Pierce Brosnan is dead! Long live Daniel Craig!!
Ok, Brosnan isn't actually dead, but I think you get my point! Let me get this out of the way first...
a) I despise Pierce Brosnan (obviously not on a personal level but as an..
b) Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery. Period.
Shout and scream at me all you like for either point, but that's my feelings. Now I went and saw this the other day at the Odeon West End, and thus paid the price of a small car for my ticket, popcorn and 7-up (of which there was only a choice of large and massive), so I was damn well hoping for a good film. At least I was giving my savings away for a 145min film!
Ok, price rant over, 145mins is a bit King Kong (go cockney!), and suffers from a similar problem as LOTR:ROTK, in that it gets to the end, 2/3 of the way through the film. I'm sat there thinking; "this is a soppy ending for a Bond film", only to remember that there hasn't been the Venice bit that's in the trailers and that everyone keeps talking about.
I was apprehensive about CR, but not because of Mr. Craig, but Martin Campbell the director, who also directed Goldeneye, the painful introduction to "Pierce Bond", while Goldeneye is one of the better Brosnan era films, it's still not that great.
Apart from the length issue and the pacing in certain parts, this film kicks ass, literally. It's hard-bloody-core. No messing about, the few "Bond-quips" that are in there are darker than before and Craig is electrifying, the man is simply just one big bit of testosterone fueled muscle, the amount of screen presence that man has, without trying, is phenomenal.
I liked Craig in Munich, I have to say I haven't seen Layer Cake, so this was the first time I've sen him in a leading role (I will be renting Layer Cake this weekend hopefully) and as Bond he is brilliant! No messing about, hard as nails and yet still has the "Bond-feel" which I felt was so lacking in the Pierce Bland films.
i say he's the best since Connery, because obviously Connery was the first and will always be the "ultimate" bond.
If you forgive the film's bloated running time, the slight soppyness (although somewhat justified), product placement (not as bad as The Island) and (although I need to check this) the fact that this is the start of Bond's career as a '00' and didn't Judy Dench's 'M' take over from the other one in story terms?? You'll love this film, a proper action movie, one of the best for a long time.
(Note to Broccoli's people: Jason Statham as a bad guy in the next one please.. goood God!)
Casino Royal 8/10