tek's rating:

Casino Royale (not rated)
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I watched this for the first (and likely only) time in 2014. This is a spoof of James Bond movies, much like Our Man Flint, which came out in 1966, the year before this came out (1967, in case you're bad at math). And I watched that in 2013. I liked it more than this. This... I dunno. I was thinking of putting my review under "weird," or maybe even "meh." It did kind of grow on me, eventually, though that might just be because of the beers I was drinking. It's sort of an adaptation of the 1953 novel of the same name (the first James Bond novel, which wouldn't be truly adapted into a movie until 2006, though I still haven't seen that one, as of this writing). Oh, but before this movie there was a TV adaptation in 1954. That's included as a bonus feature on the DVD of the 1967 movie, but I haven't watched it and I don't know if I ever will. I really hope I'm being sufficiently incoherent, because... the movie is pretty incomprehensible. There were parts of it I found amusing, and it had a great cast... though most of the people in it whose names I recognized, I wouldn't recognize their faces, or anything. Because... they're sort of not from my era of movie stars. I did recognize Woody Allen, and I guess Orson Welles. And I feel bad about not recognizing people like David Niven, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, Deborah Kerr, Jacqueline Bisset... I know all those names, but as I said, not faces. And there are probably some other familiar names/unfamiliar faces, but there are also lots of people I'm pretty sure I've never heard of. And um... the movie has lots of attractive women (I mentioned a few already, but others were among those whose names were unknown to me). And um... basically the movie makes less sense than an episode of Monty Python or Benny Hill. (I'm also vaguely reminded of Spice World, a much-maligned film which was surely no worse than this.)

Anyway. It starts with four people... I guess one of them was "M," the head of MI6 or whatever, and the others were from American, Soviet, and French spy agencies. They go to visit James Bond, a legendary spy who's been retired for quite some time now. He's upset that some new agent has been given his name and number (007), and behaves nothing like him. (The "real" James Bond would never use all sorts of gadgets and sleep with lots of women.) But these spy chiefs have come together with the common goal of convincing Bond to reenter the spy game, as many of their agents have recently been killed or disappeared. Bond refuses, but then his house gets blown up by soldiers working for M. I'm not sure how that convinced him to do what they wanted, but it did. And soon thereafter we see that M died in the attack, which somehow I didn't see happen. (His toupee got blown off, and I saw that, but I didn't realize he died at the same time.) Whatever, for no apparent reason (other than to pay his respects), Bond goes to spend some time at M's family castle in Scotland, but his relatives have apparently all been replaced by agents of SMERSH, the spy agency that's responsible for all the trouble in the movie. They're all beautiful women who would like to seduce him, to destroy his reputation of celibacy (which had already been destroyed by the spy bearing his name, so I don't see the point). But that fails, and Bond ultimately returns to London and becomes the new head of MI6.

Bond decides that from now on, in order to confuse the enemy, all agents will be called James Bond and given the number 007. Including the female spies. And um... there are several spies introduced in the movie, but most of them I had trouble keeping track of or even knowing if they were in more than one scene. The main one, as far as I can tell, is an expert baccarat player who's supposed to play a game of baccarat against a SMERSH agent, at the Casino Royale. But the various scenes related to that plotline are interspersed with other plotlines that seemed completely random to me, as if they were part of some completely different movie. But even the scenes that seemed to be part of the main plot seemed rather random and unexplained. And in the end, there's a free-for-all fight that basically seemed like, if the filmmakers ever had any intention of making a comprehensible film (which I doubt), they unquestionably abandoned that intention in the end.

Anyway, the movie is made of redonkulousness, and that makes it kind of fun, in a so-bad-it's-good kinda way. But it's still not something I feel the need to ever see again.


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