31/01/2007

CASINO ROYALE (quick redux review)

As it about to appear on DVD (well sort of) the eview is a quick redux after the premiere I visited.









It takes a lot to shake and stir a true die hard Bond fan. Die Another Day came very close to ending it all with a very bad CGI and an invisible car. The film itself was an in reference to the whole of the series, and the excellent first forty minutes soon became low key and rather overrated for its 400 odd million turnover. How do you move on and improve on a great franchise perhaps soiled forever?
Casino Royale is set in the present day, we have to forget the previous films, as Bond has only just promoted in this reboot that takes 007 back to his beginnings. We now assume Dame Judi’s M never met Bond in Goldeneye, and his previous outings never actually happened. Well they did of course but now we enter a new universe where Bond has just been promoted, and all previous incarnations have had a line drawn under them. We now move on afresh!
The film is superb in every way, forgetting the cannon of films it sits in, it is a great action thriller, (some plot wholes apparent, but we can’t have the perfect film) It clocks in at around 140 minutes or more, so it’s a very long, but certainly worthwhile escapade. Daniel Craig brings to the role a lot of skills that no other actor has brought (or I would guess in Brosnan’s case allowed to bring. )
Layer cake was a pre-cursor to Bond in many ways for Craig, if you watch it you will certainly see why, and even my own trepidation at Craig’s casting was totally wasted; this film reveals that no other actor would have fitted the role quite as well as Craig.
The nasty streak that has been missing since Connery left is back with some aplomb previously not possible, but thanks to a violence soaked cinema the film can finally match the “grizzly ness” of the books, and is better for it. Fleming would be proud.



Martin Campbell, in his second Bond directing job, after having escorted Brosnan, now does the same with Craig. This time he is allowed to rerun his skills with even more gusto. No Bond film (dare I say film in general from the young adult 12a action genre) has had an opening sequence anywhere near as good as this free running extravaganza .



The pre-credit sequence not only sets up Bond’s expertise in observation, but how his pride, lack of experience, and bravado, can be a hindrance as well as a benefit.The film takes the conventions of the franchise, and turns them upside down without alienating the core fans and audience who know what makes a good Bond film. The film is a warped version of Bond, heavily influenced (thankfully) by the likes of 24 and The Bourne Supremacy.



Every film can globe trot, and have good looking women, so now we are forced to up the game and Casino Royale soes that with much skill.


Now the two disc edition is well cheap



3 comments:

  1. Martin16:23

    I actually went to see this Bond twice, and very much enjoyed it also the second time around. I love how the new Bond is an actual human being with weaknesses (and some great one-liners.)

    Interesting that you were thrown off by Judy Dench meeting this particular Bond.
    I understood it that the old Bond had probably been killed, and now a new 007 replaces him. As he says himself "00 agents have a short life expectancy".

    My favourite Bond.

    ReplyDelete
  2. newman11:44

    I see your point but it's definably a re-boot, same Bond, different actor, new Bond time continuum-um etc etc. Dench as well, does better hear than previously, so much to play with character wise than allowed in other outings. Cos’ I natters for no good reason would have liked to have a new M just to make the separation/new direction clearer somewhat, although she works within context. The only other improvement I would have had, is a really well known character actor getting killed in the pre-credits, just to establish his 00 status etc. Someone like Mckellan as the Prague contact, or even Bryan Cox would have been great!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Martin11:51

    I actually went to see this Bond twice, and very much enjoyed it also the second time around. I love how the new Bond is an actual human being with weaknesses (and some great one-liners.)

    Interesting that you were thrown off by Judy Dench meeting this particular Bond.
    I understood it that the old Bond had probably been killed, and now a new 007 replaces him. As he says himself "00 agents have a short life expectancy".

    My favourite Bond.

    ReplyDelete

Thoughts?

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