Casino Royale

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 2:24 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Casino Royale
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: 2006
Kiddie Movie: It’s for the teens and above.
Date Movie: She’ll stare at Daniel Craig’s body while you stare at Eva Green’s.
Gratuitous Sex: The PG-13 variety you expect in a Bond film.
Gratuitous Violence: See “Sex.”
Action: See “Sex.”
Laughs: They actually poke a little bit of fun at the Bond franchise.
Memorable Scene: Nothing totally stood out.
Memorable Quote: M: “Christ, I miss the cold war.”
Directed By: Martin Campbell

In my preview of “Casino Royale” I wrote, “All I want is a fun action/adventure flick, with cool gadgets and hot chicks.” I didn’t think I would like a Bond movie without cool gadgets, but the movie didn’t need them. And it had hot chicks. Let’s get to the movie…
Daniel Craig is the “new” James Bond, in the early days when James has just been given his 007 status, and he’s not doing too well as the new guy on the block. Nope, he storms an embassy bringing un-needed attention to MI-6, he breaks into M’s pad, and he seems to be killing more people than necessary. But James has a job to do, even if it is unofficial at first, so what better place for James to end up than in the Bahamas. There he begins to track down the bad people in a plot to sell arms to other bad people, and also hit on the bad dude’s women. Eventually sniffing out what is going on, James gets back on M’s good side by thwarting an attack on an airplane, and finds himself in a high stakes poker game at Casino Royale. Suddenly James is falling in love, ordering weird drinks, driving fast, taking chances, getting tortured, and of course almost dying.

I suppose I could go into the story a little more, but I don’t think it is really necessary for this James Bond review because other than the lack of gadgets, most everything is included that you would want. There is the main bad dude with some odd physical ailment (in this case, and we don’t know why, he has a bad eye that bleeds every now and then), James is charming in that James Bond kind of way (only this time not over-the-top), you have some slutty women and some not-so-slutty women, and there are times you will sit there and wonder exactly how James will get out of a sticky situation (in this case, being tied while naked, to a chair, and getting his balls whacked). And I was loving it all, almost.

For me there was one thing really wrong with “Casino Royale,” and that is simply it was about a twenty minutes too long. I base it about twenty minutes too long because it seemed like just about every scene was stretched out a few minutes too long. The big chase scene at the beginning of the movie was cool, but yea, I get it, the bad guy has mad jumping skills while James still is able to keep up. Then there is the scene in the stairwell where after about two flights of stairs I got it, I didn’t need the extra three or four flights. The poker tournament, well, I got that as well. And finally, after James and Vesper (Eva Green) get away and think of living their lives together, well, from the trailers I knew Vesper was supposed to end up trapped in an elevator filling up with water – just get to it already – I realize their lives may not end happily ever after.

I liked Daniel Craig as James Bond, and loved the subtle poking fun at the James Bond franchise. I loved Eva Green as Vesper Lynd and wished my accountant looked like she does. Judi Dench was her solid self as M. And even though the only high tech gadget seemed to be a portable defibrillator, I have to say it was pretty refreshing to have a James Bond movie that didn’t take things to a bizarre level, instead just keeping with the action and spy stuff (I think they learned a thing or two from “The Bourne Identity” movies). But for dragging too long, too many times, I’ve got to drop my rating for “Casino Royale” to 3 ½ stars out of 5. I’m not saying don’t catch this in the theater, in fact I say you can even pay full-price instead of hitting the matinee, but just be ready for some scenes where you will be saying to yourself “Self, I get it already.”

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!