Maniac Grade: A+
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November 19, 2006
I'm not what you call a Bond fanatic. Sure, I've seen all the bond movies and I've even bought quite a few of their dvds but a pure Bond fanatic knows all the movies, all the trivia and all the backstory from the Ian Fleming's novels. A true
Bond fanatic has probably seen the oldest of Bond screen performances in the Casino Royale adaptation of the ancient tv series "Climax!(Season 1, episode 3): Casino Royale"
That said, I understand enough of the James Bond franchise enough to understand what goes on in this origin story of the pop culture's famous spy everyone knows.
Casino Royale's director Martin Campbell(Golden Eye, Mask of Zorro, Legend of Zorro) shows alot of love towards
the fanatics and the mainstream audiences.
Ask yourself this? How hard would it be for an actor to overcome Brosnan's charming potrayal of Bond(especially for the middle aged female audience). It seems to me it would be complicating and extremely hard to overcome..
Director Cambell and actor Daniel Craig(Layer Cake) pull no punches and they not only overcome the odds, they excell at the performance that are given in the circumstances of this origin story centering around our spy's first days in OO status.
The film starts off with Bond gaining that status and after an average song introduction from Chris Cornell("You know my Name"---Fitting, right?), goes right into the action we all know and love with Craig chasing
a lead. Literally, this chase scene is one of the best in all of Bond's movies. As a person whom is sometimes afraid of heights, I can testify the action sequences after the musical number was indeed thrilling for audiences.
It slows down some after this wonderful sequence of events, the director instead opting for more origin story-telling of Bond but it doesn't go downhill. Seeing M(Judi Dench) and Bond(Daniel Craig) size each other out is also a great beginnnig of mutual understanding reminscient of Campbell's Golden Eye scene between Dench and Brosnan. All the while, Bond is leaving clues as to where his future lies with his new director M in the manner of chasing down terrorist banker Le Chiffre(Mads Mikkelsen) who's seemingly the main villian.....Or is he?
As I say, this is an origin story and the rabbit hole goes deeper then that...
It's up to you, the viewer to follow the trail as the clues go further along Casino Royale's trail path. In the process, you will see signs on why Bond becomes the man he is...especially in terms of his love life...Clues point to Casino Royale's Vesper Lynd(Eva Green) of course... :-)
Have fun with this movie, folks because the fun is ripe for the taking. Click here to read the staff review by Mania.