It doesn’t seem right to be doing a movie analysis without the intrepid Therese tossing her trenchant observations into the fray, but I’ve just seen the latest offering in the ultimate boxed franchise movie, James Bond, and I wanted to share my thoughts while they’re still fresh. Casino Royale could have been a royale dud. Instead, the producers and writers took the best of Bond and unboxed the suave spy who was beginning to wear as thin as the vermouth in his martini. The result is fresh and entertaining, if not quite plausible in many, many instances. But plausibility is not why one watches a Bond movie. Casino Royale is a lesson on how to take a stale genre mired in predictability and breathe new life into it.
They start by tinkering with the character of Bond himself. Purists were up in arms that Bond could be imagined as anything other than talk, dark, and handsome. In other words, boring as old coats. As played by Nordic blond Daniel Craig, the new ‘old’ Bond has gone back to his roots the way Ian Fleming initially wrote him: cold and ruthless, a feral killing machine. [Read more…]