Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Movie Review: Casino Royale

Casino Royale is precisely what a James Bond movie should be. After so many decades of glossy Bond adventures, this one takes us back to the beginning and attempts to portray Bond by remaining faithful to Ian Fleming's original book. In Casino Royale, we see how Bond (brilliantly played by Daniel Craig) becomes a 007 - licensed to kill - and it is a very fast-paced, hard-edged, gritty action thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. The central plot concerns Bond up against a criminal at the poker table in a casino in Montenegro where a battle of wits ensues. But surrounding that are fast-pasted sub-plots with some of the best action I have seen in a movie for a long time. There are a number of ways that Casino Royale differs from previous Bond films. James has a depth of character unlike his predecessors - we see internal emotional conflict as he grapples with what he is required to do. He is actually human! Where previous Bond films have relied on all sorts of outlandish gadgetry to get James out of trouble, Casino Royale uses a minimal amount of technology (most of it, I would say, quite possible today) and more on cunning. Previous Bond films have been saturated with beautiful women who are treated like sex objects by Bond. There are beautiful women in this film, but the most significant woman, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) is intelligent as well as beautiful and provides an actual love interest - Bond meets his match here! Casino Royale, directed by Martin Campbell, is a fantastic, fresh piece of entertainment with a good plot, witty dialogue, intense emotion, and incredibly physical action. A great holiday movie. I loved it! It is the best Bond movie ever!! My Rating: **** (out of 5) Postive Review 'Relaunches the series by doing something I wouldn't have thought possible: It turns Bond into a human being again -- a gruffly charming yet volatile chap who may be the swank king stud of the Western world, but who still has room for rage, fear, vulnerability, love.' - Owen Gleiberman/Entertainment Weekly Negative Review 'This is a Bond with great body but no soul.' - Richard Corliss/Time Content Warning Intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity AUS: M USA: PG-13

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