I was going to wait until a second viewing of CASINO ROYALE before writing a comment for it since my opinion on a film occasionally does change the second time around, but I am absolutely stunned at the positive rating of the picture so I feel I must get my two cents out while my grips are fresh in my mind. Since there are so many of them, the following will read more as a complaint this than a coherent review, which is appropriate since coherency is definitely not something that CASINO ROYAL has, surprising given the ridiculous two and a half hour running time. Poorly adapted by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and (groan) Paul Haggis, is the perfect example of one too many cooks in the kitchen. There are two screenplays fighting for screen time here, and the two mesh horribly. The action aspect, which I am guessing is Purvis and Wade’s screenplay, is fine. The ideas behind the action scenes are incredible. The execution-not so much. Then there’s the so-called character development and horrid romantic sub-plot that feel like they were tacked right after shooting began. No doubt that was the work of Haggis’ trite, pain-inducing screenplay, overwrought with some of the corniest dialogue of all time delivered by the seemingly medicated Daniel Craig as James Bond. Neither charming nor slick, Craig plays Bond as if he doesn’t care. There is no coolness factor to Bond here, especially when the film turns into THE NOTEBOOK in the last act. Yes, this is not the Bond we all know and love. This is a sensitive, weak, and all around boring Bond. The exact type that should not be in an action movie. To make matters worse, there is no chemistry between Craig and leading lady Eva Green. In fact, their romance seems downright creepy. Green was 25-years-old when ‘ROYALE’ was shot, Craig was 38 and looking over 40. I could buy them as father and daughter, but as a supposed couple, it was just a major turn off.
Perhaps the biggest cinematic crime CASINO ROYALE makes is throwing the continuity of the series out the window. Granted the Bond series has never been about continuity, but what’s done in ‘ROYALE’ is a giant slap in the face to anyone who has been following the franchise for even the past few installments. A supposed prequel to the series, the story takes place in 2006. With a budget of over $150 million, the filmmakers couldn’t have set in another decade? It’s just one of the many examples in CASINO ROYALE that shows film-making at its laziest. Don’t believe the hype. This is the worst Bond picture of all time. I never thought I would say this, but Bond is dead. Worst of the year. 0/10