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November 23, 2006

Casino Royale (and action movie scenes)

Filed under: Film — see @ 1:32 am

Today I saw the Casino Royale preview which will be officially released tomorrow  (saw the  original audio version, not dubbed which is sadly still the standard in Germany).

I did not except anything. I did not expect anything when I first saw Pierce Brosnan and James Bond in Goldeneye and at the time I thought it was ok (saw it again a few month ago and realized it was awful, PB is IMHO the worst bond of all).

But today I was surprised, I guess Casino Royale is the best Bond since Moonraker (on a totally different level of course).

Moonraker was the last Bond I did not watch in the cinema (first one I was allowed to was “For Your Eyes Only”…). All the Bonds in the 80s and 90s were at first ok (the later Roger Moore ones), not completely bad (Timothy Dalton ones) to getting sillier and sillier (Pierce Brosnan ones). When I later (I guess middle of 80s) saw all Bonds from Dr. No on I realized these were the films that built and hold to James Bond’s reputation, the later ones merely marketing vehicles.

Casino Royale has the best (let’s say hard) Bond since Sean Connery (Roger Moore is a different league, I like both approaches). Even the story is good, a bit convoluted and contrived but nevertheless quite exciting and with interesting and new villains. Mads Mikkelsen role is not the classic Bond bad guy but one who has problems himself (BTW a good and sympathetic actor). A bit long but I guess the quite complex story needs it.

Just one point which is not specific to this “action movie” though. For some time I noticed in “modern action movies” the actual action is hardly to grasp. Maybe I am too old for the “style” but I have problems getting what is actually happening during action screnes. To me it seems more empahsis is given to explosions, faster and faster action through even quicker cuts etc. The actual action is shown so fragmented that it is sometimes impossible to get what happens, who is fighting who. Only thing seen are that some guys get killed and the hero lives in the end (mostly by destroying every bad guy, machine, surrounding and whatever). I try to explain this to myself that some film makers forget to actually choreograph the action scenes properly but just need to spend money for explosions.
Notable exception are films like matrix in which action scenes are not “probable” but are actually (mostly) comprehensible (even the extreme slow motion scenes beside).

Anyway, Casino Royale surprised me and is a worthy new Bond movie, I hope they can keep up with the next one(s)…

1 Comment »

  1. I really do agree with you here. PB was gruesome and Daniel Craig really looks (as Sean Connery did too) like he could take out a villain with a punch. None of the others did.

    And without prejudice to the young video game kings among us, I think that’s where film makers get their editing patterns for action.

    And you need to be a video game addict to follow most of today’s action sequences.

    Gives me a headache.

    Have you seen ‘Man on Fire’? Whew.

    Comment by Pandrang Row — December 20, 2006 @ 11:27 am

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