Sad funny confusion
This film is completely scatterbrained. This would seem to be on purpose, though precisely why, I'm not sure, because it doesn't really work like that.
Casino Royale is based upon Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, and produced completely by other people than the rest of the 007 franchise. As James Bond was already a big thing, it was decided a competing film would have to be done as parody to get the public's attention.
Now a parody is one thing, but the writers seem to go out of their way to simply confuse us. While the plot is ostensibly linear, it's not very connected. In order to enjoy this, you have to let go of any concept that it's going to make sense. It is possible to enjoy, and some of the bits are quite funny, but they also show their age quite a bit. The one good thing about the scatterbrained nature of the film is that enables a rather wacky ending that is only missing the Stanford Marching Band.
We have an incredible number of name people, some appearing as just cameos, others with what I'd call more fleshed out roles in another film, though I hesitate to go that far.
The filmmaking gets a little quirky sometimes, but not in a calculated or arty sort of way. Most notably are a lot of convenient, choppy edits that suggest low budget filmmaking, though this certainly wouldn't seem to have been a low budget picture for the time.
In some ways, this is better than the recent Austin Powers movies, though it's hard to name a clear winner there. I'm not much of a fan of Mike Meyer's recent franchise, so that's not really a recommendation, but if you do like Austin Powers, this'll be a good choice for you.
And, BTW, I've shaken the hand of Miss. Goodthighs, though I don't think that has biased my review.
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