Royal seal of approval for Skyfall
James Bond’s return to the big screen was given the royal seal of approval at Skyfall’s world premiere on Tuesday.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attended the red carpet launch at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which was hailed by 007 star Daniel Craig as his greatest Bond premiere yet.
“I’ve never been to a premiere like this, it’s incredible,” he said as he swept past a giant 007 logo and the secret agent’s favourite Aston Martin.
The actor thrilled fans when he stepped on to the red carpet with co-stars Judi Dench and Javier Bardem.
Critics have declared the 23rd Bond film one of the finest in the British secret agent’s half century on the silver screen.
The Prince hailed Bond as “the most famous secret service agent of all time” in a letter included in the screening’s programmes.
The release of Skyfall has special resonance because it is half a century this month since Bond strode stylishly into a film for the first time in Dr No.
“It is just a real honour to be part of it and to have a chance to make a movie in this 50th year,” Craig told Sky News.
In his two previous outings in Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace, 44-year-old Craig has played Bond as a brooding presence, which critics say is far closer to the agent portrayed in the novels by his creator Ian Fleming.
Craig said he hoped Skyfall would show a lighter side too.
“It’s a good, dense storyline but it’s adult in many ways.
“It’s also got a lot of fun in it and people might be surprised by the fact that there’s a lightness of touch in the movie that hasn’t been in the last two,” he told Time Out magazine this month.
Bardem lavished praise on director Sam Mendes.
“What he (Mendes) has done is to add a classic touch from the biggest James Bond films, while bringing more complexity to the characters, their relationships and the dialogue,” the Oscar-winning actor said.
Time Out’s critic found the film a “highly distinctive Bond movie”, a praise echoed by most reviewers.
The Daily Mail on Tuesday touted it as a candidate for the “best ever” Bond film with Bardem “one of the scariest” ever villains, while the Daily Telegraph suggested Dench could be in line to pick up an Oscar for her performance.