Review: Casino Royale

It seems that a great many people want continuity with the previous James Bond films when they go to see Casino Royale but the best way to approach it is to think of a variety of people are recruited to be James Bond in Her Majesty's Secret Service, and this latest blond-haired boy is just getting started. This movie was a refreshing look at a tough but human man becoming a double-0 agent and earning his chops. This was not supposed to be a continuation.

As a result, I like Judi Dench as M. I imagined that this M had recruited a few Bonds already and her tired and harassed demeanor had been earned through previous experiences. That Q and Moneypenny were missing did not bother me either, as this new Bond needed to prove himself first before having somewhere to grow.

The movie was a little long in some ways. I felt lost and at sea during a romantic interlude that was just a little long. I found myself annoyed at the oversold Sony placement in that same interlude. I generally pass it over when the movie is going well.

Even so, this was a great “learning” movie. Moviegoers love the plot of the young punk who gets downtrodden but learns to rise above it. From the Karate Kid to Star Wars, right? This Bond earns his luster as the movie progresses. I don't miss the easy humor of the Roger Moore era, because the Roger Moore Bond did not have the “learning” movie. He was already there, in his element.

This movie had top-notch gritty action sequences, beautiful locations and people, and at least one cool car. Gambling took center stage, for good reason, and it was handled well. I've read reviews that didn't like the gambling, but that's one of those things that Bond does, folks. Get used to it.

I give it four out of five stars, and rate it above most of the Bond movies I've seen. I just wonder how they'll follow it up.

Josh Poulson

Posted Sunday, Nov 19 2006 10:07 AM

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