Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Shaken or stirred?" "Does it look like I give a damn?"

Explanation here as to why, although I've seen Casino Royale, and although I think Daniel Craig is one of the best actors of our generation, I haven't put it in my top-picks list. Because, although the Bond Franchise did need to cut back on the silliness somewhat (just an example, the tick-the-box approach to set pieces of the last few movies: "skiing chase scene, check; motorboat chase scene, check; daring escape using helicopters, check..."), it went too far in the other direction (with Craig playing Bond as if he were a real character) and so, things which should have had a tinge of unreality to them to work (e.g. a terrorist engaging in a massively complicated scheme to blow up a plane, as opposed to simply hijacking it and flying it into something) were played as if we were supposed to take them seriously. So my favourite Casino Royale remains the version with seven James Bonds, Orson Welles and a troupe of sea-lions: it's insane, but it's enjoyably insane, and you can at least have fun spotting the bits that Robert Holmes ripped off for his 1970s Doctor Who stories.