Marshall Art Studio:

Web Development + Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Comic Book Art

Skip to Content

Marshall Art Studio: Blogmatic

[Back to top]


As someone who read the Ian Fleming novels this summer, I was disappointed by the 2006 film "Casino Royale". Like Microsoft's recent Internet Explorer 7 -- another long-overdue, huge-scale makeover of an international household name -- the film doesn't completely escape the burden of it's legacy elements.

Compared to the past films, this one's a lot more faithful to the overall feeling -- if not exact plot -- of Ian Fleming's novel. That much wouldn't be difficult. Most of the films deviate from the novels completely, only sharing the titles. Throughout my summer reading project, many people thought I was reading novelizations of those shitty movies.

In his first novels (anything before Thunderball), Fleming beat the pulp genre of action/espionage into his own image. His world is a physically violent, uniquely British, emotionally distant place. There are subtle indications that Bond, like most of his real-world contemporaries, didn't leave World War II with his mind intact. James thinks he's held in high regard by his employers. The exact opposite is revealed when Bond leaves the room. The quite moments reveal Bond's unstable state of mind. He wakes up in a cold sweat, can't keep track of his drinking or chain-smoking, and takes uppers to function. On a level beneath the action, there is a quiet, subversive indictment of battle fatigue syndrome.

"I meet more bitches, more 'ho'es. I don't wanna sleep so I keep poppin' No Doze."

-- Ice Cube, "Amerikkka's Most Wanted

Another important element in the books is how he and his contemporaries handle the mundane: they can't. In "Live and Let Die", Bond and Felix Leiter ponder retirement. Considering what happens to Leiter after this talk, retirement would've been a good idea. The thought of settling down with a spouse and day job, however, seemed like a death sentence. It's not so much that they're adrenalin junkies; they're simply incapable of living what we in the real world call normal life.

Like everything else in the novels, the women are also governed by mundane naturalism.

This is my long-winded way of proving how enthusiastic I was about this film. While disappointed, I can't say I was surprised. While they ported a lot of the cool elements from the novels, the film makers ignored some of the more subtle tones.

For instance, the movie Bond is part super-hero. In film's opening chase scene, Bond runs for nearly three miles with no signs of exhaustion. In real life, linebackers who run more than 40 yards on an interception look like they're dying.

Ian Fleming's Bond was never a great fist-fighter. Yet here, he could give Jet Li a thing or two. Maybe this film takes place in The Matrix and Bond's the seventh "One".

The book Bond wasn't a great thinker, detective or strategist. His critical errors have endangered himself and his friends. This year's film model is a computer whiz, breaks into M's home and deduces getting set up by Vesper.

If you've never seen a Bond film or read any of the novels, you'll probably think this is an okay action flick.


[Back to top]

Comments So Far ...

Post a Comment

[Back to top]


[Back to top]

Hero for Hire

Put this creative services expertise to work for you:

[Back to top]