This Writing Life
Writer and psychologist.
View all posts by Ian Hocking
Interesting review! And you got it up faster than me, you Sod. I come from a slightly different direction than you (I devoured the original books) so Casino Royale was always going to be a tough nut to crack, but I think they did a good job of it. There’s a solid story in the book and they carried over the best bits.
You mentioned the stereotypical ‘scarred’ villain… The stereotype in this film that annoyed me was Le Chiffre’s girlfriend. She was obviously meant to be Eastern European and it appears in modern movies, all bad guys are English, all French men are gay and all Eastern European women are skankily dressed and have roots and fake tans. Since I know many Eastern European women (and I believe you know one particually well) you’d probably agree that they’re not the sort who run about in leather fetish gear slipping digitalis into people’s martinis and maybe the scriptwriters in hollywood should pick on another stereotype for a while!
“depends on the trunks.”
Um, no, it depends on the hero 🙂
Good review. I’ve only seen the trailers, but they gave me exactly the same impression.
Thanks for your comment, Carla. You may still like the film, of course! Plenty of thrills and spills…
Fantastic review, Ian. I just love your reviews! And I am a great admirer of the Bourne films too.
Haven’t seen the film, and I’m not particularly a Bond fan, but I think the casting is interesting.
Thanks, Roger. I think the film is worth a go; it’s worth a fiver of anyone’s money. BTW, I’m not sure how old your kids are, but I’d say that some elements in this film are really ‘15’ — a point I was going to make in the review but forgot.
I am not a particular fan of Bond films in general, so I ask this question from limited experience: the review seemed to find a problem that is fundamental to how Bond films are made, for example, verisimilitude. Has there ever been a realism to Bond films? I wonder whether it’s not Casino Royale that was flawed in this manner, but the entire Bond series?
Hi MJ — Good question. In general, I’d say that yes, this is a problem with an entire series. I think it didn’t bother me as a teenager/young man, but now I want a little more from films, and I’m slightly more attuned to weaknesses in craft.
That said, you can take look at From Russia with Love and see a fairly vulnerable Bond in a realistic setting. When he imperilled on the train by the SMERSH thug played by Robert Graves, there is a very real sense that he had been out manoeuvred. I can’t imagine Daniel Craig’s Bond being foxed in the same way; he seems in total command of the situation at all times. For Your Eyes Only is another reasonably realistic Bond. It’s not just the lack of gadgets, it’s the sense of real story (Bond lays flowers on the grave of his wife; he develops a friendship with The Dove, and so on).
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