'Best Bond film ever' leaves fans shaken and stirred

James Bond fans among the first to see the new movie were shaken and stirred after witnessing what some described as "the best ever" film in the franchise.

Dressed to kill is Toby James, duty manager at Wellington Orbit
Dressed to kill is Toby James, duty manager at Wellington Orbit

Wellington Orbit cinema, in Station Road, Wellington, was one of the first venues to screen No Time To Die, holding a midnight screening on Thursday.

Some Bond fans turned up in their pyjamas, and some in tuxedos, as they settled down to watch the eagerly anticipated film.

Movie buffs have been kept waiting more than two years for the film due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the closure of cinemas. And with this being Daniel Craig's last hurrah as 007, the film has been one of the most hotly-anticipated ever.

Daphne Steer and partner Lawrence Watson, from Cressage, were blown away by the film.

"I can't believe what they've done to him," said Daphne. "It had everything. Loads of action, loads of romance, money and fast cars," added Lawrence.

The duo remained tight-lipped to avoid giving anything away to people who haven't seen it yet, but shared their passion for the franchise.

"We're big Bond fans," added Daphne. "We've been to some of the places where they've filmed. We've been to Surrey where the house was blown up in Skyfall." Lawrence added: "I've seen every Bond film made."

They aren't sure who could step into the role after Daniel Craig, but rate him as one of the best to have played Bond.

"I'm sure there are lots of hunks out there waiting for the role," Lawrence said. Daphne added: "I'm not sure who should play him next, but Daniel Craig has been brilliant. After Sean Connery, he has been my favourite, although it all depends on the story."

Daphne Steer and partner Lawrence Watson from Cressage
Leslie Parish and son Scotty Parish from Telford

Another fan who saw it on release day was Scotty Parish, from Wellington. He admits he's a big Bond fan, and has had posters on his walls at home and collected memorabilia. He heaped praise on the film, and revealed a few spoilers.

"That's the best Bond they've done," he said. "It's probably my favourite one. I think there have been a couple of movies Daniel Craig has done that haven't been on par, but I really enjoyed that. It was different class. I knew it would be different.

"A lot of people were wondering how a female 007 would be, but she did a really good job. The two of them (Lashana Lynch and Craig) worked really well together.

"You saw a sensitive side to Bond that hasn't been shown before."

Scotty is hopeful that Tom Hardy is the next actor to be cast in the role. "Acting wise, he can do it all," he said.

Staff were in the mood too, with duty manager Toby James donning his smartest tux for his shift, though colleagues at the popular community cinema tried in vain to avoid spoilers.

"They told me a few more would be dressing up," laughed Toby, who was the only worker dressed to kill during the day shift. "I love Bond films, but I've been trying to avoid people telling me what's going to happen."

Office manager Sarah Chard revealed the movie was three short of breaking the cinema's viewing record on the day of release. "Downton Abbey had 759 seats sold, and this has had 756, so it will break the record in less than 24 hours.

"People have been waiting a long time for this film. To be fair I don't think I've heard one bad review so far. Normally when people come out after a film there's at least one, but everyone has said it's great."

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