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Written by Funn Lim


"This is a must see for any action movies fans. Not just Bond fans could enjoy this"








SOME SPOILERS!






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Are you watching Casino Royale? I am not a huge die hard fan of James Bond or his movies but I do have my own perception of how James Bond should look like. I had my doubts about Daniel Craig as James Bond. I still have my doubts but there is no doubt this man can act, he can run, he can do fight scenes convincingly and he can be very charming when he wants to be. He may not be traditionally handsome but somehow those cold steely blue eyes, very nice body and that face full of lines kinda accentuates his world weariness and thus makes him forbidingly dangerous and very attractive. There was the pout and all of course. I still don't see in him the previous movies' James Bond but I do see in him MI6 agent, killer, a man with a conscience but with a duty to kill and possibly a man that could be loved and fall in love as in this movie. So Daniel Craig may be blonde, balding and short but in those scenes where he sat down with Eva Green (as Vesper Lynd) just talking, having a very interesting coversation about knowing the other's real person and all whilst flirting non stop and when he laughed, I find him very handsome. It is like seeing a tightly wound up person being relaxed for once and that moment of being relaxed is like golden, rare and so satisfying.

The actions scenes were magnificent. From the get go, we have Bond chasing after a guy who was doing free jumping, such agility and gracefulness and Bond, never slow and chasing just as hard lacked the agility and gracefulness but he had brute force. He kills in a very "this is just work for me" manner and yet his eyes flinched for a moment, was that a regret that he had to kill? And he believed that his killings had a purpose; to rid the world of bad guys, even if it may be one bomb maker. That makes him reckless as he could not see the big picture as M reminded him again and again. I love his relationship with M and we do get to see M at her home, her husband, and possibly even her name that starts with the alphabet M. I loved the scenes where she scolded him, expressed her disappointment in him and how he responded, as callous as he could but you know her words hurt him even if he didn't look like he give a damn. Some scenes showed he had integrity, like under severe torture using the simplest tools had him screaming unshamedly with pain but yet I felt what a man, what a macho guy because he simply did not yield. It was also a very funny scene as the way Bond responded to the torture and I thought it was a brilliant scene. There were also car chase scene where Vesper was lying on the road and he had to avoid her and his Aston Martin when tumbling and tumbling. The number of times he was bleeding, scarred and in pain was like every 10 min or so but it was real. The previous Bond lacked that jittery scary moment and in this version you have plenty. Many times I sat at the edge of my seat thinking how he will escape it all and he did it all, in a very realistic way. My absolute favourite scene was the one where he was poisoned whilst playing poker and he quickly rushed out and contacted his HQ via a laptop-thingy in his Aston Martin. If this was Streamyx he was using, I am afraid there wouldn't be anymore James Bond movie. Anyway he was dying, his heart was stopping and he was receiving instructions on how to revive his own heart if he should then faint and die. He did everything and the moment his heart was about to give, he pushed the red button of the defribilator and guess what? It didn't work! He realised he did not attach the switch and all and before he could do it, the HQ via their computers heard the doooooooooooooo sound. Oh yeah, Bond was dead. How he overcame this? Well watch the movie for yourself. Anyway as the movie went by he fell in love, then felt betrayed for reasons that I think I need a 2nd viewing to understand and then in the end, only in the end you will see him in a very nicely cut suit (before that he preferred the slack and shirt) with a huge gun saying "Bond, James Bond". If I may add, perfect delivery. And then the original theme came onto the picture. It was not the reworked theme I think because it sounded like the original theme, only louder.

Although there's no Q or Moneypenny (here Moneypenny as in M's secretary is a young man) or even a real villain per se, this movie did not lack in technology even if they were real and workable instead of fanciful. I was not happy at first seeing Bond in a Ford car. Then he switched to 2 types of Aston Martin and oh my, what gorgeous cars. There was no shaken or stirred Martinis, in fact Bond retorted "Do I look like I give a damn?" or fancy stuff. No perfectly cut suit every scene but one very fine looking tux. No sex scenes, but probably because Malaysian cinema must have cut it. Amazingly kissing scene not cut much and instead of women running around in a sexy bikini, we have Bond coming out of the water in a very nice looking baby blue swimming trunks ala Sean Connery time and I feel men should wear those instead of speedos or whatever.

What you do have is a lot of very funny or intelligent banter, a very good poker game scene (instead the poker game was long), amazing action sequences and in a movie that was 30 min too long, luckily a few good actors to hold your attention.

For one Dame Judi Dench is amazing. She was always underused as M, more supportive before but here you will see her standalone, you see her getting angry, scolding Bond and trying to teach him how to be a better agent which involves looking at the big picture and putting own emotions aside for the sake of your country and Queen, you see her home life, you see her out of office and doing some real work and you see her being harassed by Bond so as to assist him in his investigations. You even see the back of her Husband and her gorgeous apartment. I liked her end scene where Bond said something horrible about Vesper Lynd but it was M who chided Bond in a very gentle manner.

Eva Green was in Kingdom Of Heaven looking beautiful with heavy mascara and nothing much to do. In 007, she has loads to do and still looking very beautiful indeed. I read she is French and if she is, and she does have those wispy French looks that most French actresses have, she has a very good English accent. She could have fooled me. Anyway, her role as Vesper Lynd was interesting in that she has a temper, she held her own against the not that chauvinistic but still as egoistical Bond and more importantly she didn't have some funny name. Her role is beyond sleeping with Bond, in fact her role is to make us believe she could make Bond fall in love with her and even quit his job for her. I could believe that. Her Vesper is alluring without being too inaccessible or inconceivable that such person could exist and yet you sense she is someone special. In other words she has a role and a purpose and she is treated with respect by Bond not because she could fight and all, in fact she could not deal with the fact that she had to kill even if to save her own life but rather because she has personality and she has an opinion and she is not afraid to let Bond hear what she's thinking about. My only problem with her is her awful night gowns. Her overdone eye makeup made her looked bruise. In fact she has a tendency to grimace a bit which makes her look drugged out. Other than that, she is fine. In fact her most beautiful moment was when she was stripped of makeup and looking fresh and very young. Her chemistry with Daniel Craig is first class.

The villain Le Chiffre played by Mads Mikkelsen was interesting. He is not really a villain per se but what he does is still bad enough. He has such a cold plastic face that is scary. I thought his performance was brilliant and I have never heard of him before.

Last but not least Daniel Craig himself. No no no, he is still not my idea of Bond. But if this is about Bond starting to be comfortable with his 007 status, then yes I have to admit, grudgingly he was perfect. He can deliver those light hearted moments as well as heavy drama, he could fight and jump and run and looking bruised and yet still look he can face more of those whatever may come, he has a nice looking body and although a bit stocky and a bit too short, he looks he can kill you if he wants to. His Bond is a bit clumsy, in fact makes major mistakes and is egoistical but his Bond is also human, with a conscience, idealist perhaps in the way he thought about his job and is earnest and has this never say die attitude. Under torture he did not yield even when he knew the woman he loves was being tortured also. He has yet to become that cold hearted chauvinistic mean killing machine and Craig portrayed that aspect very well. He could do a bit of lighthearted moments too. My only worry for him is the suave and debonair department like Roger Moore was. Could he do that in later movies? Because James Bond will become as such in later movies. Although I still don't see James Bond in Daniel Craig I felt he is such a fantastic actor and a fantastic athlete that I could see an action star in him. Maybe being suave can be polished, I am not very sure and I won't say he is the best Bond ever. This Bond movie is totally different from the rest but I can say he had me hooked the moment he appeared. No doubt, he is charismatic as well as having an interesting face that one could remember.

There are several aspects I did not like about this movie. The plot for one is confusing towards the end, it was almost too narrow but well it works for the purpose of reintroducing Bond to the world. Whilst there is still that opening sequence with music, the themesong was truly the worst aspect and the most awful thing about this movie. But the opening sequence was very artistic and I enjoyed it because I didn't cringe like I did before where I had to endure naked looking women gyrating to the music but now from the moment of the director saying ACTION, even in the themesong sequence you see Bond, James Bond. Oh this movie is bent on promoting Bond, hence the rising from the ocean scene. I like that because why should Bond movie be about the villains and women? It should be about the man himself, the rest should be sidelines.

But one aspect was improved from the previous movie apart from the campiness thing (I mean previous Bond movies can be said to be a tad campy, almost a joke by itself and a caricature of the character of James Bond for simply being James Bond), the scenery were amazing. No more filming in a fake studio place like the awful last Bond movie, now we have scenery, we have yacth, we have sea and we have beautiful exotic buildings. That was a marked improvement. And the first scene shot in black and white with camera work remisnicent of the olden days camera work was pretty interesting. And the one liners that Bond movies are famous for is in full glory here without being too sexual, too cringe worthy or too much of everything.

Verdict
So my verdict? This is a must see for any action movies fans. Not just Bond fans could enjoy this. This is one of the best action films this year and for me the best Bond movie because I didn't cringe. I bet women will fall for Daniel Craig's rugged James Bond whilst men will enjoy the action scenes as well as the beautiful Eva Green. I loved it for the performances and Daniel Craig himself. Now, for the sequel I hope Daniel works on the debonair part and the song writers write us Bond fans a better song.

Watch it on the big screen as this movie deserves it.

Interesting stuff
The structure of the movie is almost similar with Batman Begins. Very interesting.

Anyway, I can understand why the fans hated Craig at first. He went through an amazing transformation by just gaining a few pounds, looking a bit more muscular and give his lips a pout. Just look...

2004 he was this :-
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2006 as James Bond :-
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He's still short though.

It's True Fact
I don't know how our Malaysian censorship board rates movies but this movie got a U raing, meaning for viewing of the general publis including children without any parental guidance. I mean are they crazy? First scene itself we have Bond smashing a guy's head on the sink a few times. Of coruse some were censored. I'd rather this movie get an 18 whatever rating (meaning only for those 18 and above) so that the movie is left untouched. Alas ... it was not to be.

More Info
And for fan reviews, check out imdb.com






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