Casino Royale
PG-13
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: -2

Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench. Action adventure. Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis. Directed by Martin Campbell.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The twenty-first James Bond film has a new 007 (Daniel Craig) in the first story written by Ian Fleming. Touted as the most original Bond ever, it tells how Mr. Bond got his job.

PREVIEW REVIEW: James Bonds first 007 mission leads him to Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), banker to the worlds terrorists. In order to stop him and bring down the terrorist network, Bond must beat Le Chiffre in a high-stakes poker game at Casino Royale. Bond is initially annoyed when a beautiful British Treasury official, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) is assigned to deliver his stake for the game and watch over the government's money. But as Bond and Vesper survive a series of lethal attacks by Le Chiffre and his henchmen, a mutual attraction develops.

This film is a good example of why I hate giving pluses and minuses when it comes to the merits of a film. While I can objectively praise a film for its technical and artistic merits, some may feel that my honest opinion of those achievements is an endorsement. Come on, folks, its James Bond; Im not going to attempt to promote James Bond. Though hes fictional, he is brutal, a womanizer and a paid assassin with a penchant for cynical bon mots after a kill. Whats more, theres usually some sexual imagery that I as a Christian cant be sending you to. Though its okay in the secular world to have casual sex, basically using another person for their body, we as followers of Christ arent supposed to be doing that. So, my positive view of the productions quality should not be misinterpreted as promotion. That said, this Bond is the best Bond ever.

The debonair and dangerous British secret agent is now played by Daniel Craig. From his previous roles and the fact that hes blonde with blue eyes, I assumed he was the wrong choice to follow Mr. Brosnan. Once again, class, Never assume.

Mr. Craig fits the role to a tee. Hes buff and manly in appearance and able to portray brutal and witty like no one since Mr. Connery. Along with this satisfying casting, the script is a perfect blend of character defining, interesting plot, eye popping stunts, and incredible locales. And while it is still loaded with death-defying situations, theres another ingredient usually eliminated from the filmed versions of Flemings novels and thats story and character development. I consider this Casino Royale to be the best Bond adventure since Goldfinger.

Well produced, well photographed and with lively pacing, the production is simply the perfect movie cocktail. Though suspension of disbelief is still needed by audience members, at least there are no invisible cars (Die Another Day). Even the score works. At one point, I thought, wheres the 007 theme? Then it hit me: Theyre reintroducing us to the character. Ill bet theyre saving the theme for the end. Sure enough, before that last shot fades, the big band blasts Bonds musical entry, sending us all out to our own Astin Martins and exciting adventures on the way back to the suburbs.

I admit, my review is pretty tempting, isnt it? Well, read the content, and then decide if you should heed the +4 or the -2.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Summary
Crude Language: In her anger, M, played by the otherwise classy Dame Judi Dench, utters some British expletives. I have no idea. Them English people talk funny.
Obscene Language: Several minor expletives (damns and hells), again mostly from Dame Dench.
Profanity: A possible misuse of Christs name, also from Judi Dench. Not sure if I heard it as someone leaned over and said something just as she spoke.
Violence: Mainly the film gets its PG-13 rating from the violence. Though the director is careful not to exceed the gruesome level, still Mr. Bond gets tortured and it is implied that his girl of the moment is mistreated, as well. There are lots of chases, shootings and death-defying leaps from rooftop to rooftop in a single bound. And to punctuate Bonds callous nature, we see him kill with a cold-heartedness that was a part of the first books. After being poisoned, Bond almost dies. A defibrillator is used on him. Blood: Some blood as a whole lot of people get wounded or killed.
Sexual Intercourse: Several sexual situations, nothing too graphic, mostly implied that they are sleeping together.
Nudity: None, but a couple of scenes feature women in brief clothing. That said, the emphasis is placed on who Bond is, along with lots of action.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: A few innuendoes, but again, the film puts more emphasis on other aspects of Bonds nature.
Drug Abuse: Some drinking.
Other: None
Running Time: 146 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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