But Casino Royale....works. Big time. And, interestingly enough, they did it by ditching almost everything we thing of as "Bond". Gone are the gadgets, gone (almost completely) are the one liners. Gone are the great old British character actors.
There are some people who will not like this new Bond. A review, breif and to the point, on Movies.com says simply:
If you're a true bond fan, you will not like this film. It lacks many essential
components to a bond film, such as the traditional opening, the bond theme,
Moneypenny, Q, high tech gadets. And I'm sorry but, you can't have a blond bond.
This has to be the worst bond film yet.
And that is fair warning...but to me, it was those old conventions which were just not working anymore. It was fun to watch Sean Connery hop from bed to bed in the 1960s. (It still is.) But when Pierce Brosnan did it in the 2000s, I found myself thinking: "ugh. He's gonna catch something and die."
There is another thing, too. When Sean Connery or Rodger Moore behaved they way they did, it was easy to overlook...hell, they didn't know any better. But again, through no fault of the actor, when Brosnan did it, there was something really sick about it- not much different from the careless sadism of Grand Theft Auto.
The more light and carefree the movie makers tried to be, the more they tried to inject the sixties flippancy into the modern movies...the more uncomfortable I found them to watch.
This new movie has ditched almost all traces of what made a Connery or Moore film so much fun.
What has arisen in its place as a gritty, ugly kind of reality (or at least, by Bond standards) and a Bond who is all but "soul-less" in his cold, deadly efficiency. Instead of being flippant about it, this new Bond has to deal with his sickness at every turn and make a decision about embracing it or abandoning it. Neither is clearly the correct choice.
In a post 9-11, post Iraq world, where those of us who wear the white hats have had to face up to the fact that we have done unspeakable things in the name of "self-defense" , this new ambiguous Bond is just about the only choice possible.
Oddly enough, the flick is still a lot of fun.
I won't spoil it by giving away the plot (well, there really isn't a plot, but in this movie, it almost doesn't matter) and ... well seen on a big screen, first action sequence following the credits is worth the price of admission AND a big bucket of pop-corn.
Anybody want to go again?