I don't have time to write a long review, so I'll just throw down a few quick thoughts for those thinking of going to see the new bond film 'Casino Royale'.
Firstly, this is the best action film Iâve seen for a long time, probably the best bond film by some way, and Daniel Craig may end up being the franchises best leading man as well.
The film does indeed differ from its predecessors, but is still very much Bond. If anything the thing that stops this film from being even better is the constant comparisons you find yourself making whilst watching. In my case this was increased by having recently read the original novel. This turned out to be a mistake, as whilst the film differs in many respects from the book, I was forewarned of a number of the plot twists.
There was a lot of pressure on Daniel Craig when he took over as Bond, and a lot of rather foolish criticism, and ill-informed talk about him not being up to the physical side of the role. Quite the opposite turns out to be the truth. As for all his credentials as the most âheavyweightâ Bond, in terms of acting talent, itâs in the actions sequences where he is truly outstanding. Not only has Craig bulked up for the role, but he plays a Bond with an almost Terminator attitude to getting the job done. Craigâs Bond is relentless, and the first hour of the film, which is mostly action, sees very little dialogue, but a more exacting physical performance than any of his predecessors turned in.
Whilst some of the lessor characters have the 2-D quality of Bond films of old, the main protagonists are much more developed. The relationship between Bond and the two leading ladies, M and Vesper Lynne are given more screen time than usual. This leads to some excellent scenes between Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Eva Green. Stripped of most of the corny one-liners, the dialogue has much more depth than in previous films, whilst still retaining enough humour to remind you of past glories.
Thankfully the plot is much more fleshed out than the novel it was based on, whilst retaining some of the darker side of the job than Fleming wrote about. My only real criticism is that the Casino scenes do slow things down, leading to the makers feeling the need to up the action a little too much at the end of the film. Personally I âd have preferred them to really take a risk with the ânew Bondâ and finish in a much more low-key manner, concentrating on the consequences of what has happened to them. In the end I think they played things down as much as they could.
All in all this is an excellent film and Iâm looking forward to see what Craig does with the character next.