Went to see the Casino Royale last night. Late night, expensive Babysitter, but very worth it. It takes the traditional Bond film and throws it right out the window. It also messes with the traditional movie structure a little as well. There are heavy spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you aren’t interested.
As has been mentioned by several other reviewers, the opening sequence is fantastic. By having this section in Black and White, the director creates a “Film Noir” feel, and gives Bond a chance to show that he is, as always, deadly serious about his work. The opening sequence also takes the opportunity to show how an MI-6 agents gains Double-O status by showing how Bond earned his. This section is slick, as most Bond movie are, but show a bluntness that most Bond movies lack. Great intro for the movie.
The title sequence was very disappointing in my opinion. It was a cool idea, but one of the iconic things about a James Bond movie is the women in the opening sequence. Instead of an esoteric sequence, with lots of women, it turned out to be a long, abstract fight sequence. Reminded me a little of those new iPod commercials.
The rest of the movie was very well put together, with the plot moving along quite well. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that this is definitly a Bond that is learning who he is, and how to do what he does. He makes mistakes, and lives to ensure that he does not make them again.
The one part that screws with the normal flow of the movie is the “fourth act.” Most movies have a three act structure (read more about that here). Just when the story ends, and you expect the film to start wrapping things up, it keeps going! I won’t give away any more of the story, but I have to say that the torture scene made me very uncomfortable. It made my wife so uncomfortable that she put her head into my shoulder for a few minutes. I did find myself, about 10 minutes into this fourth act, saying to my wife “Will this movie ever end?” It’s not that it was not entertaining, it’s just that it felt like it was going, and going, and going…….
Overall, I would highly recommend this film to anyone who liked the classic Bond movies, as long as they understood that this one messes with the formula. I would also recommend this movie to anyone who would never watch a Bond movie. I would compare this one more to The Bourne Identity than to the classic Bond movies. Pretty much anyone who likes a good spy action movie.
Enjoy the movie, and have a good one.