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We open on a man flying through a shoji, and then being thrown through another one, while a man in a white suit (Bond, duh) asks, “Where is Blofeld?” Tossy McThrowaway says Cairo, so we CUT TO a dude wearing a fez and sunglasses gambling saying, “Hit me.” So a fist flies into his face, with Bond asking, “Where’s Blofeld?” He points James in the direction of a woman named Marie, so CUT TO Marie, with the first reveal that we’re back to Connery as Bond after the limp Lazenby entry.

Bond introduces himself to this woman as “Bond, James Bond,” then with the wit of Wordsworth, says he’d like for her to get something off her chest. Then he whips off her bikini top and starts strangling her with it (::Facepalm::). He asks where’s Blofeld, yadda yadda yadda. Then we see a bunch of prosthetic dummies’ heads which are being used to work out Blofeld’s upcoming plastic surgery. Blofeld comes in and says he needs the surgery that night, but if you ask me he should be fine—he doesn’t look anything like the previous Blofelds already!

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This is the worst game of Guess Who? I’ve ever seen.

So he’s submerged in mud(?) and the surgeons go on their way. Except nope, Bond’s already there. But Blofeld has a gun in the surgery mud(?) and Bond starts drowning him in the stuff. James reaches in, pulls out Blofeld’s face, and he squirts water on it to identify his kill. But nope! It wasn’t Blofeld, but a decoy. Bond had a mouse trap in his pocket that snaps on one of the guard’s hands, while he starts whipping scalpels at the other guard. I didn’t know scalpels were balanced like throwing knives!

Blofeld gets a knife and lunges at Bond, but gets knocked out, and Bond pushes him into boiling mud. Blofeld gets cooked up real good, and Blofeld’s cat start screeching. It’s wearing a diamond necklace, and it’s opening credit sequence time! What to say about this theme song? “Diamonds Are Forever” is one of those classic Bond themes that actually got radio play. It’s all silhouettes, diamonds, and Blofeld’s cat in the opening credits. I’m just enjoying the song, which is sung by Shirley Bassey, who also sang the classic “Goldfinger” theme song. The song also has a great little rhythm breakdown in its last refrain that I never noticed before.

Speaking of Diamonds, Bond is getting bored by M talking about diamonds. He’s giving M some lip about working a crummy smuggling ring operation, but M’s like, Blofeld’s dead, Bond. What else do you think you’re going to do as a spy? Do your damn job. They go in for a meeting for Sir Thistlewhistle (not his name, but whatever) and Bond identifies the original base of the sherry he’s been given. Connery’s looking a little doughy as Bond at this point.

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Full name: Sir Edmunton Mawlberry Cumberbatch Tuffington Thistlewhistle the Fourth

Anyway, he goes over the horrifying near-slave trade operations of diamond mines in South Africa, and I’m fearing that there’s going to be a lot of the harsh, uncomfortable Apartheid past to contend with in this movie if they actually go to South Africa. We cut to some new villains: Mr. Wint, who talks like he’s Crispin Glover on mescaline. A diamond smuggler meets Wint and his associate, Mr. Kidd, who are both gigantic creeps, somewhere in the desert. Kidd feigns tooth pain, and the smuggler—who’s a dentist—takes a look. But Wint sticks a scorpion down the guy’s back and he’s dead, even though only 25 species of scorpions are poisonous, and even then a healthy adult won’t die from a sting usually, but whatever Bond movie, don’t do your research. Both of these guys are like who my grandparents probably thought hippies were. They do the old “diamonds for explosives” switcheroos, and when the helicopter comes for the diamonds, they give the guy explosives, and ker-blammy that whirlybird goes! The explosion effect is terrible!

Back to Britain, where Sir Thistlewhistle finishes his monologue, Bond is tasked with figuring out what the hell’s going on with those rascally diamond smugglers in South Africa. After all, what’s the point of keeping indigenous populations oppressed and taking over their country if they aren’t going to make oodles of free money from the whole enterprise?

Then we’re at a missionary school, teaching the young indigenous population of South Africa the English language because colonialism. The teacher is called away to talk to the biggest creeps in the country, Wint and Kidd, and they look like David Crosby and Donovan, only they were put in a microwave for a few minutes. Turns out this old lady’s a diamond smuggler, and they’re dropping off their latest score for shipment.

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“We’re two diamond smugglers who won’t kill you…until you get the diamonds to where we want them. Then we’ll kill you.”

Back with Sir Thistlewhistle and M, they’re sending Bond to Amsterdam. Hey, that’s where the diamonds are being shipped to! Then we cut to another dude that’s in a cherry of a car, who parks and walks into a room that Moneypenny(!) then walks out of, dressed as a police officer. She walks over to that guy’s sweet ride and Bond is already in the driver’s seat, literally assuming this guy’s identity. He asks what he can bring back from Holland to her, and she says a diamond…in a ring. Bond says how about a tulip? And speeds off…

To a hovercraft boat, and it looks totally awesome! And then we’re in Amsterdam, and it is yet another beautiful travelogue. Wint and Kidd are also in town, creeping everybody out. Also, that old lady that smuggled the diamonds for them is being pulled out of the canal (see? They kept their promise from the picture caption!). Bond gets to the first part of the mission, which is infiltrating the diamond smuggling operation as Peter Franks. He meets his contact, Tiffany Case, and pours himself a drink while she walks around in her underwear because it’s a Bond film. She takes his glass and scans his fingerprint from it to verify that he’s Peter Franks. Tiffany keeps coming back in the room with a different wig on, and Bond negs her, but she says she doesn’t mix business with pleasure.

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“What’s wrong? Is my outfit not revealing enough?”

So I guess Bond-as-Franks (he had a fake fingerprint on) was successful in infiltrating this diamond smuggling operation, but M says the real Franks has escaped custody like this won’t be a major problem for the operation. Bond bolts from his room at this idea, since he now needs to kill that dude to keep his cover. We cut to Bond fake-making out with himself, which is hilarious. Why couldn’t he just turn around and face a wall so he’s not noticed? It’s really amusing.

Bond pretends he’s Dutch and follows Franks up to Tiffany’s suite, then plays punch-out in the elevator with Franks. They smash this box elevator up good as Franks pulls a gun, and tussle tussle tussle, Franks nearly smashes Bond’s head in, but they just keep going up and down and having a close-range fight in the elevator. Tiffany witnesses some of this well-choreographed close combat taking place. Franks goes over the railing and Bond switches out his wallet.

He drags Franks’ dead body into Tiffany’s apartment and makes it seem like Franks was James Bond. Tiffany says we gotta get these gosh darn diamonds out of here! So Bond uses Franks’ dead body as a smuggling cover and he and Tiffany get on a plane: the same plane that Wint and Kidd are in. Kidd intimates that he’s a homosexual, because all bad people were homosexuals in the 1960’s in the movies.

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“So how many years until we see gay rights and equality?” “Hmmm…40? 45?” “Damn. Well, better keep killing, then!”

They land at Los Angeles Airport (Hey! I landed there once, too!) and Bond meets up with our old CIA pal Felix Leiter, who has shrunk a foot since we last saw him in Thunderball. He helps Bond get the body through customs and is disgusted to find out that James put the diamonds in Franks’ butt. So am I! They load up a hearse and two goons take him and the body for a ride.

Driving to Nevada, these goons are West Coast by way of the Bronx, judging by their accents. Bond holds a funeral for Franks and the funeral director just sends the body into the incinerator via push-button technology. This funeral director’s all business as they sit in silence waiting for the damn urn. Bond takes possession of it, and the urn is filled with diamonds. He passes by Kidd and Wint and takes the envelope of money for his services but is knocked out before he can get the fudge out of there.

Bond is placed into a casket by these freakjobs and is sent into the incinerator. Wint and Kidd toss off some puns as they head out, and Bond wakes up to find himself in a goddamn nightmare. Fortunately, this is stopped by the funeral director and Co., who are the diamond fences. They ask where the hell are the real diamonds, you fink? And Bond says well you gave me fake money, so fair’s fair. Tell you what: I’ll get the real diamonds, and you give me real money. Dealsies?

Then he says fuck this, I’m going to the Tropicana. CUT TO Bond hanging out in a sweet Jacuzzi in his Vegas hotel room, and then strolling the floor of the casino in a white tux. This is the Vegas of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing, where everything is sleazy, over-the-top, and smoke-filled. So Bond fits right in, and honestly looks too classy to be in this joint.

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“When they said we’d be shooting in casino, I thought they meant Monaco, not this flaming garbage pile. Ooh, booze! Maybe this place ain’t so bad.”

Wint and Kidd check up on an old performer, just as Bond does, and another guy says that they need that old performer alive for…oh dammit, I don’t know why or for what reason. Meanwhile, Bond is throwing way too much money around for this kind of crap joint and all of these American goobers are astonished that someone could actually have money in a casino. This cash flash also attracts the attention of lounge lizard Plenty O’Toole (Oh God, are we back to punny names for the women?), who’s like the Sharon Stone character in Casino. She sidles up to Bond and throws the die for him, but she craps out. This casino kind of sucks; why couldn’t they have found a nicer one to shoot these scenes in?

So Bond continues to astonish all of these rubes with the notion that he knows how to play craps, while Plenty utters this unfathomable line: “You handle those cubes like a monkey handles coconuts,” which, what? What does that even mean? I know that not all monkeys live where there are coconuts, so is she talking about a specific kind of monkey? Also, coconuts are much bigger than dice, so I bet monkeys can’t handle them like dice, no matter how familiar they are with said fruit. Are coconuts even fruit, or a kind of nut? Anyway, it’s just a bizarre line. Watching Bond interact with aw-shucks Americans is also bizarre; we look like dorks next to him.

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Speaking of coconuts…

He gives Plenty O’Toole $5000, and she gloms onto him like a monkey on rice (I don’t know). She says “super” and “terrific” a lot, and they get down to the sex ASAP because I think Bond can’t stand listening to her anymore. But ruh-roh! All those goons from the funeral home are in his room to get the diamonds. They pick up a nearly naked O’Toole and toss her out of the window. While they show that she plunges into the pool below and survives, in real-life she would be 100% dead from that fall, no questions asked. But since she’s rather irritating, it’s nice to have her tossed out of this scene.

Back to Man Talk: they just back the fuck out of the room, so Bond realizes there’s something else going on. And Tiffany Case is there, waiting for Bond in bed. She’s wondering where the fudge the diamonds are, darnit! This plot’s plodding along. And WHOA! Naked Sean Connery! Didn’t need to see that today, or ever. They have the sex and Bond’s playing coy afterwards about where the diamonds are. She proposes a 50/50 split on the diamonds and then they’ll split to Hong Kong. She says hey, I’ll get the diamonds and I’m totally not going to double-cross you like everyone else has so far. So she asks where the diamonds are, and he says the Circus-Circus.

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“The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Oh man, this is in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, too! It’s not even a recreation; it’s the actual, real-deal Circus-Circus! And it also looks pretty shitty! Bond has the place under surveillance along with the CIA, and the sting is on. Tiffany gets a secret message about going to the water balloon shooting gallery while Bond ditches out to get the car, but Felix is like, whatever dude she’s not going to show. But Bond’s an egomaniac that thinks he’s too irresistible for a shady thief to skip town on.

At this point, I’m disappointed in the ultra-low stakes at play in this movie. So they’re smuggling diamonds. Who gives a care? This isn’t world-ending or even particularly life-threatening except for the players involved. Bond’s not saving the world, but protecting Sir Thistlewhistle’s vested interests in Apartheid-era South Africa. Frankly, I would rather see the whole mine blown up than its operation being saved.

Some stupid scheme involving a rigged game and the diamonds being hid in a stuffed animal transpires, while a mouthy kid calls bullshit on the whole operation. Tiffany says “Blow up your pants” to the kid, which isn’t a phrase I’ve ever heard of. Also: after the exotic, beautiful locales that Bond has traveled to in this series, the interior of Las Vegas casinos is an ugly low point. Why couldn’t we have just stayed in Amsterdam? Anyway.

She’s followed by some CIA and takes in some awful shows in this greasy place. None of it is interesting and it’s all tacky and terrible-looking. Bond awaits at their predestined meeting place, but Felix zooms up and says they lost her. Bond smiles and acts like, “Why would I even give a shit about any of this?” But James goes to her abode and hangs out by the pool waiting for her. And so is Plenty O’Toole, who showed up at the house (for some reason, I don’t know, it’s a mystery that’s never explained) and was drowned in the pool. Everyone keeps dying along this diamond line, and James says she’s next. Tiffany says screw you, Baloo, and he smacks her. Goddammit, Bond. I really hope Roger Moore isn’t like this.

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I’ve read a lot of people saying that Bond movies use women as disposable objects, but I just don’t see it. Like look at what’s-her-face here, you know, the disposable obje…oh.

Tiffany gives him some info, and Bond follows the stuffed animal with the diamonds to the airport, where it’s taken out of the safe and brought to a waiting van. Bond and Tiffany follow the van and they identify the driver as a guy that’s the right-hand man to another man. Apparently the kingpin is this guy Whyte, who owns a huge hotel right there and lives in the penthouse like a Howard Hughes-type.

Bond slips into the back of the van while Tiffany does her best annoying jerk as distraction, which isn’t too far off from her actual personality. Bond hangs out in the back of the van, which is driven out to a prohibited facility in the desert, and Tiffany follows. You know, there are so many beautiful, dynamic locations in America to set a Bond film. Why Las Vegas? It’s just deserts and ugly interiors. Whatever, so the van goes down into the Earth in an elevator, and then parks in a parking space. RIVETING!

So James waits as some nerd scientist comes by and he cons this dude out of everything he needs to walk around this facility, like a monkey with a coconut (does that make sense yet?). James just kind of wanders around, haphazardly snooping. He spots the diamond-stuffed toy in a lab and throws on a white lab coat to get a closer look. He goofily asks questions of Dr. Metz, and finds a cassette tape of the “World’s Greatest Marches,” which will probably come back in some way later. Anyway, the dudes in this lab figure out that Bond wasn’t who he said he was, and on a moon set(?), Bond is found. He gets into a moon buggy(?), which works, for some reason, and what the hell is all of this? Anyway, he drives the moon buggy away, and this is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen in a Bond movie. What the hell was going on in that lab?

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You’re on the verge of being incredibly stupid, movie.

So this moon buggy drives off into the desert with two actual cars in chase. They must have monkeys driving these cars because they couldn’t even catch this idiotic thing that Bond’s driving around. Maybe they were too busy handling coconuts (is that landing yet?).

How is this stupid vehicle outrunning cars and ATVs? Well, Bond sends them on a wild goose chase as he takes one of the ATVs (that look like a tricycle) and high-tails it out of there. Tiffany’s waiting outside the gate and they book it.

Back on the Las Vegas strip, which looks like all of the neon in the world threw up, Tiffany asks to stop this crazy thing while the police pull Bond over. But James ain’t stupid: he turns the car around and starts driving like he’s in Grand Theft Auto. Although it’s kind of neat to see the Vegas strip circa 1970, unfortunately it’s also one of the uglier landmarks in America to view. I guess the car chase is cool(?), but it’s no The French Connection. Bond somehow loses these squares in a parking lot anyway. Bond cruises by the sheriff Beuford T. Justice, who then gives chase. Bond goes down a dead end like a dork, but he slyly gets on two wheels and slinks out through a narrow alleyway. End chase scene?

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Pictured: This movie literally teetering on the very edge of stupidity.

I guess, because then we see a clown triggerfish (I used to edit a fish magazine; long, stupid story for another time), and Bond and Tiffany are post-sexing looking at an aquarium. They’re in the bridal suite of the Whyte Hotel, where their Howard Hughes-esque target lives. Tiffany wonders what’s going to happen to her, and Bond says probably prison, but then again you’ll probably die before that happens.

Anyway, Felix shows up and says she’s going to jail, but whatever. Also, we have someone posted outside your room, fuckers. At least their room is pretty nice. James is leaving to do some spy shit anyway and goes out the window in a full tux. He stands on top of an outdoor elevator, which looks terrifying, but Connery seems to be enjoying the ride. He gets to the rooftop and holds onto a metal bar as the elevator drops to street level. And now he’s on top of a slanted building and shoots some grappling hooks, from which he dangles hundreds of feet in the air. Yikes! Call me crazy, but this spy job seems dangerous.

He gets to the roof, lifts a grate, opens a window, and climbs inside. There, he drops onto a chair and looks at a dotty array of surveillance. Clicking on one of the TVs, he sees himself sitting there. Then a voice comes on over the loudspeaker that affably chuckles and says they’ve been expecting him. Great job, super-spy!

He’s directed to another room and hey! A really cool set! Only one villain has this kind of forward-thinking style, and after the chair swings around, we see that it’s Blofeld(!). But I just saw him get killed in the opening scene! What gives? And there’s another Blofeld! Turns out Blofeld has a bunch of identical doubles floating around for Bond to kill. Also, Blofeld is Whyte and puts on a goofy Texas accent via voice box when he has to speak as him.

Bond is wondering what the hell’s going on, and fortunately Blofeld has a little miniature set under glass to show off all of his operations. He explains that the real Whyte is being held in “cold storage” until his plan is ready. Bond shoots one of the Blofelds anyway, because why not, but it turns out to be the wrong one.

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“What? Do I have something on my face? I do, don’t I? Drat.”

Real Blofeld has learned his lesson of not unveiling his plan to Bond, and then…just lets Bond go. Come on, Blofeld! Why do you keep letting him go? But nope, the elevator fills with gas and down goes Bond into a subterranean level. And oh no! It’s Kidd and Wint, looking to get their creep on. They toss Bond into the trunk of their car and drive him out to the desert in true Las Vegas tradition of body disposal.

They open the trunk to a sleeping Bond and stuff him into a drainpipe. Then they gingerly sneak back to their car and drive away, laughing sinisterly as they go. The next morning, a construction crew’s on-site to crush gravel and lay the pipe. Bond’s still snoozing as they lower the pipe into the earth and he’s buried alive.

James finally wakes the fuck up and is confused about his current circumstance. A nightmare destructor robot starts chasing him through the pipeworks, and Bond hops onto its back and short circuits it. This brings out some workers to fix it, and Bond climbs out of the hatch with a quippy little quip. So.

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Maybe he should stop chasing pipe dreams, eh? I’ll be quiet.

Back in Vegas, Bond uses his own voicebox switcheroo to trick Blofeld into talking in his regular voice over the phone and tell him that Bond has been spotted in the hotel. He also talks himself up a lot while talking to Blofeld because he’s out of his mind. Q gets a rare compliment from Bond while James and Felix get ready to fuck Blofeld’s shit up. Meanwhile, Blofeld’s pushing his plans up and taps that “Worlds Greatest Marches” tape. FORESHADOWING!

Bond goes up to what I guess is Whyte’s really awesome house in the desert, and I’ve actually seen this part before. This is a stunning piece of architecture, and I probably watched this scene just to see this house. A gymnast named Bambi and a tall glass of water named Thumper (GET IT?) greet him and then start kicking his ass all over the place. These are two relatively well-known Bond villainesses, and for good reason: They are fierce! Their gymnastics are very impressive, and this is some good fight choreography and staging. See? This is what we want, James Bond franchise! Awesome villains in extraordinary settings.

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You know what they say: if you love your job…

Bond is really outmatched with these two, and he takes an incredible beating. They toss him into the pool, where they start drowning him. But whaaat? Bond somehow gets the upper hand on them, and he starts playing the drowning game with their heads. Felix and Friends rush the place, Bond keeps drowning them, and it’s all quite unpleasant to watch him drown two women at once.

The CIA men blow a lock off the door of the basement and find Whyte just kind of hanging out. He says Bambi and Thumper are Blofeld’s security and he starts getting shot at the second he goes outside. The CIA mow down the assassin right quick (it was Burt Saxby, a dude that works for Whyte), and in the next scene we see the CIA gang jog through the lobby of the hotel. Meanwhile, Q is absolutely killing it at the 10 cent slots and Tiffany tries to figure out where she’s landing in this mix-up. Q couldn’t give a shit less because he’s too busy winning all of the money by cheating. While he explains this magical device that could bring its user untold riches, Tiffany sees a white cat and bolts because she’s probably just walking dead meat at this point.

Running outside, Tiffany looks for this cat and gets shoved into a limo with Blofeld, who’s dressed in drag. Back at Whyte’s underground secret lair, Bond and Whyte look for evidence, but the place is cleaned out. Whyte’s all pissed off that any of this occurred, but to be honest, that’s why you don’t become a recluse while the ostensible head of a multinational conglomerate, guy.

Turns out the missile that Blofeld’s been working on was already launched a half hour ago, and all of their equipment starts going haywire. So Blofeld needed the diamonds for laser refraction or some such cockamamie scheme. Now a floating death laser is orbiting the Earth. Just great.

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“Hi! I’m this movie’s crazy fantasy technology!”

The laser targets an ICBM somewhere in North Dakota, which sets off the smallest nuclear explosion I’ve ever seen. Whyte gets a call that says as much, and the laser then destroys a Russian sub, which somehow has a bigger explosion than the nuclear bomb had. They all go look for Blofeld sans Bond, who’s just kind of hanging out. The laser also destroys a bunch of China’s missiles (along with some Chinese soldiers, in a pretty racist visual bit).

So the world is being held hostage by Blofeld with this laser, who’s trying to ransom which country gets to keep their nuclear weapons. Bond realizes that Blofeld’s probably still working under Whyte’s guise, and fortunately that map that shows all of Whyte’s concerns under that glass shows an oil derrick in Baha, California—of which Whyte has no recollection of owning. So, great detective work?

CUT TO that oil derrick: Blofeld has his feet up on a desk as he listens to how his awesome plan is going as planned (oof, that sentence). But a plane’s approaching, so Blofeld turns it up to  Stage One Alert. An awooga siren goes off as the plane flies over, and a capsule is dropped from it being held aloft by parachutes. This silver ball looks like the white bubble from The Prisoner, and it starts rolling up to the derrick.  The crew recover the balloon and of course it’s James Bond inside. He’s taken prisoner immediately, so good work, 007? Bond is searched and spots Tiffany sunbathing on the deck. She seems like she couldn’t care less because she’s just a flibbertigibbet.

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Gee, who would have thought a double-crossing diamond smuggler would be so disloyal?

Bond and Blofeld have a chit-chat about Blofeld’s plan, and how Bond had made a wildly improbable correct guess that the “World’s Greatest Marches” tape McGuffin that he’s spotted several times throughout the film is the master tape that controls the satellite. Wait, what? Way to not let the audience know what the hell’s going on at any time, movie! Tiffany saunters in to re-confirm that she’s a no-good traitor to her country, so it’ll be perfectly OK when she dies soon.

Bond calls her a dragon lady because he’s emotionally 7, and they go on a little tour of his facilities. But wait! She slips Bond the “Marches” tape so he can swap it out for the real one. Maybe she’s a good egg, after all. Blofeld throws some shade at how if they destroy Kansas, nobody would care (Take that, Kansas!), so he’s going to destroy Washington, DC instead. Take that, Washington, DC! Bond does a slight-of-hand with the tapes and switches them out, and Blofeld’s losing his patience with Bond. So he…locks him up instead of just shooting him.

Bond calls Tiffany a bitch, because classy, and slips the master tape into her butt. Seriously, that’s what happens. It’s weird. And he lets go of a red balloon that’s tied up outside to signal the cavalry. Bond tries to escape but gets a butt of a gun to his head. Tiffany runs up to let him know that she switched out the tape, but he calls her a stupid twit for putting the real one back in. I mean, Tiffany’s not getting any breaks at this point.

The squadron of helicopters (again with the helicopters) now descend to on the oil derrick, and Bond’s locked up. D’oh! That darn Tiffany done screwed up. Meanwhile, they locked Bond up in a tool closet, where he’s surrounded by twelve different types of weapons he could employ, and the CIA starts their assault on the oil derrick. These henchmen must be paid well to fire on military copters.

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“Not to mention the health benefits and 401k!”

Tiffany tries to switch out the tape again, but she’s caught immediately. The guy that built all this technology gets his hands on the switch-out tape, and he’s probably going to turn because he realizes that Blofeld is evil. Meanwhile, the room they locked Bond up in has a goddamn hatch in it, so he just gets some rope and starts swinging to get back on the derrick. There are ‘splosions and shooting going on, and a countdown lets us know that in 4 minutes, the laser’s going to destroy Washington, DC.

Funny detail: in the control room on this derrick, there’s a NO SMOKING sign. Why on Earth would that be a concern in this place? Blofeld gets into his escape hatch, which is lowered onto the water, but before it’s released Bond gets behind the controls of the crane and brings him back out of the water. Bond looks like he’s having quite a lot of fun doing this, and Tiffany runs over, literally to be back on his side.

Tiffany tries to shoot the oncoming henchmen, but she falls off the derrick from the recoil of the gun. So that was pointless. Anyway, the whole darn place starts exploding, and it looks like an old Thunderbirds episode. Bond says fuck this noise and also jumps off the derrick as it explodes.

CUT TO outside of a cruise ship as it departs, and he and Tiffany are on-board for a little R&R. So I guess Tiffany’s a good guy? But oh no! Kidd and Wint are on-board! Later, as Tiffany and Bond get cozy, she’s about to ask James a question, but room service comes in. Room service courtesy of Wint and Kidd, Creeps of the Sea. But it also has a dynamite cake that they call le bombe surprise (Get it?). They sit down to enjoy this meal, but Bond recognizes Wint by his awful aftershave. Wint tries to strangle him, while Kidd comes after him with flaming kebob. But Bond sets him on fire with alcohol and tosses Wint off the side with the bomb.

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“Aaahhh! Would you like to see a dessert menu?”

With that over, Tiffany runs into his arms, and James asks Tiffany what her question was before they were so rudely interrupted. She asks: “How are we supposed to get those diamonds down, again?” while looking up at the shining satellite covered with diamonds in orbit. AND THAT’S THE GODDAMN MOVIE: PLAY THE THEME SONG NOW!

Stray Notes

  • Due to the increase in Connery’s salary, the special effects department had their budget slashed. It shows: the effects in this movie (particularly the explosions) are awful.
  •  According to IMDB, apparently Sammy Davis Jr. had a cameo as a casino player in this movie, but darned if I caught that.

Conclusions

Ugh. Another low point for the Bond franchise: For over half the running time, the stakes are virtually non-existent and so esoteric that literally only a handful of already-wealthy people would be affected (mostly Sir Thistlewhistle). When we finally get to the Big Plan (laser satellite magnified by diamonds), the plotting gets mucked up and literally isolated to an oil derrick. The main location was also problematic: While this adventure started promising in Amsterdam, the majority of this film takes place in ultra-tacky early 70’s Las Vegas, if not the barren desert that surrounds it. Watching Bond impress a bunch of rubes isn’t very compelling.

The “Bond Girl” this time, Tiffany Case, is also flimsy: while she appears smart at the beginning, she seems to get dumber and dumber as the movie goes on. Blofeld is a classic villain, but his motives and the stakes involved were unclear for much of the running time, which left me wondering why the hell I should care about any of this in the first place. I could ask myself that question about any of these movies, of course, but in my action-adventure, I need to feel invested in what’s going on, and I really didn’t feel that this time.

Also, Connery’s Bond is back to being an A-1 Violent Sexist Asshole, which never sat well with me. I’m glad this is his last turn as Bond: I was getting sick of how he was playing the character, and besides that, he was rapidly aging out of the part.

On the plus side, Wint and Kidd are effectively creepy villains with a twisted amorality. What else? The theme song’s good. And that’s pretty much it. This was at least better than On Her Majesty’s Secret Service because it actually followed the Bond franchise formula, and it ran 20 minutes shorter than that film, as well. Still, awful and a non-essential entry in the series.

Rating

Somehow better than On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Thunderball, but just barely. Connery-as-Bond looks tired and bored throughout this movie, and this was a sluggish entry into the franchise. At least I don’t have to watch Connery-as-Bond again in this project, which is a shame since he originated the role on-screen and I enjoyed at least three of his entries in the franchise. Oh, well. One and a half out of four Bonds.

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