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Casino Royale: Why the New Bond Is Better

To be frank, I never truly got into the James Bond movies of yesteryear. To me, they were silly, predictable, and, in many ways, laughable. Sure, it's interesting to see a young, dashing Sean Connery, since I've always known him as a kindly old uncle type. But the only other Bond I know more than just fuzzily is Pierce Brosnan, who's a little prissy and who, in my opinion, made for a flimsy 007.

These "eh" feelings toward Bond changed when I saw the new movie, Casino Royale. The film tells the story of James Bond's origins and how he came to be involved in this continuous string of spy adventures. Daniel Craig's Bond is interesting in that he's less suave, less debonair, and more coarse than most of the other Bonds before him. He bumbles missions, makes mistakes, loses his footing, and lets his pride get in the way. He's smart and funny, but not all the time.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the author of the Bond books, Ian Fleming, "never meant for Bond to be a hero. Said the author: 'I intended him to be a sort of blunt instrument wielded by a government department.'" In this movie, you definitely get a sense of that, so

Particularly interesting is the interplay between Bond and his "handler" (to use an "Alias" term) M, played by the ever-fantastic Judi Densch, who basically dismisses Bond's letter of resignation. I enjoyed relating to this Bond and feeling like it's a triumph for the "everyman" (er, a very tough version of the everyman) when he does succeed. He's one of us, we think. He falls in love and does dumb things and every once in a while throws out a zinger. I adored him.

The movie itself has a few flaws: It's rather on the longish side and a little more complicated than seems necessary. But the majority of the film is really interesting and enjoyable. It has a great balance of explosions-gunfire-beat-'em-up scenes and quieter, calmer, or tension-filled scenes. The female characters (with the exception of M, though Bond sometimes treats her like a nagging old aunt) are, as usual, either villains or victims. Having said that, however, the main "Bond girl," Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), is allowed a surprising degree of cleverness, wit, sass, and sensitivity. She is neither utterly ruthless nor a nincompoop nor simple eye candy. In fact, as far as appearances go, she is in some ways an unlikely choice: gangly, pale, and freckled, seemingly only a few years out of Britain's finest school for girls. I was consistently impressed with her ability to be sharp one moment and deeply vulnerable the next, and it's refreshing to see the writers/directors of a Bond movie allowing such traits in a girl.

It looks like that handsome Daniel Craig has reinvented Bond as we know it, creating a three-dimensional, complex character whose humanity makes us root for him. Or maybe it is simply those gorgeous, stunning, electric blue eyes. Whatever the cause, I absolutely cannot wait for the next one, Bond 22, which is already in pre-production!

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frales frales 4 years
I have been a fan of all things Bond since the first book I read. I have enjoyed all of the actors and over the years have changed allegiance. Most people think Connery is Bond but I enjoyed Roger Moore. However when Pierce Brosnan took over I thought we had the real Bond. He was suave but rough. Then came Daniel Craig. After reading all the books and knowing what fleming did as a career, and also having watched most of Daniel Craigs movies I must say he is the best Bond ever. He is rough, tough, vulnerible, not afraid of M but deferential to authority when it suits him. When you consider how long this franchise has been going on it is amazing that their is still so much interest when a new Bond movie is due.
Imabeliever Imabeliever 9 years
I love Craig as Bond and I was the biggest nay sayer until I saw it first hand. Best most true to Ian's Bond ever(I think he said he was inspired a little by Cary Grant and wanted him to do Dr. No but he turned it down). Craig is amazing... a critic said when this Bond punches someone he stays punched! Tough manly dangerous sexy Bond is back! ______________________________________________________ I believe in the power of BAMZS
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Wow, I really love this review. Granted I haven't read a ton of Casino Royale reviews, but IMO, this is the only one that really nails it. Great job! Now I just have to go see it... :D
CocoChic CocoChic 9 years
Daniel Craig is yummy. I loved this movie! --Lauren--
code-monkey code-monkey 9 years
Casino Royale is definitely the best Bond movie since at least Goldeneye and probably my favorite. Right from the title sequence we know this is going to be a different Bond movie -- in place of the usual provocative dancing women in the title sequence we have rotoscoped knife and gun fights. I like the scene where he is chasing the bomb-making free runner in Madagascar. As the free runner dextrously leaps from building to building Bond is smashing through drywall and driving bulldozers through fences. It's clear that Craig isn't going to be the urbane Bond of yore. In defense of the silliness like the big-breasted woman on horseback, I'm pretty sure that was mostly meant to poke fun at the usual Bond stereotypes. Every Bond movie features at least one buxom female counterpart who usually winds up dead or betraying Bond, but they're not usually so over-the-top. There were lot's of in-jokes like this throughout the movie: he drove up to the hotel in a Ford (which owns Aston Martin, incidentally) but drives away in his usual Aston Martin, he mocks the "shaken, not stirred" trope, etc.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 9 years
Mme Hart, my sister just saw the movie, too. She was saying, he is totally hot when he is in action (rather than in photos). lol My sister never says stuff like this sooo, it's got to be true. :) Anyway, the whole conversation was hysterical to hear her drooling over this guy! :D
bpjedi bpjedi 9 years
Craig's bond is more accurate in terms of Flemming's novels. As a reader, I appreciated that. However, as a woman, Craig does noting for me; great body, but fuggly face.
karlorene karlorene 9 years
hmmm... i saw this movie... it was the longest however many hours it was of my life :( sorry, just my opinion. it was my first bond experience and the eye rolling began as soon as that lady with the huge boobs rode the horse across the beach with bond watching her. gag. he did, however, have a good body. ill give him that
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 9 years
He's HOT! I didn't think so until I saw the movie...lol! :drool: :love:
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