Sunday, March 25, 2007

Royale Treatment

Finally got around to watching Casino Royale last night; I was every bit as impressed as I had expected to be, based on advance reports. The film was a return to the harder Bond of the first four films, long before Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan reduced the character to a preening fop of a hero.

What made the film work was the screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, & Paul Haggis; they stripped away the intrusive paraphernalia and gave Bond the same determination and drive as can be seen in modern uber-agent Jack Bauer.

Daniel Craig is an above-average Bond; his only drawback is his over-reliance on one jaws-clenched-cheeks-drawn-lips-pursed expression better suited for Calvin Klein ads than an inscrutable agent. He isn't Sean Connery, but he can't be; he is, however, the best Bond there has been since Connery.

Now that Bond has been reinvented for the 21st Century with an "origin tale," so to speak, it'll be interesting to see what comes next. Perhaps they'll return to some of those Ian Fleming stories that were never truly adapted so much as they had their titles stolen.

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