Casino Royale (2006)

Let’s be honest: James Bond will always be James Bond. There will be explosions, there will be a ridiculous villain, and there will be a fairly offensive and chauvinistic approach to all the female characters. Casino Royale is no exception to the Bond formula. In addition to the sex and violence, however, the latest installment in the series takes an opportunity to slow down and do something very interesting.

In the slower moments of the film, the writers take time to deal with the origins and consequences of the callous mindset that defines James Bond. They take a sensitive look at the casual sex-hound and remorseless murderer, which–while still admiring–shows a certain hollowness to his being.

Over all, Casino Royale is little more than a fun popcorn flick, but its moments of introspection lend it a gravity and sense of dignity seldom found in the blow-’em-up super-spy genre.

–nc

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