Sunday, 24 December 2006

Casino Royale ~ a perv review

The world is full of niggling questions, int it?

Arctic Monkeys ~ shit-hot or just a pile of hot shit? I’m pretty sure I already know the answer to that one, but I’ll know for sure after the LCCC gig next year.
Infernal Affairs or The Departed? (Don’t ask me, I’ll slap you.)
Best Batman ~ we’re of the Michael Keaton / Christian Bale camp over here.
Daniel Craig ~ Best Bond since Sir Sean of Connery, or just the world’s best dressed monkey?
So onto me CR review, then. Hopefully I’ll answer me own question. Or I’ll just have to watch it again to make sure.

As with me review tradition, I’ll try to sum this film up in three words:

Everything we expect from a Bond film is there: girls, cars, guns, M, vodka, fights, explosions, grudge-matches, winners, losers, villains and friends in unexpected places. Resident Tart of the Tale (a little like Sharpe’s Wench of the Week) is capable and actually quite likeable – despite sounding a wee bit French. She int a complete screaming wuss, she’s actually quite clever and dunt look at all bad in evening wear. So we can tick all the boxes there, then. I’d even wince at calling her a Bond Girl – she kinda wasn’t, even though, in every sense of the phrase, she was.

M, then. She were bloody fab. She’s lost nowt, that Dame Judi Dench, and she can be M until we end up wi a new Bond, as far as I’m concerned. When I grow up I want to be her. Her best line was possibly: “You do that again, and I’ll have you killed.” Bloody marvellous, love, well done. She also brought more to the fight than perhaps a casual glance reveals ~ it were a Battle of the Eyes. All the time she’s giving Bond a hard time over being a reckless prick, she’s doing it with that ‘I’ve got bluer eyes than you: ‘ave it!’ look on her face, coupled with the amused disdain she does so well. Even when he’s taking orders and towering over her (and he int that tall, people), she’s still slightly smug in the knowledge that (1) no-one’s analysing her performance, and (2), she’s still got bluer eyes than him.

On to Astons. An old DB5 makes an appearance, and of course, like the Tart of the Tale, he has to have it. And he does. And then – hushed voices and clammy palms ahoy – the new Aston Martin DBS comes on the scene. It’s achingly beautiful. It sounds like all the hardest Vikings in Valhalla grinding axes on massive stones. I exercised terrific self-control not rushing up and licking the cinema screen. And then I wept as it went spinning arse-over-tit, totalled and left forlorn int grass. Everyone is watching poor James, all shaken up (sorry, couldn’t resist) and being dragged from the smoking, battered, hissing wreck, murmuring they hope he’s not dead. Not me.

“Leave him, we know he’s going to be alright or there’s not going to be a film – what about the Aston? What about the Aston? We’re not going back for the Aston? Are you shitting me? A 6-litre, 500-odd bhp, 250,000 pounds sterling lump of sex on wheels and we’re not going back fer it? Are you off yer heads?”

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised – it happened to his Bentley in the book, right? Or was that a Lanchester or summat, after he wrapped the Bentley round a tree? Can’t remember.

Speaking of the original book, it’s all pretty much re-jigged and re-shaped to match a 21st century Bond, and why not? I know I’m a bit of a purist, but you have to make some concessions. (The Astons never featured in the books, fer example, as far as I can remember.) This film did everything fer me that “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” were apparently meant to and didn’t. We have a new Bond, that much is obvious, but just what kind of Bond is he? Well, he’s a reckless, too-young-to-know-better Bond. He’s a ‘why not?’ Bond. And he’s just screaming fer a kicking. Which is what he gets. Well, no, he gets summat much worse. Was I the only one who lifted their feet off the cinema floor, squealing in imagined discomfort, every time Le Chiffre went to work wi that knotted rope? Brought tears to my eyes, and I’m not even a bloke. But I have to say, that were absolutely the best line of the whole bloody film – so James Bond, so very English: “Now the whole world’s going to know you died scratching my balls!

Felix Leiter even makes an appearance – didn’t see that coming, although I have to admit I were thinking I quite liked the wee black bloke sitting at the poker table before we find out who he is.

He is, though, int he? Much as I didn’t want him to be, he is. I mean, look at him – blonde as, eyes blue like one o them crystals hanging from me bracelet, stocky and just definitely not tall, dark and handsome. A whole bag o wrong, in anyone’s book. And yet… and yet…

He does the job. He smacks people like he means it. He sticks his lip out when he’s not happy (kinda funny, and yet endearing, really) and of course, he smirks at people as only a real Bond who owns himself can. Proper. And the one incontrovertible, concrete pointy-end of fact that screams ‘in!’, was that he did the KNEE THING! (For the uninitiated, this involves grabbing yer opponent’s head down and ramming yer knee up at the same time. As close to perfection, fight-wise, as you can get. I’ll explain one day. It comes first, even over the old double-fisted chest strike that I love so much.) Qualifies as girlie porn, does that. Sweaty men grunting and fighting, all muscley and angry. Phwoar. It’s odd, you know, I didn’t want to like Daniel Craig. He made me do it.

And the quotes. Oh, the shameless fun I had listening to the dialogue – the ‘perfectly formed arse’, the ‘shaken or stirred? – Do I look like I give a damn?’, the ‘you want to do what to me?’, the ‘because you know what I can do with my little finger’… Ah, quote-heaven…

The free-running (if that’s what it’s called) at the beginning were fab to watch, David Arnold has out-done himself there again wi a perfect Bond score – where would poor Daniel have been wiowt the crashing, bashing, entwined musical score to tell him when to jump, when to smirk, when to smack some deserving bugger as looked at him wrong? The opening credits took some getting used to (not a bird in sight? What’s going on?), but I did like the theme an it’s growing on me nicely. Not dead keen on Chris Cornell’s voice, but he does the job.

Looks like I’m done here. I’d give it 9 out of 10, mention that it’s worth watching again for all the GBS (gratuitous butt shots) and of course the ol’ emerging-fromt-water shot. I tell you, I came out o that cinema needing a cigarette.

Have a happy Christmas, everyone, however you celebrate it, and I’ll see you all ont other side. I hear John Lennon starting ont radio, looks like it’s time to go. Good old 903 radio.

Peach and lube.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


weenie said...

Hey, I missed this fab review - spot on! Mr Craig - there really is something about him and his nice fitting trousers.

And trunks.


Me and me girlie mate loved it!

Soupdragon said...

Int there just? Will be int queue fert DVD when it arrives, LOL ~~

Just to watch the fight scene agai, you understand. Or maybe the "water bit", LOL



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