Bond

Countdown to Spectre: Thunderball (1965)

This is the next installment in my look back to the James Bond 007 series in anticipation for the new installment, Spectre coming out on November 6th. If you are interested in any of my earlier installments, click here.

Led by the evil masterminded Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), the terrorist organization SPECTRE hijacks two warheads from a NATO plane and then threatens widespread nuclear annihilation to extort 100 milion pounds. Now Agent 007, James Bond (Sean Connery), must try to recover the stolen warheads from within Largo’s lair in the Bahamas while facing underwater attacks from sharks and men alike. He must also try to convince Largo’s mistress, the beautiful Domino (Claudine Auger), to help him with his mission.

So this is the next to last of Sean Connery’s first run of James Bond films (as soon as I start to get comfortable with him, they go and do this to me, not cool). What’s different about this one is the beginning of the film focused on Bond’s personal life instead of going straight into the film’s conflict. It was interesting to watch him in this way during the first quarter of the film and of course the conflict is happening elsewhere during this. Can James Bond ever really be safe? I liked that the villain of the film, Largo, was not technically the only villain of the film as the organization behind him, SPECTRE, played a role here as well. In this film, more so than the others, you can actually get a sense of how evil he is. They’re not quite there yet but they’re getting closer. Connery as Bond as always is charming and steals every scene that he is in. This time he gets to go underwater as well as a lot of the film’s plot involves being underwater and underwater stuff. Going in that direction was interesting. The swimming and diving stuff looks decent but it was obvious that they weren’t really underwater. That was just one of many things that weren’t as they seemed but more on that later. I thought the pacing in this film was better since there were no real “Bond girls” in this one to slow down the plot so the film had more time to focus on Bond (as it should) but it did lag a little in the middle with Bond spending a little too much time getting in with Largo. There wasn’t as much action in this film since there was only so much that could be done underwater. There was one underwater battle near the end but I thought it went on around five minutes too long and it was underwater so there’s only so much excitement that can be had. I also thought the end had to be one of the silliest endings I’ve seen so far especially because the scenes in which they were in a boat did not look like said boat was actually in water since the view out of the windshield looked like a recording put on fast forward to look like they were going to crash. This is also the longest Bond film so far so beware of that. Overall, this film does take a step back but there was still some excitement to be had.

Score: 7.5/10

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Next: You Only Live Twice!

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