Monday, November 20, 2006
Casino Royale - A Bond reboot that is well worth it
A Bond reboot after three years, after Pierce Brosnan. Based on the first Ian Fleming novel, this film presents a new interpretation and a grittier, darker and a matter-of-fact bond. Daniel Craig creates one of the most grounded, believable and kick-ass Bonds ever (I know, I know, except Sean Connery).
The movie starts out with Bond engaged in a gritty hand-to-hand combat (in black and white) with an assassin to earn his “00” status. And from there, he sweats out, picking new skills, smoothing the rough edges of his maneuvers. The Bond character is built stone by stone and we get an inside look at the construction process. Gone are the days of the womanizing, smooth-talking, chauvinistic killer. This Bond doesn’t have time for all that stuff: when asked whether he wants his martini’s shaken or stirred, he replies: “do I look like I give a damn”.
There is a spectacular on-foot chase in a construction site, where both vertical and horizontal hurdles are scaled with stunning ease (the chasee’s skills are more akin with a monkey than any possible human). From there, it is a mixed bag. There are some interesting sequences and set-pieces, and long romantic interludes where the action co-efficient is on the low. But, these sequences are never boring, and do serve the purpose of building the core of the character. This film is a set-up, and spends lot of time laying the base-work for future adventures- buckle up.