With Guns. And Knives. They're Fighting For Their Lives...

An interesting credit appears on the screen, and it makes me chuckle.

"What made you laugh?" Emily whispers.

"That's the first time the it's said 'Based upon the novel by Ian Fleming' in the credits of a James Bond movie in a long, long time," I reply.

The main title theme to Casino Royale, "You Know My Name," sung by Chris Cornell, late of Soundgarden, just blows. Terrible. Up there (down there?) with Tina Turner's GoldenEye and Gladys Knight's License to Kill. Happily, that's about the only thing in this movie that's not fucking awesome.

One of the best things about the movie is that the credit that made me laugh is no joke. Casino Royale follows Fleming's novel quite closely, hearkening back to the early days of Dr. No and From Russia With Love, before the writers and producers started veering wildly away from the plots of the books and adding absurdity on top of absurdity. It's been modernized, of course - the villain, Le Chiffre, is a banker for terrorist organizations instead of Communist fifth-columnists, of course. Plenty of action has been added, too, as Fleming's book doesn't feature a whole lot of that trait.

And action, it turns out, is something for which Daniel Craig is well-suited. He makes a very muscular Bond in both a literal and figurative sense. Best since Connery? No doubt. He has the right combination of physicality, forceful personality and intelligence to make the character hit all the right notes. There's an on-foot chase early on that's one of the best chase sequences I've ever seen in a movie.

The movie does drag a bit in the middle. It proves my long-held belief that one of the most boring things a human can do is watch other people play poker. Unlike the supreme boredom of watching the World Series of Poker on ESPN, at least in the movie there's an actual plot that I was invested in. Also, there are some nice breaks in the poker sequences for Bond to go get in fights and kill people.

There's not a whole ton of humor, but that's a good thing. The over-the-top silliness and the long-cliche "I think he got the point" post-killing-somebody one-liners are gone. There is just enough, and they wisely reserve the funniest moment in the movie as comic relief in an otherwise brutal and highly disturbing torture sequence.

QIR wanted to sit through the end credits in order to see where the movie had been filmed. I didn't mind. Instead of the crappy theme song or some new techno-y remix, they were playing the classic Monty Norman electric guitar and orchestra James Bond theme. Sweet.