Casino Royale

Movie review from The Movie Snob

Casino Royale (B). Movie Man Mike has already reviewed this rebooting of the Bond franchise, so I’ll be brief. I liked Daniel Craig (The Golden Compass) as the new James Bond, and I liked the idea of going back to the very beginning, making Bond a newly minted double-0 agent who is still a little rough around the edges. Top spy M (Judi Dench, Philomena) refers to Bond as a “blunt instrument,” and he certainly is. The character development was unusually good for a Bond film, helping to show how Bond would become the character everyone knows. On the down side are many of the things that are always wrong with Bond films. It was too long. Although the technical gizmos are played down, there are still some pretty ridiculous action sequences. (How many times did 007 successfully run through a veritable blizzard of automatic rifle fire?) And much of the time I was hazy about who was doing what to whom and why, although some of the loose ends are decently tied up at the end. All totaled, I give this movie a 007 out of 10.

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Casino Royale

New review from Movie Man Mike

Casino Royale. (A-). For those who were growing tired of the Bond series, take heart. The series has been given a jump-start, thanks to the new-improved Bond star, Daniel Craig (Cowboys & Aliens). Craig was considered by many to be a controversial pick because he is blonde (albeit dishwater blonde), and has a slightly rougher look about him. Believe me, though, he carries it off well. I did not see the original film starring Peter Sellers and David Niven, so I can’t compare, but the film compares very favorably to most any other Bond film. And, with one or two forgivable exceptions, the dialogue avoids those horribly distracting puns that have become such a mainstay of the series in recent years. To be sure, the film has good chase scenes, hot Bond girls, and a very toned Bond (Craig is not a bit shy about showing off his physique). The film takes place at the beginning of Bond’s career, but it is set in modern time. The plot keeps a good pace so that your interest never drops off. I wholeheartedly recommend this film and I am already looking forward to the next Bond film which is in preproduction and is due for a 2008 release. Since Daniel Craig is a mere 38 years old, I figure we can get several more good years out of him in this franchise.