The new James Bond movie "Casino Royale" is a much darker and more sinister take on the world's most famous spy.
The film, starring Daniel Craig as the man's man version of Bond, is both shaken and stirred at times, despite the main character's "Do I look like I give a damn?" response to a bartender's question as to how the dapper agent would like his drink prepared.
It was the best line in a very good film.
If Pierce Brosnan was the metrosexual version of Ian Fleming's hero, then Craig is the firefighter. Here's a guy who's in such good shape that while bound and naked and about to endure some excruciating torture that involves a game with balls, his tormentor comments, "Boy, you've taken care of your body."
Yes, gents, your ladies' eyes will be glued to the screen and will serve as a better aphrodisiac than any oysters or chocolate-covered strawberries.
If you're looking for a plot, you'll be hard-pressed to find one. "Casino Royale" pits Bond against an international money launderer in a game of million-dollar, no-limit hold-em, but any rerun of the World Series of Poker on ESPN might be just as entertaining, minus the beautiful people.
That's not to say this film is boring in the least. It's jam-packed with action and witticisms that will make you laugh and cheer at the same time.
The action in this film is intense, and a foot chase up and over the streets of Uganda would make even Jackie Chan proud.
As Craig, who has said that if one "does not get bruised playing Bond, then you're not doing it right," pursues a warlord he's been tailing for the British secret service, his target shakes and bakes better than Tiki Barber in some eye-popping stunts worth the price of admission.
A love sequence with Bond's beautiful sidekick, played by Eva Green, goes on far too long, and just when you thought you'd seen a really good movie, it seems to start all over again.
And while "Royale" has been enjoyable up to this point, here you will be wondering if the last 30 minutes are in the film solely to showcase some beautiful bodies and landscapes overlooking rivers and mountains in Europe.
It's as if director Martin Campbell spent money for those beauty shots and felt like he had to include them in the film, so he shot a storyline that makes even less sense than the rest of the movie, and even weakens Bond.
Would James Bond really fall in love with a co-conspirator?
Perhaps not, but Green is so luscious on screen you will definitely fall in love with her, and if you're like me, you'll be updating your Netflix queue to see everything she's done before.
Keeping it Reel?
"Casino Royale" is a lot of fun and you won't be disappointed if you take it in on the big screen. The truth of the matter is if Craig and Green read the phone book together, we'd still be interested.