Thursday, November 16, 2006

Royale with Cheers

First, the good news - Casino Royale is a fine movie.

Perhaps inevitably, though, it never feels like a Bond Movie. That's because the previous "new" Bonds were just new actors playing the same character, whereas Daniel Craig is playing a new character called James Bond. All of which would be far easier to swallow without the totally unnecessary inclusion of Judi Dench as "M". Big, big mistake, so big that we all assumed there must be a clever reason, but there's not. Arse.

Oh, and yes, they've buggered up the ending. That great last line is only great because it's the last line. It's the end. The destination. The solution. Tacking on another few minutes of "Bond Will Be Back" breaks the spell completely, lifting the mood and stopping us from dwelling on precisely that which demands dwelling, namely the painful genesis of Bond's character as he learns his most important lesson.

Craig is excellent. Really, he is. Actors do a job, they play what's written as well as they can, and Craig does just fine. It's not his fault that I don't get that "buzz" off him that Connery, Brosnan and even Dalton had. He's done more than enough for me to give him another chance, but I'm just not sure what else he can do. He's just not good-looking enough, not charismatic enough. I like him, I want him to win, but I don't want to be him - and that's such a vital part of the Bond formula.

At least, it was - this is a new Bond, perhaps we can have a new formula? One where my relationship with the character as a viewer and fan is different? Well, okay, that sounds good. Perhaps I'll give it a go. Perhaps I'll become a James Bond fan all over again. Let's see...

No comments: