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Daniel Craig looks dapper in a trendy brown suit as he attends NASCAR in North Carolina

Daniel Craig was in attendance at the Roval 400 NASCAR Cup Series’ pre-race ceremony at North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.

The James Bond actor, 53, whose final appearance in the film series was released over the weekend to much fanfare, looked ever-dapper as he made a stylish arrival at the auto race event in a brown blazer and coordinating suit trousers.

He layered the trendy number above a buttoned-down light blue shirt and protected his eyes against the beating sunshine with a pair of black shades.

Looking good: Daniel Craig was in attendance at the Roval 400 NASCAR Cup Series’ pre-race ceremony at North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday

Posing with his hands in his pockets alongside the contest’s impressive trophy, he wore his light brown hair in a sleek side parting.

Daniel made a heartfelt speech to the audience during the event dedicated to the armed forces killed during the bombing at Kabul International Airport on August 26.

The recent 25th film in the James Bond franchise debuted domestically with $56M over the weekend with a total $313.3M globally.

Suave: The talented actor, 53, looked ever-dapper as he made a stylish arrival at the auto race event in a brown blazer and coordinating suit trousers

Suave: The talented actor, 53, looked ever-dapper as he made a stylish arrival at the auto race event in a brown blazer and coordinating suit trousers

Debonair: Posing with his hands in his pockets, he wore his light brown hair in a sleek side parting

Heartfelt: The No Time To Die star made a speech to the audience during the event dedicated to the armed forces killed during the bombing at Kabul International Airport on August 26

Heartfelt: The No Time To Die star made a speech to the audience during the event dedicated to the armed forces killed during the bombing at Kabul International Airport on August 26 

Wow! The contest's impressive trophy towered over the star

Wow! The contest’s impressive trophy towered over the star

Cary Joji Fukunaga’s spy flick starring Daniel and Lashana Lynch fell slightly below expectations ($60M-$70M) considering its $250M–$301M budget.

No Time to Die – co-written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge – centers on the former MI6 agent aka 007 after being retired for five years.

It currently has a ‘certified fresh’ 84% critic approval rating (out of 289 reviews) and an 88% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Not bad! The 25th film in the James Bond franchise debuted domestically with $56M over the weekend with a total $313.3M globally

Not bad! The 25th film in the James Bond franchise debuted domestically with $56M over the weekend with a total $313.3M globally

Better luck next week? Cary Joji Fukunaga's (M) spy flick starring Daniel (L) and Lashana Lynch (R) fell slightly below expectations ($60M-$70M) considering its $250M¿$301M budget

Better luck next week? Cary Joji Fukunaga’s (M) spy flick starring Daniel (L) and Lashana Lynch (R) fell slightly below expectations ($60M-$70M) considering its $250M–$301M budget

No Time to Die also features Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Billy Magnussen, and Ana de Armas. 

After the world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, critics lavished praise on the much-delayed movie, and while many armchair reviewers agreed that the movie was ‘brilliant and special’ others were less pleased with the departure Ian Fleming’s original depiction of 007. 

British fans of Bond’s latest outing  – who have been able to watch the much-anticipated movie a week before American fans  –  took to the microblogging site penned: ‘James Bond was brilliant… #NoTimeToDie is a special, special film… awesome. Absolutely bl***y brilliant. Loved every minute of it… James bond was well worth the wait… the former glory is restored… best Bond in many years for me.’

Hot on the heels of claims the 25th Bond film is ’00-woke’, others insisted the new take on the supersleuth Lothario was ‘a liberty’: ‘I think they’ve taken too many liberties and moved away from Ian Fleming’s James Bond if that makes sense?… [this has] utterly ruined the character for me.’

History: Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond divided viewers as the long-awaited No Time To Die hit cinemas in the early hours of Friday morning, with many flooding Twitter to issue reviews

History: Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond divided viewers as the long-awaited No Time To Die hit cinemas in the early hours of Friday morning, with many flooding Twitter to issue reviews

The glowing reviews from devoted fans read: ‘James Bond was brilliant… #NoTimeToDie is a special, special film, and a perfect end to Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond. He reinvented the role, and for me? He IS James Bond. Thank you for the past 15 years. It’s been a pleasure Commander Craig #WeHaveAllTheTimeInTheWorld… 

‘Just seen James Bond movie and Wow well worth the wait never expected a ending like that cinema was full and no one made a sound through the whole film… Can’t get over how good @007 #NoTimeToDie was last night…

‘No spoilers, but best Bond in many years for me. Also just going to the cinema for the first time since covid was class… Cheeky trip to the cinema to see Daniel Craig’s swan song as @007 and what a swan song it was. Bravo Mr Craig, sad to see you go but very glad you became Bond, James Bond. #NoTimeToDie… 

‘Loved it going again at weekend to watch… and it finally felt like a proper cinema night with nigh on a full house their was great to see it after so long… Went to the cinema to watch #JamesBond #NoTimeToDie last night, and it was epic #NoSpoilers… I had the ending spoiled in the gents at the cinema before the film started…

Suave: After the world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, critics lavished praise on the much-delayed movie, and while many armchair reviewers agreed that the movie was 'brilliant and special' others were less pleased with the departure Ian Fleming's original depiction of 007

Suave: After the world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, critics lavished praise on the much-delayed movie, and while many armchair reviewers agreed that the movie was ‘brilliant and special’ others were less pleased with the departure Ian Fleming’s original depiction of 007 

Yay! Many fans praised the movie and insisted it was worth the wait

Yay! Many fans praised the movie and insisted it was worth the wait 

‘But despite that I thought it was excellent… So, I saw #NoTimeToDie this evening and I loved it but, hated it. I was a rage monster leaving the cinema. @007 WHAT did you do that for? WHY???? Fix it. #007NotJustANumber…   

‘So it happened, first time in a cinema in over 2 yrs & first film to see was #NoTimeToDie. That was so well worth the wait… #DanielCraig is the ultimate James Bond…awesome. Absolutely bl***y brilliant…

‘Loved every minute of it… James bond was well worth the wait. Although sitting in a packed cinema felt weird. Bring back lockdown… all is forgiven. We were worried after #Spectre but the former glory is restored. Everyone get out, support your local #cinema and see #NoTimeToDie . What an experience… 

‘@007… Flawed, 25 minutes too long…and it will divide hardcore Bond fans…but…I really, really enjoyed No Time To Die – an absolute blast to experience in the cinema and ultimately a very fitting end to Daniel Craig’s run as Bond…James Bond #NoTimeToDie [sic]’

Naysayers however clashed with fans of Daniel’s final outing, with critics penning: ‘Who’s seen the new Bond film? I must admit I was disappointed… Yep me too – I think they’ve taken too many liberties and moved away from Ian Fleming’s James Bond if that makes sense?… 

Not too pleased: Others were less than happy with the spin on the movie

Not too pleased: Others were less than happy with the spin on the movie

Changing the game: Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought in as a scriptwriter to ensure the blockbuster was appropriate for the #MeToo era - with the flick billed as the most politically correct and 'woke' James Bond movie yet, with outdated sexism banned

Changing the game: Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought in as a scriptwriter to ensure the blockbuster was appropriate for the #MeToo era – with the flick billed as the most politically correct and ‘woke’ James Bond movie yet, with outdated sexism banned

‘I really enjoyed half the film, the 2nd half however has utterly ruined the character for me. That was not a Bond film to me, more of a spoof than anything. Beyond gutted… was anyone else bitterly disappointed with latest @007 outing? Even as a huge Bond fan it just didn’t do it for me!… 

‘Why can’t people write films well anymore? I saw the new James Bond film and the ending is like…eh? Mission Impossible is the best franchise going, I love it, standards are still high there. Everywhere else…ugh… James Bond. #NoTimeToDie Well. I’m. Speechless. Devastated. Heartbroken. #NoSpoilers #JamesBond007 #DanielCraig… 

‘The new James Bond is absolutely useless. Side note, €26 for ticket, popcorn and water in Newbridge cinema #GameisGone #Boomy… Absolutely ruined. Shocking. Never seen a cinema so silent. Almighty mistake. [sic]’ 

Changes: The movie was previously supposed to come out on April 2, however its original release was supposed to be in April 2020 (pictured Daniel Craig

Changes: The movie was previously supposed to come out on April 2, however its original release was supposed to be in April 2020 (pictured Daniel Craig

The changes in question come as Bond’s lothario antics appear to have fallen by the wayside as he swaps casual romps for handshakes and camaraderie with his female castmates.

The 25th film in the franchise sees strong female characters stake their claim on the storyline- with Lashana Lynch as British secret agent Nomi, along with Ana De Armas as Cuban agent Paloma, joined by psychologist and Bond’s love Madeleine Swann, played by Lea Seydoux.

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought in as a scriptwriter to ensure the blockbuster was appropriate for the #MeToo era – with the flick billed as the most politically correct and ‘woke’ James Bond movie yet, with outdated sexism banned. 

Therefore, while No Time To Die sees the typical explosive Bond drama beloved of the franchise, 007’s previous history of adding notches to his bedpost is very much an afterthought – with the agent seen building a friendly rapport with his female colleagues, rather than trying to seduce them.

In one scene, Bond asks Paloma to turn around as he changes, before shaking hands with her in a scene of mutual respect and understanding following a dramatic fight scene.

They are also seen praising each other’s work – and, while Bonds of yesteryear would have seen the suave agent delivering some smooth lines and bedroom eyes before tumbling into a passionate embrace, the pair keep it cordial.

Teamwork: The focus has shifted to teamwork and healthy competition, with no scrimping on the action that fans of the franchise adore

Teamwork: The focus has shifted to teamwork and healthy competition, with no scrimping on the action that fans of the franchise adore

Teasing an ending that ‘no one saw coming’, Viner hailed No Time To Die as ‘a triumph’, gushing: ‘[No Time To Die is] an explosive, tense, daring, and most of all surprising adventure, toying with our preconceptions about the world’s greatest secret agent and exploring his personal life more intimately than ever before.’

Addressing the film’s 163 minutes run-time, Viner assured readers that ‘the breathless pace rarely slackens’.

On the fact that Craig’s fifth and final outing as Bond was filmed in a post Time’s Up era, Viner notes: ‘Is there now a danger of the character tilting too far away from the callous ladykiller of yesteryear, becoming 00-woke?… 

‘Yes, there is. However, not least of the achievements of this exciting movie is that it feels progressive, while staying faithful to the spirit of Bond. This is a serious film, and it will leave you seriously blown away.’

Four stars: The Daily Mail's Brian Viner gave Bond's 'daring, tense and explosive' 25th outing four stars

Four stars: The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner gave Bond’s ‘daring, tense and explosive’ 25th outing four stars

Leading man: Daniel oozed sophistication ahead of his final outing as James Bond when he walked No Time To Die's world premiere red carpet on Tuesday

Leading man: Daniel oozed sophistication ahead of his final outing as James Bond when he walked No Time To Die’s world premiere red carpet on Tuesday 

Other critics were equally roused by Craig’s final performance as Bond, with The Guardian awarding the blockbuster five stars and critic Peter Bradshaw hailing the film as ‘startling, exotically self-aware, funny and confident’.

He wrote: ‘No Time To Die is startling, exotically self-aware, funny and confident, and perhaps most of all it is big: big action, big laughs, big stunts and however digitally it may have been contrived, and however wildly far-fetched, No Time To Die looks like it is taking place in the real world, a huge wide open space that we’re all longing for.’ 

Empire offered an impressive four stars, branding No Time To Die an ‘exciting entry’ into the 007 universe and urging viewers to ‘raise a martini’ because ‘it was worth the wait’.

NO TIME TO DIE REVIEWS: Magnificent and extravagant

THE DAILY MAIL  

Rating:

‘[No Time To Die is] an explosive, tense, daring, and most of all surprising adventure, toying with our preconceptions about the world’s greatest secret agent and exploring his personal life more intimately than ever before.’

THE GUARDIAN  

Rating:

Craig’s final film as the diva of British intelligence is an epic barnstormer, with the script delivering pathos, action, drama, camp comedy, heartbreak, macabre horror, and outrageously silly old-fashioned action in a movie which calls to mind the world of Dr No on his island.

THE TELEGRAPH

Rating:

Cary Joji Fukunaga’s extravagantly satisfying, bulgingly proportioned last chapter to the Craig era, throws almost everything there is left to throw at 007 the series can come up with.

DIGITAL SPY 

Rating:

It might have taken its time getting him, but No Time to Die confirms that whoever the next James Bond is, they’ve got some big shoes to fill.

THE SUN 

Rating:

In his final turn as 007, Craig exits the franchise with a bang – as well as many crashes and several wallops. The stunts are simply spectacular, with one particular scene involving a motorbike in Italy that will leave you watching through splayed fingers in exhilarating fear.

EVENING STANDARD

Rating:

After Spectre, he famously said he’d rather slash his wrists than play Bond again. Instead, with the help of a talented team, he’s taken a razor blade to the idea of Bond. Craig bows out with his head held high. Way to go.

NME 

Rating:

For the most part though, and with so much at stake thanks to Covid decimating cinema, No Time To Die producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson should be applauded for taking some bold risks. The gobsmacking ending, in fact, may be the biggest in Bond history.

THE INDEPENDENT 

Rating:

While Craig is a consummate action star, director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s more radical vision of James Bond is fleeting, his film a rotating sideshow of old characters and plot points

EMPIRE

This film does things that no Bond film has ever done, and despite relying heavily on tropes that feel not only familiar but comforting, it is the unfamiliar things it does that make this such an exciting entry. 

SKY 

Spectacularly well shot, wonderfully dark villains (Rami Malek’s performance is faultless) and perhaps more depth than before, perhaps Bond really can save the day – for cinema in the short term at least.  

VARIETY 

No Time to Die is a terrific movie: an up-to-the-minute, down-to-the-wire James Bond thriller with a satisfying neo-classical edge. It’s an unabashedly conventional Bond film that’s been made with high finesse and just the right touch of soul, as well as enough sleek surprise to keep you on edge. 

 

Four more stars came from the Evening Standard while The Times offered up five thanks to Craig’s ‘extravagantly satisfying’ final portrayal of Bond.

The Evening Standard’s Charlotte O’Sullivan observed: ‘Fukunaga serves up derring do that’s iconoclastic on so many levels. He couldn’t have done it without Craig.

‘Nobody’s puppet, Craig helped produce No Time to Die. After Spectre, he famously said he’d rather slash his wrists than play Bond again. Instead, with the help of a talented team, he’s taken a razor blade to the idea of Bond.’

Glamourous: Daniel joined glamorous co-stars Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas and Lea Seydoux at the swanky event before critics sat down to review the flick

Thigh-split: Ana's dress boasted a striking thigh-split

Glamourous: Daniel joined glamorous co-stars Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas and Lea Seydoux at the swanky event before critics sat down to review the flick 

Kevin Maher of The Times meanwhile penned: ‘It’s better than good. It’s magnificent. Craig is a towering charismatic presence from opening frame to closing shot, and he bows out in terrific, soulful, style.’

The Sun urged viewers to ‘buckle up’ in its four star review while the BBC also allocated the movie five stars, noting: ‘No Time To Die rounds off the Craig era with tremendous ambition and aplomb.’

However The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey was less content when the credits rolled, branding Craig’s ‘last hoorah’ as ‘disappointing and strangely anti-climactic’ before mustering up just three stars.

Digital Spy was another publication to award the flick four stars. 

Ian Sandwell wrote: ‘It might have taken its time getting him, but No Time to Die confirms that whoever the next James Bond is, they’ve got some big shoes to fill.’ 

Dazzling: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also in attendance at No Time To Die's World premiere

Dazzling: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also in attendance at No Time To Die’s World premiere 

Ahead of the screening Craig chatted away to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Royal Albert Hall. 

Also at the star-studded premiere were Billie Eilish, Rami Malek, screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge, director Cary Joji Fukunaga and Naomie Harris.

It has been a long road to Tuesday night’s premiere after the film’s release was delayed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film was originally scheduled for release in April 2020, but was pushed back to November before the release was changed once again to April 2021 in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Looking good! The Duchess of Cambridge appeared just as impressed with Daniel's pink suit as he was with her show-stopping gown

Looking good! The Duchess of Cambridge appeared just as impressed with Daniel’s pink suit as he was with her show-stopping gown

The release date was finally settled for September 30 in the UK followed by October 8 in the US.

Ahead of the release, Daniel and some of his fellow star cast members joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about the movie.

Daniel, who has appeared in five Bond films over 15 years, told Chris: ‘After the last one, I thought that was it. I thought, ‘I can’t do any more of these’. 

‘I got a bit of a rest and we kind of talked about what we wanted to do with this last movie and how big we wanted to go, and it felt right, and I just got really excited about it, and I can’t wait for people to see it.

Team Bond: Finneas O'Connell, Billie Eilish, Rami Malek, screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge, director Cary Joji Fukunaga, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch and Naomie Harris all posed on the carpet together

Team Bond: Finneas O’Connell, Billie Eilish, Rami Malek, screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge, director Cary Joji Fukunaga, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch and Naomie Harris all posed on the carpet together

‘I saw a rough cut of it about a month after we finished, which is really rough, because there’s no special effects or anything. When you see that version of it, you just hope and pray that it makes sense, and it did. 

‘Once you get the effects, and you get the music, Hans Zimmer’s done the music, and it’s just incredible. The story holds together.’

‘Everyone is just turning in brilliant performances, and I think it’s quite special.’

Speaking about the enforced delay to the film’s release due to the pandemic, the actor said: ‘It’s odd enough with a movie, when you’ve finished it, and you put it out and you kind of go, ‘Woah, I hope it’s good.’ 

Close bond: Naomi Harris and Lashana Lynch shared a joke at the star-studded event ahead of the much-anticipated screening

Close bond: Naomi Harris and Lashana Lynch shared a joke at the star-studded event ahead of the much-anticipated screening 

‘But when there is a two-year gap between finishing it and putting it out, it just makes things even stranger.’ 

On where he was when he first found out he had got the role of Bond: ‘I was in Baltimore doing a movie. And I was in Whole Foods, doing my weekly shop, wandering around with a trolley with food in it, and (producer) Barbara Broccoli was on the phone, and she just went, ‘Over to you kiddo.’ 

‘So I got my trolley and I pushed it quietly down an aisle, walked into the booze section and bought a bottle of vodka and a bottle of vermouth, a glass and a shaker, took it home and drank it, and then went out and sat in a bar and drank about three more vodka martinis.

‘It’s really sad, actually, when you think about it. But, I must have had a sort of look on my face, because the barman kept asking me what was going on, and I said, ‘I can’t tell you!’ 

Release: The release date was finally settled for September 30 in the UK followed by October 8 in the US

Release: The release date was finally settled for September 30 in the UK followed by October 8 in the US  

Daniel recently addressed the outdated James Bond plotlines of past films in the franchise – such as the idea of glamorous disposable so-called Bond girls.

Speaking to Lorraine Kelly, he said of the spy series – which sees latest movie No Time To Die released this week – that ‘you’ve got to adapt’ with the times.

‘Certainly a lot of what went on in the earlier movies is sort of questionable now… different times, but we didn’t want to lose the essence [in the new film]. It’s still a Bond movie.

‘I’ve been given free range to put my influence on it, but I’ve never forgotten that. We can have all key elements and things people have loved over the years, but you adapt. 

On the franchise, Daniel said: 'Certainly a lot of what went on in the earlier movies is sort of questionable now... different times, but we didn't want to lose the essence [in the new film]. It's still a Bond movie'

On the franchise, Daniel said: ‘Certainly a lot of what went on in the earlier movies is sort of questionable now… different times, but we didn’t want to lose the essence [in the new film]. It’s still a Bond movie’

‘One of my biggest things is all the characters, especially the women, have to be brilliant and believable.’

Daniel also told Lorraine about becoming overcome with emotion when he shot his final scene as Bond.

‘Everybody turned up – all the heads of department came down, and I thought ‘Oh God, I have to make a speech, this is my worst nightmare.’ It all just came out, I tried to keep it together.

‘All of those people I go to work with every day, particularly on this movie, the collective effort was so huge and meant so much to me that everyone put that hard work in – that’s what I’ll miss so much.’

Ensemble: No Time to Die also features Rami Malek (pictured), Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, and Ana de Armas

Ensemble: No Time to Die also features Rami Malek (pictured), Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, and Ana de Armas

No Time To Die is the 25th film in the franchise, and finds Bond after he has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica when his old friend Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright, from the CIA turns up asking for help.

Leaving his seemingly happy life with Madeleine (Lea Seydoux), Bond returns to the field to face Safin (Rami Malek) who is armed with a new dangerous technology that could impact the world.

Producer Barbara Broccoli has already teased what fans can expect and said that the movie will deliver a satisfying ending for Daniel’s Bond.

Speaking on the official James Bond podcast, she said: ‘It’s a culmination of everything that his portrayal of the character has been through and it ties up all the storylines. It’s a pretty epic film, I have to say.’

Daniel took over the role of Bond from Pierce Brosnan in Casino Royale in 2006 and went onto appear in Quantum of Solace in 2008, Skyfall in 2012 and Spectre in 2015.

Great reviews! It currently has a 'certified fresh' 84% critic approval rating (out of 289 reviews) and an 88% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes

Great reviews! It currently has a ‘certified fresh’ 84% critic approval rating (out of 289 reviews) and an 88% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk