James Bond fans in Britain flocked to cinemas on Thursday as the new 007 film finally hit big screens, 18 months later than planned but to a host of positive reviews.
Cinema chains have been selling tickets for weeks to No Time To Die, the latest superspy blockbuster which premiered in London and has since earned widespread critical acclaim.
The film opened to commercial audiences in the UK and dozens of cities around the world on Thursday.
While it will play to most other audiences in countries like Russia, France and the United States over the coming week, Covid delays have continued to impact its release in Australia.
The film is set to give chains around the UK their biggest opening since 2019, with Vue cinemas selling more than 270,000 tickets and Odeon over 175,000 in advance.
The film, originally set for release early last year but repeatedly postponed due to the pandemic, is Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing in the role of the sauve secret agent.
“It’s better than good. It’s magnificent,” The Times newspaper’s film critic Kevin Maher gushed, giving it a maximum five stars.
“Craig is a towering charismatic presence from opening frame to closing shot, and he bows out in terrific, soulful, style.” Peter Bradshaw, of The Guardian, also lavished five stars on the film, arguing its duration of nearly three hours — unusually long for the franchise — is justified.
“Craig’s final film as the diva of British intelligence is an epic barnstormer,” he wrote. “You can see the pleasure everyone takes in this gigantic piece of ridiculously watchable entertainment which feels like half its actual running time.”
Originally published in Dawn, October 1st, 2021