The long-awaited 25th outing for Ian Fleming’s superspy is a weird and self-aware epic with audacious surprises up its sleeve

The standard bearer of British soft power is back, in a film yanked from cinemas back in the time of the toilet roll shortage, based on a literary character conceived when sugar and meat rationing was still in force, and now emerging in cinemas as Britons are fighting for petrol in the forecourts.

Bond, like Norma Desmond, is once again ready for his closeup – and Daniel Craig once again shows us his handsome-Shrek face and the lovable bat ears, flecked with the scars of yesterday’s punch-up, the lips as ever pursed in determination or disgust.

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