standing pre-movie ritual)...

    All right. I'll leave the obviously tongue-in-cheek hyperbole aside (see above*), and start at the beginning: My expectations. As many here already know, I went into this screening with my hopes at a dangerously high level, having absorbed virtually every spoiler and CR-related tidbit my slow-ass, dial-up internet connection could retrieve: I read the script (thanks, You Know Who! ;) ), saw every clip, read every article, listened to the music, etc., etc., etc. I daresay I've never had more exposure to any film prior to its actual release.

    Did Casino Royale and its star, one Daniel Craig---a.k.a. The Reviled Mr. Craig, Poor Danny, The New Guy, et al.---survive my expectations?

    Well...yes, actually.

    I'm going to see it once or twice more this weekend, in order to better solidify my impression, but IMRO the franchise is in excellent health at this point. Whomever first noted the metaphor of Bond (the character, and the franchise) getting a much-needed defibrillator-shock deserves great credit. Many (if not most) of those who thought the franchise was doing just fine as it was, thank you, will likely not enjoy this picture. Similarly, I predict that those who could not stand the thought of Craig as Bond, over the course of the past year, will not be swayed by what I consider to be a tour de force performance as 007. That's too bad, and I sympathize. No Bond pleases everyone. The good news for those who prefer the same old, same old is that they have 20 films to watch over and over and over again. For my own part, I can't wait to see where the franchise is going next.

    I was riveted by Craig, whom I think has turned in the best performance of his career. His scene with Solange and the classic Aston Martin DB5 proves he can indeed be the charming rogue.

    His physicality in the role is hugely impressive, though sadly we don't see as much of it as I would have preferred, due to Martin Campbell's (and Stuart Baird's) editing choices; thank God Terence Young didn't shoot the Red Grant/Orient Express fight the way Campbell shot the stairwell battle in CR. Not that it didn't work---it did, but I would have preferred to linger a bit more on the struggle between the antagonists without the constant cutting.

    I love Eva Green---she's a bit eccentric, true, and one of her front teeth is endearingly crooked compared to the other---but she brings an earthy Continental beauty to the part (which sadly is often obscured by excessive makeup)...and the baleful look she gives Bond, underwater, through the cage bars of the lift is utterly haunting.

    Mikkelson's Le Chiffre is a far cry from what I had envisioned/hoped for, but I must say he was very good. Dench turns in her best-ever performance as M, Giancarlo Giannini was an excellent Mathis.

    Mind you, CR is far from perfect. The film shares the book's main structural flaw---the romantic 'coda'---but I can't say I minded at all, and the running time wasn't a problem for me. Some excellent dialogue from the script seems a bit rushed, poorly-timed or otherwise glossed over. Other bits are missing completely: I particularly bemoan the absence of a line of Bond's from Act 3, when he interrupts the exchange between Vesper and the villains. In the script, Bond says, "Hello, dear. Who are your friends?" Too bad this was excised, IMRO.

    I remain convinced that CR is the right strategic move for Eon at this time, and bodes well for the immediate future. Craig owns the part; he's my second favourite Bond, after the Scotsman, and the movie will likely crack my Top Five Bond films of all time.

    I will say this, to all James Bond fans who have never given Ian Fleming's James Bond thrillers a look: Meet James Bond :007)

    My rating: 006.75 ;)
    Check out my Amazon author page! Mark Loeffelholz
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
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