Casino Royale is possibly one of the worst movies starring James Bond, if not the worst. It’s abolutely nonsensical, poorly acted, almost absolutely unfunny and has got dumb and badly choreographied action scenes, which look worse than the fight scenes of the early Batman tv-shows.
With this said (and I hope I got you really infuriated), I don’t speak of the 2006 Martin Campbell Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig as Jams Bond, which is, in my opinion, one of the best Bond movies ever made. No, I speak of the ’67 spy spoof called “Casino Royale“. The book’s rights lay with an American studio, which wanted to cash on the success of the Bond franchise. So they have made a parody. And oh boy, does it suck!
First of all, I am a really big fan of trash movies. If made right, they’ll ive you the fun of your life. This movie I wouldn’t consider a trash movie (I guess some of you would). It’s a parody, and not a good one I must say.
The movie somewhat follows the book’s story: James Bond goes into Casino Royale to win in a bakkarat (not Texas Hold’em) game against the evil Le Chiffre (Orson Welles). Yeah, and then it throws tat plotline out the window like the studio probably did with the production money. James Bond (David Niven) is brought back from retirement when all 4 Secret Service commanders are killed. He wants to stop SMERSH. The problem: They would recognise his name immediately (Because fake names aren’t invented yet). So he starts a “James Bond school of espionage” to find suitable decoy Bonds (though he rejects his nephew Jimmy Bond (Woody Allen) ). One of the decoy Bonds will be Evilyn Tremble (Peter Sellers), the best bakkarat player in the world. He is the one defeating Le Chiffre, but somehow gets himself killed in a dream sequence.
Another Bond ist Mata Bond, the original Bond’s daughter. She takes a visit to the cabinet of Dr. Caligary, and then gets kidnapped. So the original Bond goes into Casino Royale to rescue everybody. There he finds out that the actual villain is Jimmy Bond, and his trusted ally 007/ Vesper Lynd (original Bond girl Ursula Andress) is a double agent that set up everything to kill him.
In the end everybody dies in an exposion.
This movie is just bad. The story makes no sense whatsoever, and for being a parody/ comedy it just isn’t funny. There are a few very funny moments when Peter Sellers is around. But he only turns up after half the movie’s over. I must admit I found it quite a brilliant idea to make the very being and definition of James Bond the theme of the movie, but the execution is just awful. David Niven does nothing in the whole movie, not even killing the bad guy (Jimmy Bond gets “killed” by a Bond girl). And that’s a pity, for Niven was Fleming’s personal choice for the role of the real James Bond.
There are also a lot of references to other movies, like the beforementioned Dr. Caligari. And there is a strange sequence with found footage of cowboys and Indians…
This movie is truly the movie that killed James Bond. All 7 of them…