They got it right… almost
After three Bond-films, those after GoldenEye, starring Pierce Brosnan, it was a good idea to start over, with a new Bond, Daniel Craig. EON didn’t do Casino Royale in the 1962, which would have been a great idea to do by then. What they did then exactly, was to go straight to Spectre, with introducing one of it’s members, Dr. No. But, in 2006, they finally did it: Casino Royale, the film that introduces 007, Bond, James Bond. Daniel Craig, despite of having a lighter tinted hair than other, earlier Bonds, was definitely great choice: he took Bond to the roots: the character was now darker and colder, just like Timothy Dalton portrayed him already in the 1980’s, but also complex. Just like Ian Fleming had written. Craig was cool, and he was almost as good as Sean Connery. Other actors were also chosen well: Eva Green (Vesper Lynd) and Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre) were great, too. The screenplay for the film is basically very good: it follows the original novel pretty faithfully, especially in the middle part of the film. But sadly, those things were the only good things about the film. The rest parts in the film were problematic, even difficult to stand. First, from the rest parts, the screenplay wasn’t enough faithful to the original novel. Judi Dench as M was among the first things that didn’t fit in the film. According to Fleming, the first M was male, and Judi Dench’s M didn’t came out before Bond was already at the age of retirement, at his late sixties and early seventies. If Dench had a contract of making seven Bond-films, they could have let her rest for the first films by Craig, and then got her back, when the story goes back to the later days of Bond. Dench is a great actor, but they couldn’t have used her for Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, or Spectre. Secondly, Casino Royale happened in the early 1950’s, when Bond was about 30 years old. There are cellphones, laptops, modern cars and everything that don’t fit to the scene. So they have put the film to the 2000’s. I believe that they could have safely come back to 1950’s with the new Bond. There are no surprises for today’s audience, but if they’d have come back in time, it would have been magic, especially for younger audience. Luckily there are Sean Connery’s Bond-films for that, but Casino Royale would have deserved the same treatment that defined James Bond, the agent of the era of cold war. Because of modernization, they had to turn one of the very best parts of the novel into a dull farce. In the original novel, the thing Bond did with the check, was absolutely clever, but in the film, they did a dull digital transaction for the money. My conclusion is that if they had relocated James Bond back to 1950’s, and tackling all the canonical problems, this film would have been in the top five of James Bond films. I’m afraid, but I must say, that all current (and possibly upcomig) Daniel Craig’s Bond-films are in the end, badly missed opportunities. They wasted a great actor with these pseudo-Bond films. But what comes to the evils of this film are the usual: it has gunfighting, mild drinking, some kissing, and a little bit of bad language. In one scene, “b***s” are mentioned, but they don’t show Bond full nude, which they could have done. It’s safe to show this film to 12-year-old kids, but it’s also a good point to recommend for reading the novel, too. And the novel is fantastic.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing