- LONDON (Reuters) - British actor Daniel Craig, the controversial choice to play the new James Bond in the upcoming film "Casino Royale," has won early reviews Miss Moneypenny would be proud of.
The producers of one of the world's most successful movie franchises were seen taking a considerable risk with Craig, who angry fans said was too blond, too ugly and insufficiently suave to serve on Her Majesty's Secret Service.
But if the majority of film critics is anything to go by, the risk has paid off handsomely. The 38-year-old, with a proven acting pedigree, has been credited with revitalizing a series some felt had become bloated and over-reliant on clever gadgets.
"It's a terrific debut," wrote the Daily Telegraph's Sinclair McKay, summing up a weekend of praise from British newspapers eager to get their reviews out early.
"From the very start, he steps with full assuredness into Sean Connery's old handmade shoes."
The Times' Wendy Ide appears to take a swipe at some of Craig's five predecessors in the role by concluding her review: "His main asset quickly becomes evident. He can act."
- Several reviewers noted one joke that deliberately breaks a Bond tradition. When asked if he wants his vodka martini shaken or stirred, Craig replies: "Do I look like I give a damn?"