It took an old Bond to come to the rescue of the new Bond.
Roger Moore, who played Agent 007 in seven of the James Bond movies, said critics of the film franchise's new star, Daniel Craig, should give him a chance.
"He's a . . . good actor," said Moore, 78, noting that critics haven't even seen Craig in the role. "So why attack him?"
The blond Craig, whose recent screen credits include Munich and The Jacket, was chosen in October to play the secret-agent icon in Casino Royale, due this year.
A group of Bond fans have launched a Web site to protest Craig's hiring and urge a boycott of the new movie.
Moore, whose Bond films include A View to Kill, Moonraker and Live and Let Die, suggested that the group was merely trying to attract people to its Web site.
And he dismissed suggestions that Bond is obsolete in a post-Cold War, post-9/11 world.
"Bond is fantasy. There's no real substance to it," he said. "It's a figment of imagination. . . . (It's) sort of crazy, you know, a spy who is recognized wherever he goes. Spies ain't like that."