Parisian film critic Mathieu Carratier
on Casino Royale: "All you get is an
average spy film which, in trying to
distance itself from its pedigree, ends
up with no pedigree at all."
By Jeffery Wells
Casino Royale screened this morning in Paris, and I've just
received this reaction from Parisian film critic Mathieu
Carratier, whose opinion I trust because he despised
Marie-Antoinette: "The movie is a mess," he begins. "A
sometimes very entertaining and pleasurable mess, but still
a mess -- a typical example of a badly-produced film.
"There's no focus at all. The other main
criticism-that-may-not-be-a- criticism is that you rarely feel
you're watching a 'Bond film.' I'm not entirely sure if this is
a good thing or a bad thing -- it may be both. I do know
that it's partly Bourne redux and partly an old-school Sean
Connery revisit (and on that note, dangerously close to an
old-school Connery parody at times).
"For the first half, you get Bond doing his best Jack Bauer
impersonation fighting a free-running athlete, and then
suddenly he's all tux-and-martini saving the world at a
poker table -- exciting indeed. The movie seems over, but
the screenwriters then decide to pull a Return of the King
on us and it drags on forever until a final action scene.
"Daniel Craig is fine, but he's playing a totally different
character from the one we know." Martin Campbell's
direction is efficient but uninspired, the best shots coming
from the second unit directed by Alexander Witt.
"This is a film produced by people who clearly didn't know
what they wanted to do. All you get is an average spy film
which, in trying to distance itself from its pedigree, ends up
with no pedigree at all."