Monday, December 11, 2006

Casino Royale

We watched the newest Bond film on Saturday night. I will admit that I am no Bond connoisseur, and have only payed to see one Bond film (Tomorrow Never Dies), so I am in no place to compare this with the franchise as a whole. Nonetheless, I found Casino Royale, even if it were a stand-alone film, to be quite the work of art.
It has it flaws. I think the writers should have had a bit more faith in the public's poker savvy, because I found the time spent at the table much too predictable. It seemed like every play that was given screentime always gave the high hand to the last person showing their cards, which would build up suspense if it weren't so predictable.
Daniel Craig played the part very well, and the action sequences met if not exceeded expectation. The opening foot chase between Bond and a terrorist bomber named Mollaka is fantastic largely because Mollaka is played by Sebastien Foucan-the founder of free running-that incredible sport where people jump off rooftops and off and over walls.
I was impressed by the direction they took this film thematically. The character development was deeper than expected, and I thought the dialogue, especially between Bond and Vesper, was well-written.
I thought it was especially interesting that if left to himself, Bond would have chosen a very tradional love life. He was ready to give his all to one woman, and after that love was lost, he resigns himself to becoming the Bond we all know: the carefree womanizer.

My rating: *** out of ****

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