A belting Bond: Our Spectre review

Spectre is in cinemas now.

Spectre is in cinemas now.

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Big, bold and brash - the latest Bond makes quite a statement - but it's a very different animal to Skyfall.

From the second the unmistakable notes of the signature theme tune ring out right up to the closing credits, prepare for a whirlwind of sound and fury - this is a franchise at the top of its game.

I was among a couple of hundred or so people at one of the first showings of Spectre in Leeds on Monday night - and I've never felt anticipation like it in a cinema. Expectations are high for Spectre, following as it does 2012's excellent Skyfall. The same director - Sam Mendes - is back on board, as are much of the supporting cast (Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, and Rory Kinnear to name a few). It's a tough act to follow, so how does it compare?

Well, Spectre never lets up. I have to be deliberately vague for fear of giving anything away, but it's safe to say it ticks every box for Bond, and for an action spectacular.

It's svelte, smart and even finds room for the required cheesy one-liners 007 has become famed for.

In fact, Daniel Craig's Bond speaks only when he needs to - or when a cheeky line cannot be ignored. He's as reliable a Bond as you could ask for - I think for me he is the first actor I think of whenever Bond is mentioned.

Spectre has all the cars, gadgets and stunning locations you could ask for. And the most dastardly of villains in Christoph Waltz.

But, crucially, Mendes and co have made a very different film to Skyfall.

There are very few similarities - this is a Bond in its own mould, and that's what surprised me the most. You never get the feeling it is trying to live up to its predecessor - and, as it turns out, it's such a different beast that it never needed to.

As impressive a film as I've seen this year, with as many famous British faces that you won't be able to place until the day after, Spectre is a triumph - how do you follow that?

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