I went to the pictures last night. I didn’t much feel like leaving my comfy lounge-room, but anyhow…
Casino Royale is a return to the old-school Bond films, like For Your Eyes Only, and Dr. No. This is a good thing, as it means less emphasis on big-budget special effects and gadgets. However, I couldn’t help thinking that the terrorists and villains could have been a little more developed as characters. I delayed seeing it, partly because I’m not a fan of Daniel Craig ( who is definitely no Sean Connery or Roger Moore ). Apart from James Blond, and the weak bad guys, I quite enjoyed it.
Judi Dench was fabulous as M, which is no suprise. It was strange to be without Miss Moneypenny, but then she has very little to say in the novel. I did warm to Giancarlo Giannini’s Rene Mathis as well…Nice to see Tsai Chin ( Madame Wu ) at the poker table too. She previously appeared in the opening sequence of You Only Live Twice.
The Bond girls? Vesper Lynd and Solange Dimitrios were ok, not in the same way as Honey Rider or Pussy Galore perhaps, but, c’est la vie. Eva Green plays the double agent / HM Treasury staffer quite competently ( the pun on her name revealing her inner conflicts: West Berlin…groan ), and Caterina Murino is great eye-candy as the foxy wife of Alex Dimitrios. I’m not sure how they’d get along at cocktails with Kissy Suzuki or Plenty O’Toole, but I guess that’s not really the point.
Product placement? Was a bit naff seeing Bond in a Ford Focus, but then he has driven Toyotas and Citroens when the need arose. Nice to see two Astons this time, his DB9 with the hidden compartments, and the DB5 won from Dimitrios.
I’m a real snob about the whole James Bond thing, but feel that Daniel Craig is bringing new life to the role. This is Judi Dench’s third outing as M, and she’s top class all the way. I was a little disappointed that Bond broke into her apartment and used her security codes, not to mention finding out her real name, but one can’t have everything.
Go and see it, but keep a close eye on your martini…