Okay, I was willing to reserve
judgment until I saw the film, but
now it's official ---- I don't like a
blonde Bond!

Casino Royale (2006)
movie review by Jeanne Kaplan

Okay, I was willing to reserve judgment until I saw the
film, but now it's official ---- I don't like a blonde Bond!
That may seem prejudiced, but hey ---- I'm a blonde, so
give me Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery or Roger Moore
any day over Daniel Craig. But, enough about blonde vs.
dark, what about the movie itself?

It seems in the most recent Bond flicks, many viewers
felt that the gadgets had overtaken the story. Whereas I
liked most of the unique Bond "aids" (some were a little
over the top), this film is almost devoid of them.
Instead this Bond relies more on his carved physique
(albeit short stature --- he is the slightest-in-height
actor to play James) and brute force than others. But I
digress ----

In order to become a 007, a British secret service agent
must have two kills under his belt. Bond quickly
dispatches his, one quite nicely, I must admit. He
actually shoots the double-crosser while he's still
gabbing ---- a real pet peeve of mine when the shooter
hesitates. Next, he's shipped off to Uganda where he is
in hot pursuit of a bomb maker (Sebastian Foucan). It
ends badly for Bond, who kills the nemesis instead of
capturing him for questioning, which puts him in hot
water with M (Judi Dench).

To console his bruised ego, he takes off for the
Bahamas, and is quickly on the trail of a wealthy
businessman connected to an international banker, Le
Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), who funds terrorists. After a
brief dalliance with the businessman's wife (Caterina
Murino), who is then tortured and killed because of it,
Bond ends up in Miami where he saves a brand spanking
new airplane from being blown to bits.

Then we're off to Montenegro, where he is staked by the
British government in a high roller poker game at Casino
Royale, aided by Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), a British
Treasury official, with whom he falls in love. Gasp ---
yes, James Bond really falls for the girl this time. He
even sends M a letter of resignation. But alas, Vesper is
a traitor, of sorts, and he learns this in Venice, where an
historic palazzo is promptly destroyed with poor Vesper
inside. Bond rescues her body, but in the very next
scene, he's calling her a *****, until M reminds him that
she most undoubtedly saved his life. So much for love ---

It appears that I am the only critic who didn't love this
new Bond. The movie itself was too long (almost 2 ½
hours). And I want a Bond who at least looks good in a
tux. Craig seems uncomfortable throughout most of this
film, and most notably when he's wearing a tuxedo.
Murino is drop-dead gorgeous, while Green appeared
apprehensive and unsure in such a high profile role.
However, I must say, if you're interested in beautiful
settings, "Casino Royale" may be worth seeing just for

Opinion: Wait For Video