More twists and turns than a rollercoaster, this keeps you guessing and immersed till the very end. This man Nolan really does have an impressive string of hits to his name. Inception and the two Batman pictures (to date) may be the huge box office hits, but Memento, Insomnia and this, really are all first rate cinema too. Nolan may look disturbingly like Harry Enfield’s ‘Tim Tim Nice But Dim’, and his career may very much be in the limelight now, but it is one well worth following. This film elicits grade A performances from Bale, Caine and (perhaps more impressively) Jackson too, but can’t quite stretch as far as to get too much out of Johansson – but then that might be asking as much as one of Borden’s more spectacular magic tricks.
James Bond doesn’t get any better than this. In fact, film doesn’t get much better than this either come to think of it. Challenged with reinvigorating the series they did just that. Daniel Craig explodes onto the screen with a fantastic noir-esque pre title sequence, and then gets your Bond juices flowing with an epic chase through Madagascar (actually the Bahamas) that allows us to see Craig’s characterisation of Bond from the outset: a tough and brutal agent hell bent on getting his man. When he burst through the dry wall I knew I was in for a treat. Martin Campbell has made two of the best Bond films in the last twenty years with this and with Goldeneye, both times having been challenged with kick-started the franchise, and both times hitting a bull’s eye. Perhaps the only disappointing thing about this outing for me was that Bond was seen driving a Ford. And they tried to make him look cool whilst doing so. A Ford. And not even a Ford Mustang (would have been excusable) but a Ford Mondeo! Grandpas drive them, not James Bloody Bond. Anyway… moving on. The locations are what you would expect from a Bond film; there are no Moore style campy jokes, but instead the script is darker and grittier; the gambling is well done; the torture scene superb (amazingly containing a laugh out loud funny bit too) and to wrap it all off, Craig is superb as 007. He is powerful, brutal, ripped, cocky and Fleming would be proud. What is so impressive about Casino Royale is that it is just as successfully the 1st Bond film as it is the 21st. And this really is some achievement. More please. Lots more.
Simply put: Style over substance. There are some excellent sequences, but that is all this film seems to be, well planned and executed sequences – but with nothing coherent gluing the whole thing together. The ‘aeroplane near crash and last minute rescue’ is extremely impressively realised and the machine gun ammo slamming off Supe’s chest followed by the bullet in the eye are magnificent. My jaw was dropping and I almost wanted to cheer. That is what Superman is about: seeing him defeat the bad guys in new, engaging – even amusing – ways. But that was where the fun ended. As what Superman is not about is love children and ridiculous heroic dabblings with kryptonite. I find both to be so hideously implausible that they must both be ridiculed. As Brodie (ably played by Jason Lee in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats) points out, “It's impossible! Lois Lane could never have Superman's baby. Do you think her fallopian tubes could handle his sperm? I guarantee you that when he comes during sex, he probably blows a load like a shotgun blast... right through her back.” So aside from Lois Lane being alive post coitus, you would then have the impossibility of a human being conceiving and bringing to full term an alien’s child. Do not forget that just because Clark Kent looks like and ostensibly acts like a human he is an alien. He is a different species entirely. And entirely different species cannot mate. Just think of the havoc it would cause in the animal kingdom if a lion fell in love with and mated with a crocodile. Or a guinea fowl.
The other issue that makes me quiver with anger is the whole cretinous concept of Superman being physically able to lift an entire continent of kryptonite into outer space. As internet blogger dpogue21 so proficiently phrases it (much better than I could – so thank you dpogue) in his imdb review, “My next major complaint [is] that Superman lifts a continent made out of kryptonite up into outer space. It doesn't take comic book guy from the Simpsons to point out what's wrong with that. I don't know how many comic books Bryan Singer has read, but when Superman is exposed to even a small amount of kryptonite he barely has the strength to stay on his feet. Whoever had the idea to have him fly a large island made out of his greatest weakness into space has no business being associated with any Superman-related projects ever again. The concept is as ridiculous as making a Dracula movie where the title character has a stake through his heart and still manages to fly a spaceship made out of garlic into the sun. Why not just have Superman eat kryptonite? He can eat it and then brush his teeth with it, and then go to sleep in kryptonite pyjamas. That's not any more absurd then having him hoist a continent of kryptonite into space and then fall powerless through the atmosphere without burning up in re-entry or splattering all over central park when he hits the ground.” Need I say more? Didn’t think so.
Another lonely voice on the internet.