Thursday, November 16, 2006

Casino Royale

I am a big fan of the new Bond. Out go the homages to Roger Moore's camp disgrace and in comes a genuine edge.

The on foot chase scene at the beginning was reminiscent of the incredible Tony Jaa running and jumping chase scenes in Ong Bak. The romance was far more convincing than the old James Bond pantomime. While the gadgets have been fun in previous films I didn't miss them in this one. New Bond is a big improvement.

However, while the new Bond has such huge potential, Casino Royale is not a good film. The problem is that it is missing the most important ingredient in a thriller, an engaging central conflict. As we are never introduced to the real bad guy we are never given anyone who seems a worthy foe for Bond. Le Chieffre's strategies (I won't go into detail to avoid spoilers) all seem vaguely petty rather than the work of a real evil genius. Without a convincing threat to provide a proper test of Bond's abilities he can never really shine and the tension is never at the level it should be.

If they can get the script right for the next installment and create a genuinely engaging enemy Craig's bond could become truly great.

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