Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bond is Back!

CASINO ROYALE was the first James Bond book written by Ian Fleming. It has twice been put on the screen, once in an American TV version with "Jim" Bond, worth watching only for Peter Lorre's version of Le Chiffre. Then it was the bastardized 60s comedy, worth watching only for Peter Sellers and Woody Allen's cameo. (And Burt Bacharach's campy score.)

Bond returns to the screen after an absence in a version designed to recall the spirit of the early Connery films and the books. There's a lot to like in this film. Daniel Craig is excellent. Much of the plot has been lifted straight from the book, and it works great. The action sequences are good, but are not over the top like so many of the recent films.

But the pacing in the third act is very weak. The love scenes are interminable, and by the time the end comes, it's hard to care.
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