Casino Royale is and has been one of my favorite films of the last decade or so. I distinctly recall a vaguely “threatening” Jorge a few years ago when he entertained the notion of editing Casino Royale. However, once Kerr’s cut was released, after hearing so many good things about his Lord of the Rings edits, I decided to give it a shot, seeing as the original film is still there if I didn’t like his cut, after all. Oh boy, am I glad I checked this out.
Kerr trimmed a lot of fat from the film, tightened the pacing, and removed a bit of Daniel Craig’s sitting there looking intense. The result is nothing short of fantastic. Sometimes, one never really notices how much can really be cut from a film until it’s actually been done. Truthfully, I was mildly disappointed to see the parkour chase at the beginning cut, but I can understand why it was cut. The editing around the sequence was good, and I only noticed the chase was missing when they arrived at the embassy. I also noticed the airport chase had been cut, but again, I didn’t really notice it until after the fact. Being located in the United States, I also noticed the longer fight scenes at the beginning and in the stairwell around the middle of the film. Considering what some PG-13 films can get away with, I was surprised to see these cut from the US release, but that’s neither here nor there.
Technically, this edit is sounder than sound. I noticed not hard audio or video cuts, no stray frames or anything like that, I did notice the slightly higher pitch the audio track had, and it was really only noticeable with music, not so much in the dialogue. But it wasn’t terrible, and I actually rather liked the opening theme with the higher pitch. As far as dialogue is concerned, it’s probably only noticeable if one does a side by side comparison, which I’m sure very few, if any, will actually do.
Also included is Gaith’s “Fury and Solace: A Coda to Casino Royale.” Technically it was fine, video and audio flawless. That said, it didn’t really do anything for me. Quantum of Solace I feel is going to be one of those films that no one will really know what to do with. The final scene in Russia, not matter if you watch the full Quantum or just this Coda, feels like something of a non sequitor to the rest of the film. This makes that seem even more obvious, although it does allow for the viewer to think up what happened in those six days. This approach leaves a little too much to the viewer in my opinion. Still, it’s a nice inclusion for those interested.
All in all, a solid effort AND an excellent end result. I would say go watch this. Right now. Please.