Jackpot! "Casino Royale" Has A Tomatometer!

by | November 9, 2006 | Comments

With "Casino Royale" opening next week, the movie now has its first salvo of reviews and its own Official Tomatometer. What do the critics have to say? At 100%, they’re all stirred and shaken.

There has been no shortage of controversy to the new James Bond flick, from the color of Daniel Craig‘s hair, to the absence of fan favorite characters like Q and Miss Moneypenny, to how Craig got his teeth knocked out during choreographed stunt fights. But did any of this matter to the first Tomatometer critics who reviewed the 21st James Bond flick?

Naturally, the first few reviews come from Bond’s native country, where the first sneak screening got the blogosphere in a tizzy. BBC‘s Paul Arendt praises the tough action sequences and Craig’s tough portrayal of Bond:

"Craig is the first actor to really nail 007’s defining characteristic: he’s an absolute swine. Following his example, Martin Campbell’s film hits the ground running with a breathless chase through a building site, a sequence so impressive that the rest of the action struggles to trump it. Bond takes a tremendous battering throughout the movie. He’s beaten senseless, thrown off ledges, poisoned and tortured."

Empire Magazine‘s Kim Newman has an off-hand lament that there’s no great theme song in "Casino Royale." Otherwise Newman has no complaints:

"This has almost everything you could want from a Bond movie, plus qualities you didn’t expect they’d even try for. It does all the location-hopping, eye-opening stunt stuff and lavish glamour expected of every big-screen Bond, but also delivers a surprisingly faithful adaptation of Fleming’s short, sharp, cynical book with the post-WWII East-vs.-West backdrop persuasively upgraded to a post 9/11 War on Terror."

Chris Tookey over at Daily Mail takes a more moderate view, somewhere between Newman’s Arendt’s, wishing for more motivation to Bond’s actions, but still lavishing on the accolades at the end:

"The big strength of the film is that it takes us further inside Bond’s head than ever. Despite showing us his sensitive side, Craig looks a far more convincing killer than any 007 since Connery."

But what do the Yanks across the pond have to say? They’re equally impressed. Emanuel Levy is in agreement with his cross-Atlantic peers, and goes even further to praise the rest of the cast:

"Martin Campbell, who had introduced Pierce Brosnan in his Bond debut in the 1995 "GoldenEye," has shrewdly cast all the roles with accomplished actors that form a truly international ensemble, consisting of Italian Giancarlo Gianni in the crucial role of Mathis, Bond’s associate, and the very American Jeffrey Wright, as Felix Leiter, a mysterious CIA agent who offers to help Bond buy back into the poker game."

And with Variety‘s review, the one to push "Casino Royale" over the top and give it its 100% Tomatometer, Todd McCarthy sums it up what the filmmakers were going for when the movie was first announced:

"’Casino Royale’ is the first Bond in a while that’s not over-produced, and is all the better for it."

"Casino Royale" opens in theatres everywhere on November 17.

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