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Daniel Craig’s James Bond is an action man to reckon with in his first mission.

The 21st outing for the cinema’s most enduring secret agent isn’t so much a reinvention of the 007 character as a return to basics, closely adhering to both the plot and tone of Ian Fleming’s original 1953 novel.

The explosive opening sets the film’s gritty tone and Craig is the first actor since Sean Connery to look as though he could – and would – do some serious damage in close combat, yet he also manages to bring a hint of vulnerability to the character.

The plot whisks him from London to Africa to the Caribbean and then back to Europe on the trail of Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a crooked financier who is using acts of terrorism to manipulate the world’s money markets.

Along the way, Bond romances the enigmatic Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) and gets behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB5 for the first time since Thunderball.

The result is genuinely thrilling and a confident debut for Craig in one of the most iconic roles in cinema history.