Film Watch – 132. Casino Royale

Fast Facts

Title: Casino Royale
Director: Martin Campbell
Year: 2006
Run time: 2hrs 24

Background Info

There’s a part of me that would really like to go back and watch all the James Bond films in the right order, but that would take quite a long time. Instead, I felt it was only right to catch up with the latest iteration, Daniel Craig, from his first outing as Mr Bond.

Live Blog

0:44 – Black and white James Bond, just like the olden days.
2:03 – Interesting that it takes two kills to be a double oh. That seems more hitman than intelligence agent.
4:40 – Yay for Bond credits!
6:32 – I should read the books. Jeffrey Deaver’s done the newest one too. I like him.
8:23 – Wait, is that a bad guy with asthma?
12:16 – This bit is just like that Mirror’s Edge game.
12:31 – They may have ruined all their building works.
14:05 – I’m glad James Bond has not got any less silly.
15:40 – He has free running skills.
17:15 – I love a warning alarm that goes awoogah!
21:53 – Yay Judi!
25:00 – You have to wonder whether breaking into your boss’s house is a good way to start your career.
31:14 – There’s a man in M’s bed!
38:13 – “Why can’t good guys be more like you?” “Because then they’d be bad.” Corny but I like it.
47:10 – That is quite a big plane. You could definitely fit a giant penguin in there.
51:19 – This is like a mammoth cross between Speed and Die Hard II. Love it!
53:48 – The shares man is on Casualty, so it’s kinda hard to take him seriously.
54:38 – Is that guy the Miss Moneypenny before Miss Moneypenny existed?
1:01:11 – What kind of accent is she going for there?
1:08:27 – She’s quite annoying.
1:11:05 – Ohh, poker. I wish I’d paid more attention to Victoria Coren’s book.
1:11:50 – What’s the betting it’s just them two left at the end?
1:21:50 – An hour’s break isn’t very long to kill people, hide them and get cleaned up.
1:24:48 – He’s in the shower in his shoes! That’s not allowed.
1:30:53 – I believe him.
1:33:07 – I know what Langley is now I’ve seen Bourne.
1:36:06 – A personal defibrillator? How awesome is that!
1:42:51 – A million is a pretty decent tip, I’d say.
1:46:57 – Ooh, he wrote off his Aston Martin for her.
1:59:11 – Unnecessary flirting.
2:01:44 – Isn’t this his first job? He wants to quit already? Where would Bond be if he quit for every pretty woman.
2:05:28 – If she sees him back there in half an hour, I’ll eat my hat.
2:10:40 – Mr C: “Another building site. He couldn’t possibly do any more damage than the last one.” Except for sinking the entire building, of course.
2:12:07 – That’s some pretty great CGI.
2:16:22 –  I can’t believe he cares so much. She totally shafted him.

Conclusions

Started out great, building up the character as the off-hand, rogue and independent Bond, with the great naivety of a new double oh. The airport stuff was brilliant. Then it all went a bit wrong.

The pacing of this film was just bizarre. Ages spent in a poker game that was boring, we knew he would win. Ages spent convincing us they were in love, when it’s James Bond. We know he likes a pretty face. Some bits of brilliance, the Venice house, the near-death experience in the car, all of that. It felt like the film started with a bang, then spread the remaining action sequences out as far as possible.

Ultimately, whilst I loved the good bits, there was a point where Mr C said: “I’m a bit confused.” and I replied: “No, not confused. The word you’re looking for is bored.”

Bored is never good.

Daniel Craig was excellent though.

Rating: 3/5


Be Kind, Rewind – Oct 2015

Having worked our way through the mountainous James Bond back catalogue, it felt only right to revisit the three Daniel Craig efforts that we had watched before (in our ignorance). This time round, Casino Royale was entirely entertaining! I can’t think of a single moment I was bored, it was an absolutely stunning film to watch, beautiful direction and scenery adding to the moving plot.

Yes, some of the more specific casino card stuff went over my head, but there was so much tension in the room, it didn’t matter. Perhaps I wasn’t invested when we watched this before, but I really felt the mood of the room and it was captivating. Craig was clearly still finding his feet as the new Bond, and it’s hugely different from everything that’s gone before – serious, brooding, melancholy – but that in itself ramps up the interest.

I couldn’t quite understand why they needed to reboot the series, other than the fact the Casino Royale story is the first of the books. Certainly in terms of the story, the only reasons seemed to be to increase his relationship with M (perhaps in preparation of what is to come in the following films) and to show his weakness with Vesper. But we know he can fall in love, we’ve seen it before. Or have we? Now it’s a new Bond, was he never married? That makes me sad Christine, but I suppose they have been trying to pretend it never happened almost from the moment the credits of OHMSS rolled.

Anyway, to sum up, I really loved the film this time round and would upgrade my score to a solid 4 out of 5, maybe hovering over the 5.

7 comments

  1. Mr C

    good lord, what a terribly drawn out story. 3/5 is being overly generous. poor script, poor pacing and only the explosions saved it.

    Like

  2. Barrie

    I actually didnt mind it, I thought the card game was great to watch, especially when Bond returned after the poisoning……

    Perhaps you should watch it back-to-back with the 60’s version……..:P

    Like

  3. Katherine and I did watch them all in the right order last year, it was great fun – but some of them are terrible.

    I think Bond is a bit tricky, this is a good Bond film I think, but I think it’s not necessarily a good film. Does that make any sense?

    The one consistent thing I’ve found is that I like the first half of Bond films a lot more than the second halves. Once you’ve seen one set of explosions to blow up the world, you’ve kind of seen them all. The set ups become more interesting I think.

    Like

  4. We didn’t like this the first time we saw it at the cinema, but seemed to like it more on subsequent viewings. The best part is the beginning up until the airplane bit (filmed at the Top Gear Test Track by the way!) and the poker game takes too long for me (and is also very unbelievable).

    I thought the ending was a bit too sad too. However I do like the story arc which continues into QoS.

    Final comment: the movie got lots more press than usual because both bad guys (Le Chiffré and Mr. White) are both well-known Danish actors. So seeing them in other films here is highly amusing now 🙂

    Like

  5. Steven Roy

    I remember watching this ages ago and being very confused that it takes to kills to be a double-O. A double-O is a licence to kill so does that mean he was breaking the rules by killing the first two when he was not licensed? Giving someone a licence to kill when he has already killed two people seems like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: