Seeing pictures of Daniel Craig in a tux on the web, I thought, "This guy is James Bond?", but after watching Casino Royale, all I can say is that this Bond, the Craig bond, is, quite possibly, the best Bond, ever -- better than Connery, better than Moore.
And this is coming from someone who saw Octopussy and Never Say Never Again at roughly the same time, at the impossibly impressionable age of eight, and thus permanently had both actors cinematically implanted in his brain as dual, twin, mirror-image brothers of Britain's most savage secret agent, and thus was never able to view Lazenby or Dalton or Brosnan as anything but feeble imposters to the majestic Moore and the king-like Connery.
But I'm telling you.
This Bond, well.
Craig is lethal and charming, deadly and witty, and proof positive that it's never too late to inject adrenaline into what may merely appear to be a dying, gasping lifeform.
Watch the steady but relentless way he chases down the bad buys.
Look at the erotically intent but simultaneously nonchalant, almost diffident manner in which he casually thanks drop-dead gorgeous check-in-girls.
From the first frames, I forgot that Craig was anybody but Bond -- and I instantaneouslyforgot about all the other Bonds, too.
I wondered, like a freshman: Who is this Bond? What is he holding within? What is he waiting to release?
I'd seen Craig, years ago, in Tom Hanks's Road to Perdition, where he was suitably sly and wimpy, and recently, in Spielberg's Munich, where he was approriately tough and thuggish, but here, in this flick, well.
He's something else.
He's made Bond human and agile, remote and in-your-face. Together, all at once, somehow.
He's an actor, in other words.
Not many men in the movies are, but this guy is.
I'm telling you.
He's that good.
And so is the movie.