89. Not well
Dryden is on the receiving end of Bond who is about to earn his double-0 stripes. Before he departs, Dryden asks how his associate dies. “Not well” replies Bond, as we start to flash backwards/forwards to a surprisingly visceral brutal fight in a gents toilet. At the end of the scene, there is a play on the infamous Gun-barrel sequence (a bog-barrel if you like) which then segues into some rather lovely main-titles.
Bond chases terrorist bomber Mollaka (played by Sebastien Foucan who created Free Running and is one of the Parkour founders) to a building site. Both the chase and stakes get higher and higher eventually leading to the top of a crane. Some wonderful aerial photography plus a few breath-taking leaps later, another truly iconic Bond moment is cemented. Other nice touches include Mollaka seemingly bouncing down a lift shaft and Bond breaking through a wall in a seemingly uncooth manner.
91. Swimming shorts
Giving something back to the ladies, there is no doubt that Daniel Craig set tongues wagging with his buffed up appearance in this scene. For the men, well apparently gym subscriptions and sales in blue speedo trunks went through the roof afterwards. Solange (Caterina Murino) on her beautiful white horse wasn’t so difficult on the eye either.
92. All eyes on you
There are lots of lovely little character moments in Casino Royale, such as the wry smile Bond gives after a bomber has just unknowingly detonated himself. Bond and Vesper have sized each other and have bought each other costumes for the casino. Bond tells Vesper he needs her looking fabulous, so that when she arrives all the other players will be thinking about her rather than about their cards. Vesper sizes Bond up also and give him his first tailored tux, which initially he isn’t too pleased about. In a lovely little twist, when Vesper enters the Casino – all eyes are indeed on her. I’m not sure Mr Bond’s eyes were on the cards either. Oops…
Firstly this was a great stinger moment when Obano and his henchman ambush Valenka and Le Chiffre in their hotel demanding to know what has happened to their “investment”. Things get dark when Obano threatens to cut off Valenka’s arm. Bond and Vesper realise something is up and find themselves embroiled in a rather brutal fight involving the machete wielding Obano. Nasty stuff, Obano’s death is another rather messy affair. After this, Bond does damage control on his battered body but goes back to finish the game in his original tux. After the game he goes to check on Vesper, who is clearly upset by the whole incident sitting in a cold-shower fully clothed. He sits next down next to her and puts his arm around her for comfort and starts sucking her fingers to “take the blood away”. Then he turns up the hot water and continues comforting her. I’m sure Roger Moore would have just bedded her.
94. Shaken or Stirred?
Bond gets a bit ahead of himself and loses all his money when going “all in” against Le Chiffre. During “a short break”, Vesper tells Bond that she won’t stake any more money on him. Clearly a bit miffed, Bond decides he needs a stiff Vodka-Martini. “Shaken or Stirred?” asks the bar-man. “Does it look like I give a damn” replies Bond rather rudely. After quaffing that, he figures he has nothing to lose and decides to go after Le Chiffre with a dinner knife. Thankfully “our brother from Langley” (aka Felix Leiter) intervenes and pledges Bond the money he needs to re-enter the game.
95. This is torture
Another superbly tense scene with some interesting dialogue. Bond is tied naked to a chair with the bottom of it cut out and given a Fleming-esque number with a knotted-rope to his nethers. It was amazing how many men were wincing and squirming during this particular scene. And somehow they even managed to inject a bit of humour into the proceedings. Or maybe that was just nervous laughing on my part.
96. Bond, James Bond
Bond confronts Mr White on the phone, who is a member of the sinister organisation known as Quantum. Before White can finish asking who is calling, there is a final jolt as Bond fires a round into his leg which echoes around the Italian mountains. Crawling to the steps by his entrance, Mr White is greeted with a chap holding a stupidly large gun. He proceeds to tell us his name “Bond, James Bond”. Cue music and end credits. Woo!
Other great scenes:
Bond breaks into M’s apartment, “Hey valet” and Bond tracing Dimitrios via the security recordings, Bond winning the Aston Martin, Body worlds, “Ow!”, “Being dead does not mean one cannot be helpful”, dirty martini, that final poker-hand reveal, the Aston Martin crash/roll, is Mathis good or bad? Oh, and Mendle should definitely bring the Chocolates next time!
Not so great:
The train scene between Bond and Vesper is generally a very good scene, but it might have been much better if it wasn’t advertisement for Rolex or Omega watches. When asked to put in his pin-code, it might help if 007 is shown entering the correct pin (which is later revealed in the film). The ending goes on a bit once things move to Venice. Plus the character Infante is way too cheesy for this grittier take, but probably would have been at home in a Moore/Brosnan movie.
Quantum of Solace
97. Aston Martin chase
Okay, so we open with a reasonably nice shot – but where is the gun-barrel? After an Aston Martin commercial we are thrown head-first into a chase between the Aston Martin and pursuing Alfa Romeos around some beautiful Italian scenery, which leads to a dangerous looking marble quarry. Originally the scene had three Alfa Romeos chasing, but director Forster decided to make it shorter and took one out. Perhaps this is part of the reason the editing is slight erratic once the action begins.
A real life set which is definitely worthy of a Bond movie. The scenes in Bregenz are by far the high-lights of this movie, right from Bond infiltrating the show to confronting Quantum members who are holding their meeting here. The majority get up and leave once exposed, so he snaps them for identification purposes. Calmly Mr White doesn’t even stir and remains sitting. “Tosca isn’t for everyone” he notes. Meanwhile the play Tosca gets intercut to shots of 007 escaping/shooting. The soundtrack drops to silence, making the scene more powerful.
Sadly Mathias gets mortally wounded by some corrupt police officers, who soon after get quickly dispatched by Bond. Holding his friend in his arms as he dies, Mathias tells Bond to forgive both Vesper and himself. It’s a nice poignant scene (one of the few in this film). After which Bond steals his money and dispatches of his body in a dumpster. Cheers mate! Clearly a spies death, but I’m sure Mathias appreciated the hug before-hand.
100. Hotel escape
Not a happy bunny, M shuts Bond down and takes his weapons, forcing him to return back to England escorted by MI6 personnel. By the time Bond has emerged from the hotel lift, he has casually taken out all of his “child minders” (casually kicking the hand of one back so the lift door can shut), and just flies over the hotel balcony, scaling along the wall to escape. Making it all look so effortless.
Other great scenes:
Mr White’s interrogation, the swinging ropes fight, M and Bond in Mitchell’s flat, the Slate fight where Bond nonchalantly waits for him to die after stabbing him in the neck with scissors, Bond receiving a slightly frosty reception from former pal Mathias when he goes to him for help, the beautiful reveal of the underground reservoir in the sink-hole, Bond shooting the chief of police in cold-blood (partly as revenge for Mathis), the scene where the completely underutilized Elvis gets his clothes and toupee blown off (astonishing level of detail – watch it in slow-mo), the confrontation in Russia at the end. Plus Medrano also makes for a skin-crawling slimy Flemingesque bad-guy.
Not so great:
The editing, arrgh – the editing! I honestly reckon my kids could put together something more coherent. It destroys a number of otherwise interesting action scenes such as the Palio/rooftop chase, the boat chase (although this chase is pretty redundant anyway) and the plane chase. You get the sense that half of the good bits are still left on the cutting room floor. The free-fall scene is embarrassingly handled. The bad guy is rather dull, as is his scheme. The film is one of the shortest Bond films, yet some reason feels like one of the longer ones. And the gun-barrel at the end – just doesn’t work and it’s far too quick. Basically, I think I am saying that it wasn’t anywhere near as good as Casino Royale!
Hope you enjoyed these. For reference here are the other parts:
- Part 1: Dr No and From Russia With Love
- Part 2: Goldfinger and Thunderball
- Part 3: You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
- Part 4: Diamonds Are Forever, Live And Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun
- Part 5: The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker
- Part 6: For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy
- Part 7: A View To A Kill and The Living Daylights
- Part 8: Licence To Kill and Goldeneye
- Part 9: Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day
Hope to get a SkyFall review out later on! Enjoy the film folks.
Images (C) 2006/2008 Danjaq/EON.