Friday, November 17, 2006

'Half Monk, Half Hit Man'

I just finished watching the newest Bond film, Casino Royale. I highly recommend it, and I do mean highly. This is easily one of the best, and perhaps the best, Bond film of the past few decades. Daniel Craig plays a Bond just beginning to get his bearings, but this allows him to show both more brutality and more humanity. 007, after all, is not a superhero; he is not an action hero; he is a killer who is in Her Majesty's secret service, the loyal but ruthless attack dog sent after the worst and most elusive of Britain's enemies, who is so good at eliminating them that he can do it with style.

My primary two criticisms are: (1) The exposition during the poker game was heavy-handed and purposeless -- most people are not that ignorant of poker, and those who are wouldn't be interested enough to care. But this is a minor irritation in an otherwise great series of scenes. (2) Whoever decided the music volume should be hit over the head -- while it's OK for much of the film, it occasionally becomes intrusive and loud where it should become soft and subtle, letting the images speak for themselves.

Other than that, it was quite good. It's a bit violent and brutal in parts, but an excellent reinvention of the franchise.

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