Monthly Archives: November 2006

Casino Royale

Daniel Craig was a logical choice for Bond this time. The amount of pain that Bond goes through wouldn’t have been possible for the earlier Bonds. And the amount of running in this movie is ridiculous. It’s no wonder they had to settle for a fit actor for this role.

As you may or may not know, Casino Royale is a prequel of sorts, taking its storyline from the first James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming. Here we see Bond earning his Double-0 license by completing his first two hits, and you will see how much reckless he is in this movie than his later (earlier?) incarnations.

This recklessness is the main theme of the movie, showing him in a light that is much different than the cool and suave Sean Conneries and Timothy Daltons and Pierce Brosnans. While it might not appeal to the hardcore James Bond fanatics, this new, fresh take on the same character we all know and love will no doubt attract newer and younger viewers.

The action of the first few minutes was meticulously set up, it’s nothing like anything seen before. The Parkour-esque free running sequence elicit “Ooohs” and “Aaahs” and “Whoas” from the viewing audience. To see a traditionally slow and methodical hitman running around, jumping on to and climbing up beams was quite surprising to say the least.

By the second half of the movie, the whole cinema was parked in their seats. The storyline was that gripping, that no one even got up from their seats to go to the washroom. Yours truly was one of those people. And it was revealed that another friend also held it in just waiting for the ending. In contrast, I went out at 45 minutes going into Pirates of the Caribbean.

By this point of time, the story reaches the part where this movie earns its namesake. The Casino sequence, even though it looked like it might be boring at first, drew the most gasps during the entire movie. I think that was the first time Texas Hold ‘Em was introduced to the Bruneian audience, but even then, most of the viewers knew what was going on and how the game was played. This made the whole sequence exciting and intriguing.

As the movie progresses, you see Bond transfrom into Bond of yore, turning from one prone to hurting himself by being reckless, to a calculating and methodical hitman. But even then, the movie still won’t let Bond get off that easily, with a torture scene much more painful to watch than Pierce Brosnan’s scorpion torture.

In all, the best, next generation Bond movie played by a fitting actor. This movie and it’s fast pace wouldn’t have been possible with the older Bonds, so their choice of Bond this time fits the bill perfectly. I hope as the franchise progresses, Daniel Craig would closely resemble Pierce Brosnan. In my opinion, Pierce Brosnan struck a fine balance between reckless endangerment, methodical hitman and charming and suave playboy.

My only gripe is, by the end of the movie, you’d definitely wanna get a Sony Ericsson phone. The amount of product placement in this movie is near ridiculous. Most of the plot is carried forward with use of a Sony Ericsson phone, namely a K800i, and an M600i. Fords were heavily used, alongside the exotic cars, Aston Martins. Even Sir Richard Branson and his airline made an appearance. I hope I was joking on that one. But I’m not.

In all, an awesome movie, an action packed night out. I’d give it a 9 out of 10.

Raya is Over.