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Sunday, November 19, 2006

The New James Bond - Without the Golden Pun

Actually, I thought Daniel Craig was great as James Bond in Casino Royal - I thought the movie was was excellent, too - but I missed two things in the new movie: gadgets and puns.

I'll save the gadgets and Q for another post. Here, I'll just lament the loss of puns. There were so few of them in Casino Royal that you could hear a pun drop. In fact, I heard only one (but I won't tell you what it is, because that would spoil the fun, and give away an important part of the plot).

The puns were always one of my favorite parts of the Bond movies - Sean Connery saying Lotta Lenya got her kicks (she wielded a shoe with a knife), Roger Moore saying he was keeping the old British end up as he made love to the heroine in a boat under the closing credits ... you know, that sort of bling.

Now, it makes good sense that Craig's Bond doesn't say many of those things - he's just starting out, and the whole point of the movie is that he doesn't yet have the polish and sophistication of the later Bond. He's not sure of his drinks or his clothes or even his poker cards. He's more vulnerable to women. He's driving a Ford in the first part of the movie.

So we can forgive him and the movie makers if they left him with barely a verbal barb. Who knows, maybe the world has outgrown that kind of repartee, which was most in vogue when Cole Porter was the top, a good two decades before the first Bond movie, anyway.

But I miss the license to kill which if it didn't make you die of laughter at least left you with a chuckle. Let's hope we haven't had the last laugh on Bond.

Listen to the podcast of this review: The Man Without the Golden Pun

See also Quantum of Solace Felt Like HBO or Showtime - High Praise

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Mario Alba said...

I agree there were not a whole lot of puns in the movie, but I thought it was fantastic. I do like the other Bond films (well, some more than some others), but I think Casino Royale blows the competition away. I would have liked a cuter girl, though (I know: a great criteria to judge a movie by). But, all in all, the movie was supremely entertaining, very well acted, and skillfully developed. I have definitely seen worse things in the last few months (Eragon comes to mind), but few better than CS (The Illusionist, for instance). Worth seeing and enjoying!

Paul Levinson said...

Welcome to the blog, finn5fel!

You know, now that a few weeks have gone by, I am liking Casino Royale more and more. Maybe puns are only something you miss in the short run ... (or pun...)

I still love the very first three James Bond movies more than Casino Royale, and maybe one or two of the Roger Moores, but, all in all, I definitely agree with you that Casino Royale is up there.