Let's be honest here. I was rather ambivalent about Ian Fleming’s James Bond before watching Bond movie No. 21 - Casino Royale, at the Bolkiah Theatre in town yesterday evening. Although, like everyone else, I DO have an opinion about who makes the best Bond. I liked Sean, and perhaps Pierce, but not Timothy, or God forbid, George. But as a movie franchise, its one for the boys don't you think? With the suits, the cars, the gadgets, the girls with laughable (to women) names such as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger and Honey Ryder in Dr. No. But all good things must come to an end boys, Casino Royale with British-born actor Daniel Craig as a blond Bond hunk, muscles a-rippling and a-bleeding (on the inside too!), the new James Bond movie is definitely one for the ladies.
The opening credits of a Bond film is usually uncomfortable for a woman who is watching the movie with her man. The Bond theme music is incomplete without a shrill and booming brass fanfare, and then comes the naked silhouette of ladies dancing in flames/ice/diamonds. But in Casino Royale, Chris Cornell (former lead singer of Soundgarden) does a slick theme, and instead of aforementioned naked girls, the opening credits has sexy silhouettes of Bond himself in various poses of intrigue. Most with a BIG GUN.
In the new Bond, I liked that the Bond girl looks like she could be your best friend. French actress Eva Green was casted well as slightly imperfect clever lass, Vesper Lynd. Unlike say, Denise Richards as Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough, with her perfect big teeth, big breasts, big hair, plays a physicist. Yes, of course. Such a boy's fantasy that was. But I have to say that Daniel Craig's James Bond looks best in a tiny swimming trunk than the other Bonds (okay maybe not early Sean Connery). And a nod goes deservedly to the movie's stylist, as Bond is dressed to kill, not too suave, but handsome (and deadly). I also thought it was interesting that the first car we see James driving in the movie was a shiny Ford rental. Of course he also had the gorgeous silver DB5 and DBS.
There were plenty of rough action sequences with James getting hurt all over the place. One scene was particularly ball breaking. Look out for it. Look out also for Richard Branson (boss of Virgin Airways) who has a cameo in the movie. Blink and you'll miss him. Bobby didn't but I did. There was an obvious deviation from Bond's martini banter in a memorable line from the movie - this time he was asked whether he wanted his Martini shaken or stirred, and he answered with a sexy stoic, "Do I look like I give a damn?"
[I wonder if after watching Casino Royale, Pierce Brosnan is thinking now why do they have to make me look so wimpy.]
Well I thought the movie was fresh and current. Daniel Craig, with his pugly nose and strange-looking-yet-handsome face (and it must be said, those pecs) silenced even me. But even though that body can be distracting, Mr. Craig played double-oh-seven with the necessary edginess and raw physique to compete with the likes of modern-day spies like Jason Bourne and Jack Ryan. So yes, I enjoyed Casino Royale. Bobby did too. For the girls, go watch it and count the phwoarghs in your head. For the boys, there's a new Bond in town.