- Personally, it felt a lot better quality than the last few Bond films. Right from the black and white start, the shots were brilliantly framed, the editing was slick, the mood and atmosphere was consistently reinforced. It felt like the entire story had been written in advance, in contrast to some of the recent Bond films which were reported to have started filming stunts before the screenplay was signed off.
- Like dealers betting on the stock market, the film makers correctly intersected two big trends: parkour (free running) and poker.
- Daniel Craig plays a much more realistic Bond. (Bit of a tautology given the farcical and fantastic nature of the Bond franchise.) He was more bloodied and sustained more cuts and bruises than normal. Though they seemed to heal quickly, nearly as quickly as his white formal shirts got laundered.
- The much talked-about torture scene included several moments when the huge cinema audience burst out laughing alongside a laughing Bond. No doubt carefully edited to reduce the tension and downgrade from a 15 certificate to 12A.
- Eva Green plays a strong leading lady rather than an old-style Bond girl. Oddles of attitude, plenty of style. The gadgets were still there in the background, but sometimes more subtly woven into the plot than before.
- Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode will be happy to hear that there was a bit of a titter when the Omega watch was mentioned, though not too many in the audience went “Tching Tching!” as requested!
My only real criticisms would be about the opening music, the overall length and the ending(s).
- As I walked out of the cinema, I’d no idea what the theme music had been in the impressive opening sequence. It wasn’t hummable.
- While I know the film’s title is Casino Royale, but the poker scenes were too protracted and needed a good fifteen minutes to fall onto the cutting room floor.
- The film felt like it was nearly over, and then it had an encore in Venice and nearly ended again, before a couple of actors came on stage after another costume change to have a final shoot out. Probably one encore too many.