175 of 200 people found the following review helpful
Back with a vengeance,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was beginning to wonder if James Bond was dead, but along comes Daniel Craig to breathe new life into the role, giving us a lean, mean 007 that blows previous Bonds away. Martin Campbell went back to the basics, retooling Bond and giving him a much more physical presence, reminiscent of Sean Connery. From the opening sequence we see we are in for a real treat, as Campbell takes nothing for granted. He knows he has to earn the audience's respect, and he does with a thrilling chase scene in the chaotic urban center of an African republic.
Bond really comes across as a rogue agent in Casino Royale, stealing his way into M's apartment to leave her coded messages, taking risks that threaten painstaking operations and getting himself into jams that require MI6 to bail him out. This is a young impetuous Bond, overanxious and thrilling to watch as Craig fills his role with the energy of a stage actor.
There is also one of the best villains in recent years with Mads Mikkelsen as the cold blooded Le Chiffre. He heads an international cartel not so much bent on world destruction as on taking advantage of the chaos in which we live. He is a much more believable villain than Spectre and relies on much simpler methods of getting his piece of flesh from someone.
It is also refreshing to see Bond have a real love interest in Eva Green, not the usual banter that rings hollow. Bond is not afraid to expose himself in this movie, revealing a much more vulnerable figure than we have seen before.
MI6 also finds itself as a much more porous organization, capable of being infiltrated so that Bond doesn't know who to trust in key moments. All he has is the support of M, played to deadpan perfection by Judi Dench.
Everything about this movie is fresh and clean, including the opening credits. Bond hasn't looked this good since the early films in the series with Sean Connery. There is even an amusing scene where Bond wins a 1964 Aston Martin in a poker game, a tip of the hat to Goldfinger.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 12, 2009 2:39:31 PM PDT
S. Thomas says:
Brilliant review--echos my own thoughts about the film exactly but says it better than I would have.
Posted on Oct 14, 2009 9:30:24 PM PDT
G. Burns says:
Amen! Great review. Craig rules!
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 2:34:16 AM PST
James Ferguson says:
Thanks for the compliments, but of course the movie speaks for itself.
Posted on May 29, 2010 2:40:06 PM PDT
The Purple Heart says:
I agree with most parts of the review.
What I vehemently disagree with is the perspective on connery. Connery was the start of too many 'star types' to be a 007. Even worse with connery, from the very first, he came across as an aging lech with a small drinking problem.
Posted on Jun 28, 2011 6:40:56 AM PDT
Finally, political correctness caught up with James Bond, something which was always sure to spell disaster for the whole Bond concept. Bond's long history of womanizing (although the 'manizing' of the many Bond girls is deemed acceptable in the hypocrisy of political correctness, Hollywood-style) was finally punished in this film, with amongst other things, a flogging on the genitals, to the delight of many it seems. Previous Bonds had broken every rule in the book of today's gender rules for films, especially the rule that a woman must always get the comeuppance over a man. If a man uses a woman, he must somehow be punished at the end of the film. If a woman uses a man, there must be a good reason for her doing it, and it's probably because he's a bastard. Bond broke this golden rule for nearly 4 decades, and now poor old Daniel Craig (who plays his role as well as could be done considering the script he had to accept) is paying for this with genital floggings and other humiliations no other Bond would have dreamed of accepting. This is NOT Bond. It's just the typical, routine modern action film, politically-corrected to match today's bogus gender ideology, and can only really be enjoyed by certain kinds of women and emasculated men, the type who've unconsciously accepted psychological castration. This would be perfectly OK if we also saw films of Charlie's Angels, for example, getting floggings on their genitals, as then men would know that Hollywood does promote real gender equality. But the fact that that is extremely unlikely to happen demonstrates just how ruinous bogus ideologies can be to film production, the creation of art in general, as well as relations of true equality between the genders.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2011 1:53:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2011 1:59:17 PM PDT
Matthew B. Brunson says:
"and now poor old Daniel Craig (who plays his role as well as could be done considering the script he had to accept) is paying for this with genital floggings and other humiliations no other Bond would have dreamed of accepting. This is NOT Bond. It's just the typical, routine modern action film, politically-corrected to match today's bogus gender ideology"
Uhmmm.... I'm sorry, but, do you know ANYTHING about James Bond? Aything at ALL? The genital flogging and pretty much everything about Vesper's relationship with Bond as depicted in this film ARE TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE FLEMING NOVEL OF **1953**... FIFTY-EIGHT YEARS AGO!!! These two aspects of the very first Bond novel being adhered to almost to the letter, is what made this film so intriguing as well as endearing to longtime fans of the franchise... the two aspects that old-school followers discussed and anticipated online for many a month leading up to the film's release! Furthermore, Bond's falling so hard for Vesper and her ultimate betrayal of him is part of what molded Bond into becoming so cold in his future treatings of women with such irreverence, as was illustrated equally well in Fleming's novel and Craig's portrayal alike. Michael, I'm not flat-out CALLING you a moron, but I'll confidently say that you sure as heck come across as one here!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2011 4:41:47 AM PDT
James Ferguson says:
I don't know, Michael. For me, it was a refreshing change to have a strong female character in Eva Green, and Bond having a stronger emotional stake. This is hardly unprecedented. Bond had a strong love interest in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Lazenby).
The movie was anything but routine. As I said in the review, it was one of the more visceral Bonds in decades. I think Campbell chose to craft the action more along the lines of The Bourne Identity, which was one of the best action films in years. So good to finally get away from insufferable Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore before that. Craig is a very refreshing change, and I think Mikkelsen was perfect as Le Chiffre.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2011 12:31:29 PM PDT
Posted on Dec 9, 2012 3:54:13 PM PST
Robert L. Cochran says:
Ian Fleming's book does indeed have the torture scene, and this movie follows the book in that respect. I notice that relatively few who write reviews of the movie have also read the original Bond books. It helps a lot in understanding the movies to also read Fleming's books first. The creators of the movies certainly did.