“Any thug can kill. I need you to take your ego out of the equation.”

Casino Royale (2006)

THE VITALS
Director: Martin Campbell
James Bond: Daniel Craig
Notable villain(s): Le Chiffre
Notable Bond girl(s): Vesper Lynd

When this film came out I remember being quite confused by it, and I was slightly apprehensive about watching it again. Admittedly, I was 18 when it came out so should have been able to follow it but, for one reason or another, my memory tells me that I came away confused!

Watching it this week, however, I was completely taken by surprise – Casino Royale is a superb film and I was able to follow it with no problems. Admittedly the opening scene has no bearing on the rest of the plot and leaves you guessing as to its significance, but Casino Royale is a re-imagining of the Bond saga from its early days.

Apart from M – who was portrayed by Judi Dench for the fifth time – the remaining cast members are completely new. Q and Moneypenny are missing but Felix Leiter, Bond’s friend in the CIA, is back, portrayed by Jeffrey Wright. There’s a new actor portraying Bond himself too, of course.

It’s not just the cast that have been changed either. There’s a much more updated feel to Casino Royale compared to its predecessor, Die Another Day, which was released four years earlier. It’s an exceptionally slick film, with only very minor things to call it up on. While the main focus – a poker tournament – isn’t something that I’d normally be interested in, it’s presented in such an exciting way that you can’t help but be enthralled.

★★★★★

Quantum of Solace (2008)

THE VITALS
Director: Marc Forster
James Bond: Daniel Craig
Notable villain(s): Dominic Greene
Notable Bond girl(s): Camille Montes

In my opinion, the Bond franchise took a large step back with Quantum of Solace. Craig was on sparkling form, but I found my attention wandering quite a lot. The fact that it picked up where Casino Royale finished did not earn the film brownie points in my book either. In making it a sequel it broke, what I consider, a golden rule of Bond films: you should be able to enjoy it as a standalone film without having to know what’s happened previously.

The reasons for both my poor attention span and its being a sequel could be due to the fact that Craig himself, together with director Marc Forster, had to write parts of the script. In an interview with Time Out Craig explained that the writers’ strike of 2007-2008 occurred during filming, which meant that no writer could be hired during that time to finish the script. It was down to Craig and Forster to finish it off.

Having said that, it does still fit in with the Bond genre as it features lots of action sequences, beautiful women and fast cars. It’s not one that will be remembered particularly well, though, and I don’t think I’ll be choosing to watch again anytime soon.

★★★

Current order of preference: Goldfinger, Casino RoyaleThunderball, Licence to KillThe Man with the Golden GunYou Only Live TwiceDr. NoTomorrow Never Dies, The Living Daylights, A View to a KillThe World is Not EnoughOctopussyThe Spy Who Loved MeLive and Let Die, GoldeneyeDiamonds Are ForeverFrom Russia With LoveFor Your Eyes OnlyOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Quantum of SolaceMoonraker and, in last place, Die Another Day.

You can read all my mini reviews and posts in my Bondathon series here.

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2 thoughts on ““Any thug can kill. I need you to take your ego out of the equation.””

  1. Just spent a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon reading through all your reviews Claire. I am deeply envious of your commitment to this project and it’s a very impressive thing!

    Your reviews are great snapshots of the films and have made me want to go back and rewatch some of the films I sped through when I was little.

    I’m eagerly awaiting your review on ‘Skyfall’. Any plans for the next movie blog? I remembered you mentioning a Disney box set at some point? There is also ‘The Hobbit’ looming.

    Whatever you choose I’ll be eagerly following 🙂

    1. Thanks, Tommy K. I just can’t believe that my Bondathon is over! What would you say is your film from the franchise? I hope you enjoy my Skyfall review… We can talk about it now!

      I’m not sure what my next film marathon will be on. Watching LOTR will be must before I see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey but I don’t think I’ll post about that until I do my review on the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. If you take a look here you’ll see that I’ve posted about LOTR quite a few times over the years: https://clairepacker.wordpress.com/tag/the-lord-of-the-rings/

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

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