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21 November 2006

Movie Queue: 'Casino Royale'

Steven and I went to see the latest installment in the Bond franchise yesterday. Like all the other Bond freaks, er, fanatics out there, I waited with bated breath to see who would be deemed worthy. Names were bandied about and I rolled my eyes and scoffed at the majority of them. I think I even threw out a couple of "What? Are you kidding me?'s". For the record, I was really hoping they would choose Clive Owen. When Daniel Craig became The Chosen One, I was vehemently against it.

Until I saw the trailers.

In this movie, he's after a financially-strapped man named Le Chiffre, banker to the world's terrorist organizations. Secret Service intelligence revealed that he's planning to raise money in a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro at Le Casino Royale. After a gritty black and white opening scene--and really cool tunes from rocker Chris Cornell (former lead singer of Soundgarden, "Black Hole Sun")--the action picks up again in Africa, where he's chasing a terrorist bomber thru a construction site with more death-defying stunts than a Jackie Chan movie.

Turns out, Bond's a faboo poker player (shocker there), but due to a little mishap on that assignment (an embassy bombing), M doesn't trust him with the Queen's money and puts a tracker in his forearm--and an accountant (Vesper Lynd) on his nicely-shaped tail to keep an eye on him.

The logline states: "The story examines James Bond's formative years and how he developed his penchant for Aston Martins, martinis and beautiful women."

And truly, that's what you're going to see here. There's no Q, no high-tech gadgets, no half-dressed bimbos uttering a lusty "Oh, James," not even a double-oh. At least--not right away. In order to get that special classification, you have to register two kills. At this point in his career, he had yet to eliminate anyone.

Betcha didn't know that, didja? Yeah, me neither.

He's no Pierce Brosnan, that's for sure. And I think that's the idea they were going for here. Craig's got a boxer's nose and is compactly built (quite nicely, I might add), but the piercing blue eyes? Check. This James is more intense, more reckless, more careless and prone to making mistakes. Don't get me wrong, the humorous nods to the franchise made their appearances: from the martini orders to the appearance of the famous Aston Martin to Bond's joke that Lynd's alias is going to be "Stephanie Broadchest." But this is the raw, stripped-down version of 007. If you're expecting to see a debonair, womanizing, British agent full of double entendres and gadgets that do everything but give you a pot to piss your money and wait for cable.

I really enjoyed it and Steven thought it was the best one out of all the Bond films. Let's just say we agreed to disagree on that one. He had some important shoes to fill and I think he did a great job.

His name? Craig. Daniel Craig.

Rating: 3 1/2 Snaps Up


posted by GeminiWisdom @ 1:18 AM |


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