First, it should strike nobody as surprising that I’d blog about how I liked a Bond film. I pretty much like them all — some better than others — and can think of a whole lot of worse ways to spend a couple of hours. I believe the principal element that draws me to Bond films, as with other such films, is that I really like plots that take place in several exotic locations throughout a story.
What would a Bond film be without at least two or three jaunts to some remote and exotic part of the planet?
Mercifully, my dad and I were able to escape the house filled with way too many people and steal away for three hours to go see the first showing, just after noon. I must say that I liked Casino Royale easily as much as any Bond film I’ve ever seen. For my entertainment, Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery, and if he puts in such performances in subsequent films, he might even eclipse the great Sean. Not that I’ve done any great analysis, or thinking about it, but all attempts to duplicate the gentlemanly class of Connery have failed, with perhaps Roger Moore being the closest to get it right. Daniel Craig, in that sense, is an admission that the unique quality of Connery just can’t ever be matched, and so they’ve just given up and given us a Bond that clearly makes up for it with his own unique style, passion and character.
I just was not disappointed in the slightest. It’s really a classic sort of spy thriller. No special effects to speak of, almost no gadgetry, both a classic and modern Aston Martin, and lots of great physical stunts. They’ve gone back to basics, and it works.
Toward the end of the film, as Bond is recovering from a serious beating, we see him at a private hospital of sorts on the shores of a lake. I leaned over to my dad and said that it sure looked a lot like Lake Como (Wikipedia), which my wife and I just could not pass up while driving between Florence and Paris, via Switzerland, this summer. We even ended up driving up one side of it to Belagio, looking for a hotel in the evening but ended up heading back down to the village of Como to find a place right on the southern shore. It’s one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen (and I grew up around Tahoe), particularly in how the shoreline has been nearly completely rendered to the divine, artistic, landscape-architectural use of man.
Anyway, yes, and quick search revealed that Lake Como was the location in the film. You’ll see what I mean in some of those really choice shots.
Needless to say, I highly recommend the film for good old action-packed suspense.