Starring: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress
Director: Ken Hughes
Running Time: 131 mins
Casino Royale is a British film about an ageing James Bond who comes out of retirement to devise a master plan to take down the evil organisation SMERSH and save the world from an evil mastermind.
Right, just a brief description: this film is a total parody of the Cold War spy genre and the first Sean Connery Bond films, and uses a heap of satirical, farcical and other jokes to make its point and story work.
However, I’ve got to say that this film’s main premise, which was hugely entertaining at first sight, was its ultimate downfall. I think that this is a genuinely funny film, with lots of classic jokes all around that spoof Bond brilliantly, and seeing as it does what it says on the tin so well, you can’t mark it down too much.
Despite that, for some reason, I wasn’t really ever that entertained throughout. Initially, seeing how ridiculous a lot of it is enjoyable, but the jokes, although funny, are eventually hugely repetitive and ultimately boring. Basically, this film could be a whole lot funnier and more enjoyable if, at some point in the film, the jokes changed a bit, and we got something new to enjoy.
Also, this film is just way too long for what it needs to deliver. In something as silly as this, the story is definitely secondary, so I don’t mind too much the fact that its plot is pretty terrible, but the fact that it is drawn out for so long is actually quite boring to sit through, and especially if you’re not fully enjoying the rest of the film, it’s actually quite tough to watch.
On the other hand, you can’t fault a lot of the classic elements of this film. The performances are fantastically funny, Peter Sellers, David Niven, Woody Allen (a great Bond villain), Orson Welles (an even greater one) and Ronnie Corbett (in one of the best cameo roles of all time), are very entertaining to watch, and they really do help to strengthen the core part of this film.
Overall, this gets a 6.6 from me, because despite its fun premise and strong performances, its repetitive nature and overly long running time meant that it was just not as entertaining to watch as you would expect from this sort of spoof film.