To celebrate the release of the new James Bond movie Skyfall, Casino Royale was shown on TV so I decided to watch it for the second time and review it. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.
Casino Royale was released in 2006, directed by Martin Campbell and written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis. I’m not really a James Bond fan. It’s not that I don’t like James Bond movies or anything, it’s just that I don’t watch them. In fact, Casino Royale was the first James Bond film I have ever seen, so the whole idea was new to me. Of course, I had heard of 007 beforehand, having watched parodies such a Get Smart and Johnny English, I just didn’t really know much about him. Because of this, Daniel Craig was my first James Bond, and I can’t really compare him to the way other actors have played the character. From what I saw and know, however, I think he played the part very well.
In a nutshell, Casino Royale tends to be split into thirds. The first third is all-action and next-to-no storyline, with a small amount of character introductions. While this action sequence was pretty interesting and cool for the first half and hour, for the second half hour it was a bit of a drainer. With all the excitement going on, it was bordering on boring. There’s only so much blunt action I can handle before I start to switch off. My brain just wasn’t being used at all.
The second third is almost the exact opposite. There’s a lot more character development and mind tricks as an epic game of poker is played. Poker, epic? Really? Yes. Mainly because of the little bits of action dropped in here and there between the game, but also because of the stakes. In this part, the viewer can actually put their brain to some use. You actually have to think a little bit to understand, but the commentary by Rene Mathis shows the lack of faith that the film has in its viewers. He treats us like we can deduce the simplest things and insists on stating the obvious, purely for the viewers benefit. However, I’d have to say that this was my favourite third of the movie.
The final part of the film takes one more step. It’s a whirlwind of several unexpected plot twists and emotional scenes that have rarely occurred throughout the previous two thirds of the film. This is where the viewer has to think the most, which leads me to believe that the film increases in complexity as it develops.
One of my favourite things about this film was the cliché things that just scream James Bond. As I said before, this was my first James Bond film and yet everything was so familiar, the opening theme, the shot down the barrel of a gun and the quote; “The name’s Bond. James Bond”. It might sound really corny but I just loved these parts. They always made me smirk knowingly, like I was in on a secret.
The music is based off the very well known James Bond theme, one that I’ve heard many times before. This version of the theme, composed by David Arnold, of course works very well with the film. It’s one of those classic pieces that just couldn’t be replaced with anything else. This is the theme:
Favourite character/actor: James Bond (Daniel Craig)
Least favourite character/actor: Vesper Lynd (Eva Green)
Favourite scene: When Bond shows up at the poker table after being poisoned
Least favourite scene: When Bond’s tortured
Rating; 3/5 stars