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Casino Royale

Permanent Link by bootlegga on Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:16 pm

I saw the Edmonton premiere of Casino Royale tonight and here’s my thoughts on it. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. Hollywood has a tendency of late to make gritty movies to revive franchises (Batman Begins for example), but I can’t see it succeeding with this one.

Most of the reviews I’ve read talk about how gritty and realistic it is. I’ll agree that it is gritty and even a bit dark, but it gets this way by ripping off plenty of other movies. The opening foot chase reminded me of Jackie Chan, not James Bond. Gone are all the cool gadgets, the car with missiles, and the megalomaniac hiding in a secret base with plans of world domination. To top it off, Bond doesn’t even ‘get’ the girl(s) in this installment. Honestly, if it wasn’t for his accent, I might have thought I was watching Matt Damon in “The Bourne Supremacy”. Not that that movie wasn’t good, but it’s not ‘Bond’.

My other complaint was that there was far too much poker played in the game. At times, it felt like I was watching a tournament on TV, not a Bond movie. In other movies the gambling is a backdrop and lasts for a minute or two. In this film it is the focus of most of the 2nd act of the movie. The third act drags and unlike other Bond films is generally anti-climactic (it might spoil it if I told you why)..

On the positive side, Daniel Craig pulls off the role with his smooth acting and nonchalant ways. He was great in Layer Cake (great British gangster movie BTW) and he shows the world he can act with this film.

Essentially, as far as I’m concerned, this was a ‘Bond’ movie without James Bond. If you’re interested in an ‘anti-Bond’ movie, then go see this, otherwise, wait for it on DVD.
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