By Joshua Manly
Action packed. Fast-paced. Emotional. Human. Bond, James
The newest installment in the Bond saga brings a mixture of old
school Bond films, that focused as much on the exotic settings and
fashion as the silenced guns and sniper rifles, and the new mind
set of faster cars and higher tech. The movie feels much like a
recipe for Bond’s favorite drink; two parts smooth, one part
killer, shaken sometimes but never stirred.
The film centers around Bond’s first mission, according to
series author Ian Fleming, to stop an international terrorist
financing group from regaining control of the world markets. To
stop the terrorist sympathizer, Bond must beat them at their own
game, in this case high stakes Texas Hold ’em.
Daniel Craig answers the question “Blonde Bond?” with authority
looking death in the face with his sterile blue eyes while
completing close up kills and come on’s with the same bluntness the
entire film carries throughout.
Martin Campbell, who also helmed the second best Bond movie of
our generation in Goldeneye as well as the fantastic Antonio
Banderas romp “The Mask of Zorro,” worked with several writers
throughout the filming of Casino Royale. Writers left their mark on
the film, most notably Paul Haggis who seems incapable of making a
bad movie as a penance for unleashing Walker, Texas Ranger upon the
national unconscious. The gritty close-up deaths of several
villains’ reigns in what could have been another extravagant X-Box
event in the guise of a movie.
Eva Green also turned in a noteworthy performance as the
smartest Bond girl ever, Vesper Lynd. A winking script codenamed
Green’s character Veronica Broadchest a play off previous
nonsensical monikers such as Pussy Galore and Xenia Onatopp. Though
Campbell was caught leaving the lens on the leading lady a few
seconds too long in some scenes, Green was able to hold her own
against a charismatic Craig.
As in all Bond films, a super villain is needed, and what better
than a villain with an eye that literally weeps blood as the result
of a cataract. Le Chiffre, played by the Danish version of Clive
Owen, Mads Mikkelsen, is a super villain to be put in the pantheon
of famous Bond nemeses. Though there is no blade hat or iron jaw,
Le Chiffre tortures Bond in a way that makes every man in the
audience wish that theaters had scene skip.
The only flaw throughout the movie was trying to put the expense
account on the screen instead of into the star’s trailers. Phil
Meheux, the film’s cinematographer, obviously wanted to showcase
the beauty of shooting on location with pan shots aplenty and a
montage of Bond love that seemed to last longer than the rest of
the movie combined.
Though the film has a seemingly exhaustive running time of 144
minutes, which would drain any of the previous Brosnan Bond’s charm
within the first hour, Casino Royale holds the viewer by the heart
and the eyes throughout the majority.
Film has seen some of the greatest heroes of all time
re-imagined on the silver screen in the recent years, one of those
web slinging incarnations almost steals the show before it starts
with a slam bang trailer, and Bond as always can not be left
Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery. He embodied the role
with his debonair attitude and slick use of men’s fashion
Any viewer will see after the opening extreme stunt sequence of
Casino Royale that the only way to watch the movie is all in.
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