What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is not the serious 2006 version of Casino Royale, but rather a wild, pull-out-the-stops comical put-on of the 007 films, done in 1960s "psychedelic" style. It's really a lot like the later Austin Powers spoofs, right down to the disjointed and nonsensical plotting. And, like Austin Powers, this makes much of the erotic content of the James Bond adventures, with luscious women as sex objects. Overall, though, it's at the milder end of the smut and vulgarity scale than Mike Myers' movies, and parents won't be squirming so much through it -- unless they're bored. Still, some parents might also object to the romanticization of high-stakes gambling as a way to defeat the bad guys.
- Families can talk about the strange story behind this film and the many, many star actors, visual references, and celebrity gag cameos that most kids won't know -- like Jean-Claude Belmondo, George Raft, and the Berlin Wall -- that had instant audience recognition at the time. Their very appearance was meant to get a laugh. Tell kids that when they're grownups, young audiences might fail to comprehend jokes about Britney Spears or Saddam Hussein from today's comedies. Parents might also use Casino Royale to point out the difference between short-lived, topical humor and the more universal comedy of Charlie Chaplin or even Charlie Brown, that still holds up decades later.