Like Ouroboros eating its own tail or the infinity sign trapped in a never-ending loop, I’m concluding this session of Breaking the Bonds by starting back with the Bond that began it all: with Sean Connery, in his last appearance–official or otherwise–as James Bond. This movie is a non-canonical (i.e. non-Eon Productions) entry in the series thanks to a rather clumsy handling of the intellectual property of Thunderball. Considering that Thunderball is one of the worst Bond movies I’ve seen so far, I’m less than excited about this movie, but at the same time I also think it’s a rather appropriate bookend to this project.
Immediately I am not pleased to see that this movie clocks in at a whopping 2 hours 14 minutes, and the credits sequence starts immediately instead of a cold open action sequence. The helicopter from the opening sequence of The Shining flies over a wetlands environment, and we see Connery Bond run up to a compound. He punches a dude out, and the opening song sounds like Sade if she didn’t care about how her music turned out. Bond tosses a distracting Frisbee up in the air, which makes a bunch of these goons run after it like they were dogs. He zip lines across a phone line to strangle a dude to death and then uses a blow dart to take out another guy. It’s kind of silly, and man, does Sean Connery look way too old to be James Bond.
He throws a flash grenade into a filthy hovel and then rappels into the room to blow everybody away. After those guys are dead, he goes to save a woman tied to a bed but some guy starts some static with him so he beats him up. After freeing the woman, she stabs him in the ribs. Then some dude is watching this on video and Connery’s getting chewed out by M. Well, off-brand “new” M for kind of fucking this up. I guess this was just a training exercise, so whatever. Connery says hey, I’m a teacher by this point, and this new M says you’re eating too much red meat and drinking martinis. You’re soft, Bond. Reaaal soft. So you gotta go get in shape, you flabby old bastard. New Moneypenny says something on his way out but there’s no flirting because Bond is in his 50’s by this point and that would be gross.
“No, Bond. No. No, no, no, no, no. No. Gross.”
Bond goes to a spa to get his shit in shape and we’re “treated” to Sean Connery shirtless. This is really, really similar so far to Thunderball, except it’s a little more sad since Bond is so old and is getting a physical. But enough of that: here’s some lady checking in on her safety deposit box. But instead it’s a secret tunnel entrance to….somewhere. Oh, this is an off-brand SPECTRE meeting and this time Max “The Seventh Seal” von Sydow is playing Blofeld. I feel like I could just repost my Thunderball recap beat-for-beat and it wouldn’t be any different. Well, at least the film looks sharp. #12 (that’s the lady spy’s number) is sent to take over the whole eye-switching plot.
Anyway, Bond runs into a nurse who says she has an appointment with him for some back-cracking. CUT TO said back-cracking. I wonder if Connery wondered why he was doing a movie again that he made 20 years earlier, but the dump truck full of money that pulled up to his house probably silenced those kinds of questions. So the captain who’s going to be replaced with a SPECTRE henchman is also in this spa, and Bond answers his door to that same back-cracking nurse, who’s bringing him a healthy dinner. But he has a whole suitcase filled with all of the unhealthy shit that everyone told him he has to stop eating: caviar, foie gras, and a giant bottle of vodka. Jesus, Bond! Are you sure you weren’t supposed to be assigned to rehab?
“We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers… and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”
There’s Agent #12 getting her mission going while that air force captain’s looking a little freaked out in his room. She comes in his room and starts beating him, and Bond hears the ruckus while laying in bed with that nurse and nursing a drink. Across the way, he sees Agent #12 beating the shit out of this dude so he puts on a robe and investigates. When he gets there, though, it looks like the nurse is doing nurse-like things (well, minus showing off her garter belt and kissing the patient), and then he puts his head into some weird eye machine. But Bond’s losing his touch as he gives himself away peeping into the window. Agent #12 uses her infrared binoculars to spot Bond staring intently at the window, and she identifies him immediately because secret agent.
The next morning, a doctor tells him he needs an herbal enema which, gross, and he’s just kind of doddering around. He checks the air force dude’s room for signs of spy stuff and finds his pack of smokes and air force wings under the bed. So that’s something. Then he goes to work out while a big, burly dude knocks out a janitor. While Bond weight lifts, this burly dude comes in and figures out the best way to kill Bond: by letting go of the weights and smashing in his chest with the weight lift bar.
“I guess this isn’t working out. Oh, now’s not the time to quip. I’m a real dumbbell.“
But this guy didn’t take into account that James Bond has two working legs, which he uses to kick him away. So Bond starts smashing him with dumbbells, which do nothing, and then a wooden bench, and is this like an off-brand Oddjob? I bet it is. More smashing and fighting occurs, and they fight in the background while a group of people watch a boxing match on TV (GET IT?). A chef spots this fight as Bond flies through the kitchen window, and then Bond gets tossed around for a while. James tosses everything he can get his hands on to stop this dude and eventually lands in an innocent woman’s room to scare the hell from her. More getting tossed through windows and shelves holding a lot of glass occurs, until Bond tosses…his own urine sample in his face? This debilitates this dude, and I guess that’s the end of that. That’s some fucked-up urine, Bond. Seek help.
Back at HQ, New M chews out Bond for being the target of assassins while at a health spa and Bond quips his way out of this mess. Elsewhere, some military tests are occurring. Fake Air Force Pilot Guy does some sneaky shit around here, using that eye machine he was messing with earlier to use his crazy eye implant that tricks the security system to think he’s the president. This is to replace the dummy warheads with actual warheads. You know, I don’t think this ever has, or will, be the procedure for anything: just because you’re the president doesn’t mean you can change military procedures or sequences of loading warheads on planes. That’s a level that the president just doesn’t have access (or time) to dilly-dally with. So this is all kind of silly.
Anyway, a plane loaded with actual nuclear warheads lets fly two of these suckers, and the special effects of their flying reminds me of Flight of the Navigator or Explorers. Agent #12 zooms up to match Fake Air Force Pilot Guy’s car driving down the road to tell him good job and then throws a snake into his car, which makes him drive off the road. She goes up to his wreckage to plant a bomb and retrieve her snake. This lady’s pretty weird, even for a murderous secret agent. His car blows up and she listens to some awful faux-jazz as she drives away.
Pictured: A cold-blooded, heartless reptile. And also a snake.
Back to the missiles: they fly around and around and some dudes on a ship are waiting to get those darn nuclear warheads. These missile effects suck and their radar sounds like an Atari game. The US military notices that their missiles are going down and they’re like, dig up, stupid! It’s just Thunderball all over again, except instead of sinking a plane with nuclear warheads, they just sink the nuclear warhead missiles. Oh good, more underwater sequences. Blofeld broadcasts his threats to the world leaders and I keep wondering why I’m suffering through a retread of Thunderball. This time, Blofeld’s looking for an astonishing 25% of all countries’ annual GDP, which is a jump from the $100 million he was looking for back in 1965. A military dude says hey, don’t blame me: I voted for Kodos, while NATO is stuck with the bill. A decision is made to reactivate the double o’s.
Bond’s getting a com-pu-ter briefing when Moneypenny tells him hey, you gotta go see M because shit’s going down in Chinatown. Largo is also a character in this as Blofeld’s proxy for the missiles, and my God, it really is a beat-for-beat retelling of Thunderball. Largo gets to his ship and walks into a control room saying good morning like an upbeat boss would. Bond meets with New M, who gives him the lowdown with the stolen missiles, and another dude shows up to say this is all rather bad form, old beans. Bond says this could have all happened because of a false eye, but Not M says well that’s just stupid. Back at Largo HQ, he puts on some funky tunes while he peeps in on Kim Basinger jazzercising. Well here’s one bright spot in the movie: a young Kim Basinger, who looks unbelievable. She’s playing Largo’s mistress in this, and she’s a lot more enthusiastic of him than the original girl was in Thunderball. Largo looks like Phil Collins, while Kim Basinger looks like Kim Basinger. He gives her a bauble while he plays piano and nuzzles up to her, and they have a cute little moment with each other, until he reminds her that if she ever leaves him, he’s going to cut her throat, so that takes the air out of the moment just a bit.
In short: based on this scene, this movie’s fantastic.
Bond gets some target practice in while Q-Not-Q shows off his new missile pen. Not Q complains that they slashed his budget and don’t even put the heat on in his lab. He shows off some coo-coo gadgets but this is a significant downgrade from the old Q lab. It looks like the basement of a poly tech. Anyway, Q bitches about management and hopes that they’re “going to have some gratuitous sex and violence,” which whoa Q, you gotta get out of this basement more often. Oh, and this time there’s a laser watch.
CUT TO Bond in the Bahamas. Bond flirts with a woman on a boat who’s somewhat age-appropriate, which is nice to see, and his contact Nigel is played by Rowan Atkinson(!) as not-Mr. Bean. He kind of sucks as a secret agent, but he’s new to this and looks constantly damp. He gives Bond the low-down about Largo and asks that Bond doesn’t make any trouble. Bond says fuck off, Nigel, and he fucks off.
Bond stands at a bar and looks at photographs of boats and checks out the woman he was flirting with on the boat, who’s hot-dogging on water-skis in the harbor. She splashes him and gives him a glare. Then she goes up the ramp into the bar(?) and falls into his arms. Her name is Fatima Blush (WHAT?) and they engage in some single-entendres. She’s pretty, while Bond looks like an alligator suitcase.
“Sooo….dinner tonight?” “You’re still 15 years older than me.” “Damn.”
The next thing you know, they’re on her boat and Bond is just standing next to the captain like he thinks this guy doesn’t know what he’s doing (racist), until he’s called by Fatima. We see Sean Connery start to undress and there’s nothing sexier than a shirtless over-middle aged man. He says at some point, “Going down, one should always be relaxed,” which is disgusting. They get to the sex and we actually get a glimpse of Fatima’s nipple, which may be a first for a (although non-canonical) Bond film. Also, this sex scene is wildly unappealing and gross.
Hey! Then they’re in the water and I don’t care because I already saw this shit the first time this movie was made when it was called Thunderball. There’s another abandoned sunk ship, and they explore it. Connery’s thinning hair is very apparent in these scenes. Fatima leaves him alone on the wreck and signals…a remote-controlled shark…to chase after James Bond. That’s really stupid. Anyway, Bond tries to ditch a shark underwater, which is stupid, and the soundtrack music is, like, two semitones away from being the Jaws theme. Also, there’s some real-life shark brutality in this scene, which is always unpleasant to watch.
Bond finds the homing device that’s drawing the shark towards him on his suit, but the shark totally knocks off his mouthpiece. Bond tosses (rather, lightly drifts) the homing device into the ship, where the shark gives chase, and then pulls on that lady that he was flirting with the Boat Lady’s fishing line. She’s shocked to still see him alive, and….that’s the end of that scene. Because now Fatima’s on shore dancing to calypso music? Anyway, she spots Bond having a grand old time and freaks out. She places an explosive device in Bond’s room and splits.
Bond—in overalls—goes to make time with said Boat Lady (didn’t catch her name, but I also am not sure if they gave her one, so there’s that), and another gross sex scene occurs. I guess this stuff is only gross to me because of Bond’s advanced age, but I’m a human being with eyes, so. Thankfully, Nigel writes and lets Bond know that Largo’s boat is headed towards the south of France, and then that woman presses the detonator. However, Bond’s in that Boat Lady’s place, so he just shrugs the explosion of his hotel room across the way off and gets back to his unthinkable sexing.
“Yes. Yes. Yes. I am interesting in changing my provider. No, I’m not busy at all at the moment.”
NOW TO FRANCE, where we see a dude gripping a wooden ball and waiting for Bond. And then some Frenchy chick zips up to him to give him info and be the next victim in his wandering penis parade. But wait! This dude with the wooden ball is the new Felix! And he’s black! Anyway, everyone says hello and they laugh and laugh, and goddammit does Sean Connery look old. There’s something in a U-Haul attached to French Lady’s car, but enough of that: the south of France looks wonderful. They pull up to an incredibly cool-looking Modern house, where Bond spies on Largo’s ship. He witnesses Kim Basinger-as-Domino doing her jazzercise on the deck, and he and Felix flap gums until the scene’s over. Domino is then seen going on-shore, where she looks a little dazed. Bond follows her like a fucking creep. She checks into a spa, and Bond also checks in. Then we’re treated to shots of some lovely ladies in bikinis, followed by Bond looking like an idiot in a gray turtleneck. Talk about cognitive dissonance!
He pretends to be someone who works there to sexually assault Domino, and he pushes the towel down as far as Kim Basinger’s contract would allow and starts interrogating her about Largo. His massage looks terrible, but he gets the information he wants. For some reason, Domino finds his awful flirting intriguing instead of disgusting, but Bond can barely keep his cover up. What the fuck kind of spa is this? He gets his hands on her buns, which even he figures is creepy, and ducks out when the actual masseuse comes in. Domino looks confused and more than a little violated at this news. But she smiles anyway because women are supposed to find this leathery old oaf irresistible.
Oof, that paunch. Those greying temples. Those veiny hands. Have I mentioned that Sean Connery looks old in this movie yet?
He shows up at Largo’s swanky party while Fatima follows. Bond just walks in like he owns the goddamn building and punches the maitre d’ in the penis. He holds this dude up with a gun and puts a bomb in his hand that will go off if he moves. Then he just keeps going into the party like the world is his and his alone. He looks around this smoky room filled with Frenchies, resisting the temptation to gamble, and spots Domino. Then he keeps a bead on her from across the room and follows her around. Weirdo. She goes into an arcade(?) while Fatima follows. She plays Gravitar, which is a cool game, while Bond introduces himself and buys her a drink.
Bond orders himself a vodka on the rocks (what the fuck? Was a dry martini, “shaken, not stirred,” copyrighted?) while Fatima tells Largo that Domino’s going to turn on him. They have a weird conversation that’s way more personal and odd than anyone in this fucked-up business should allow, and Largo comes across as kind of a loser. Domino says she’s looking forward to seeing her brother, but before he can tell her that he’s fucking dead lady, Largo strolls up and says hey James Bond, I know exactly who you are. Do you like games, stupid-face? Let’s go play a game. So there’s this insane game that Largo put together to play against Bond.
It’s an antique table with joysticks (what?) and a video screen they both have that pop out of it (what?) and a holographic screen that generates between them in the center of the table (WHAT?). It’s pretty much just Missile Command and Defender. They start playing this impossible game, and it’s watching James Bond play a goddamn video game. It gives a shock every time the opponent loses, and this is pretty stupid. Fatima pushes her way through the crowd to watch this fake bullshit, and we find out that Bond sucks at video games. But he gets the hang of it (I guess if you can figure out how to play baccarat, you can figure out video games), and none of this is visually interesting or engaging in any way. Bond gets shocked off his seat and Large strolls over to gloat. This is stupid.
Well this is just goddamn stupid. Or it’s the Nintendo Switch. I’m not sure.
But whatever, James Bond says, let’s play a game for the rest of the world (even though it’s just a stupid video game), and nobody thinks this is a good idea, but whatever, Largo says sure you Luddite, let’s do this thing. I can’t really figure out what the hell this game is, or how it’s being played, but I guess since video games were popular in 1983, they decided to really push this idea in this movie. Bond movies are really susceptible to fads. Largo loses this last game, however, and everyone stands around murmuring to each other while he writes Bond a fat check. But Bond’s like, fuck your money, and Largo strolls away while Bond dances with Domino.
This dance number is goddamn ridiculous. This movie’s ridiculous. They do a little interrogation tango and Bond lets her know that her brother’s goddamn dead, you twit. Then he says Largo’s the suspect, and your brother was used, and this is all really boring. Fatima and Largo conspire further and he says go kill Bond, OK? And I just realized that Fatima is Agent #12 from the beginning. It’s very hard to follow all of this poorly edited claptrap. Largo stops the dance and says have lunch with us tomorrow on my lunch, dig? Also, Largo lets slip that her brother’s not coming any time soon and they leave. Then Bond gets that “bomb” back from the maitre ‘d he socked in the gut earlier, which was just his cigar case. Holy shit, was this a long sequence. I almost forgot about this guy. AND END SCENE!
Elsewhere, Bond returns home to the mansion he’s staying in, grabbing an apple along the way, and walks up the ultra-modern rail-less stairs to his room. He hears some banging around but says whatever, I’m going to bed. Reaching…a room…he suspects something sneaky’s afoot and pulls his gun. Checking a water bed, he finds that lady from before drowned and dead in it. Then some snazzy jazz plays as he witnesses Fatima running away. She giggles to herself (what?) as she runs into her car. So Bond gets his motorcycle out of its Styrofoam casing and chases after her.
Wow, a motorcycle! Never seen one of them before. How fantastic.
It’s a chase scene, and I don’t recap those because what’s the point? See you in a bit when something noteworthy happens. He’s captured by being forced into a truck, but at the last moment escapes, popping a wheely on his way out. More chasing occurs. His motorcycle has a rocket on it, so he leaps over one of the cars. Batman music starts. More rocket motorcycle stuff. Then he’s knocked off the motorcycle by Fatima using a jib. She holds him at gunpoint and disarms him. How long until this movie’s over? Another 49 minutes? Damn.
She’s going to shoot him in the bait-and-tackle while he insinuates that she’s a lesbian and continues to self-aggrandize. She makes him write some confession about how she was the best he ever had, but he has his secret spy pen in his hand, so he shoots her with it. But she cackles at this and takes aim, but it’s a rocket pen that has a delayed explosion. So she explodes. Whatever, movie. Here’s another Austin Powers reference: in that first movie, there’s a femme fatale that seems impossible to kill, and Fatima is that character. Again: Fuck you, Austin Powers series. Lazy.
Felix shows up and says fuck this noise, this is some crazy shit; let’s split. So they dress up like…gay Frenchmen(?) and escape. Anyway, back at Largo’s boat, more swinging jazz plays while Bond and Felix snoop around in scuba gear. It’s still just a retread of Thunderball, which makes it deeply uninteresting. Bond enters the ship through a secret panel at its bottom(?), seemingly on accident, but he makes thunderballs out of balls and decides to snoop. When he pops up through a manhole, a servant is waiting for him with a robe to let him know that Largo’s been expecting him. And there’s Largo, expecting him. Meanwhile, Felix surfaces and watches the boat zip away.
Largo gives Bond a little tour around his operations while Bond enjoys a martini. He’s being a hospitable host for this man that he’s planning to kill, but I guess that’s a Bond villain trademark by now. So James is left to his own devices, which leads to snooping around. But Domino finds him in the hallway, and WHOA! Kim Basinger’s in a sheer top. So thanks, James Bond movie? It’s kind of incredible this movie got the rating it did.
It feels rather nippley, uh, nippy in here.
Bond puts on jazzercise music while he and Basinger talk about what’s going on, and in his Creep Cabin, Largo watches while trying to filter out the music to hear what they’re talking about. Domino says that they’re headed to North Africa and Bond needs her help to transmit a message out of here. Then he says he’s going to kiss her to provoke a reaction. Sure, Bond, whatever you say. Largo bursts into the room, but it’s too late: Domino sets off the emergency alarm while Bond sneaks into the Creep Cabin to get out a message. Largo starts smashing the jazzercise room apart in a fit of rage while Bond smugly watches him, and back in Britain New M receives said message. Then CUT TO I don’t know, North Africa, with Bond standing on the deck with Domino as Largo stands around like a creep. They go into his weirdo castle that he owns, which is pretty sweet, and he says this was all for you, Domino. Bond looks like he’s a trillion in these scenes. Anyway, Bond’s ushered away by armed goons while Largo acts like a nutjob around Domino. Largo admits that he killed her brother, while Largo continues to be a goddamn monster-man. She calls him crazy, which he seems cool with, and then whistles like the goddamn Joker.
Next time we see her, she’s in a burka and tied up, being led to her death. She’s tied to a post while Bond is tied up into a hawk-filled dungeon to view her death. Largo’s on-hand to gloat and then goes to split. He asks Largo where he hid the bombs, and Largo just straight up and tells him where at least the first bomb is (under the US president’s feet). Then he says that’s enough: goodbye. So at least he only gave away half his plan instead of all of it.
Largo puts on the same music that Domino and Bond danced to for her execution, and then splits. Bond uses his laser watch to break free (Hey! See, it came back!) and some banditos show up to I guess kill this woman based on some horrible Muslim law. It’d be offensive if it wasn’t true! Oh, Islam: why are you so terrible so often? Anywhoo, a guard goes to check on Bond because he hears the wailing of a hawk (what?) but finds that Bond has escaped through melting the metal bars of the window. Well, kind of: Bond’s just outside of the window and pulls him out to fall to his death.
Outside, these fucking creeps barter to I guess violate Domino before killing him, and Bond steals a horse while smoking a cigarette because why the fuck not smoke during this time of emergency? He gets Domino onto the horse and they gallop away to freedom. Meanwhile, I’m not going to cover a horse chase just like I won’t cover a car chase because that’s enough of that. But wait: HE JUMPS A FUCKING HORSE OFF THE SIDE OF THIS CASTLE AND LANDS IN THE WATER HUNDREDS OF FEET BELOW AND SURVIVES. That’s just fucking crazy. But we get to see Kim Basinger in a sheer negligee underwater where she looks practically naked, so that’s something. But Felix and Co. show up to rescue them in an inflatable motor boat, and they GTFO.
“Hunh. We’re alive. How’s the horse? Wait, if the horse is dead…” (Scene from The Six Sense: The Remake)
CUT TO Bond scrubbing a naked Domino in the shower (gross), and Bond says he’s still going after Largo. She says she cares about Bond, but why? Anyway, M calls in to say that they have to find that second bomb dammit, but Bond is bored by this anyway. Poor young Kim Basinger looks uncomfortable being in old Sean Connery’s arms in this scene.
So they’re all just hanging out on the control room of a submarine figuring out what the fuck to do, and apparently the pendant that Domino’s brother gave her is the key to finding the bomb. That’s stupid. I mean, why would you give a pendant that marks the spot where the bombs exactly are to your sister? Did he get that specially made for her? Was this insurance policy? Who knows.
Anyway, we get to see…is it? Yes! It’s Son of Blippy from Thunderball! That jaunty little submersible from that movie which captured my heart. So good to see something fun like this in such a god-awful Bond adventure. I guess it’s fan service, but whatever: Blippy Lives! The bad guys are looking for the bomb, and now Bond is looking for a little submersible himself to find it. And…WHAT THE FUCK? He gets launched into the air in a little personal rocket ship, and it’s goddamn ridiculous. And Felix has one too! That’s crazy. That’s stupid and crazy like Moonraker was stupid and crazy. They get on-shore, put on scuba gear, and then head back into the water. What? Then why did they use those little rockets to get to the surface? Stupid. So, so stupid.
Blippy’s on the hunt for the nuclear bomb, and they found it, so. It’s brought into their secret cave base while Felix and Bond search around. Goddammit, do I hate underwater scenes. They find the secret base…somehow…and then go in for the snoopin’. And hey! They immediately find the underground operations!
Bond goes Encyclopedia Brown-ing by himself and infiltrates this cave dwelling. Blofeld’s on the line to celebrate this victory and wonder why he’s not in an Ingmar Bergman movie, and the stupid bomb is being lowered and positioned to fuck everything up. Largo seems to be enjoying himself at this moment, and Bond’s weird hairy legs topple a gigantic archaeological wonder in an attempt to kill people. Felix starts firing on these suckers because he’s cool while Bond looks for more history to destroy for his purposes.
“Now this is more like it! What? I only have 5 minutes screen time? Dammit!”
Special forces show up to back up Felix and it’s another chaotic firefight between henchmen and the good guys in the evil lair that looks historically important but is being shot to pieces because fuck history, right? The bomb is armed to fuck up the world’s oil supply (note from the future: don’t worry; time does that anyway), and it’s launched on Blippy! Oh, Blippy. And Largo goes with it because he’s a hands-on manager. After destroying this World Heritage Site, Bond reconnoiters with Felix to let him know that he’s going to save the day and Felix is like, that’s cool, I’m going to stay here and kill more people.
CUT TO Bond on a swing suspended by a chopper, which looks fun/terrifying. He drops into the water to find Blippy & The Bomb, while I’m relieved to find out there’s less than 10 minutes of this movie to watch. Anyway, Large and Bond have a good old-fashioned knife fight underwater, which I’ve seen before thanks to the original movie this one is based on, and Blippy blips away with the bomb. Bond catches up to Largo and they tussle, but Blippy starts crushing Largo against a rock while Bond goes to deactivate the bomb. Then Domino(!) shows up with a spear gun and finishes of Largo while Bond finishes deactivating the bomb. Domino weirdly waves goodbye(?) to Largo, and the Good Guys swim to the surface.
When did this movie turn into the end of The Life Aquatic?
CUT TO Domino diving into a pool looking fantastic while Bond lazily relaxes in a Jacuzzi. She brings him a drink and they start making out (gross), but a sinister person shows up. Bond goes to check it out, affording us yet another shirtless Connery moment, and he scuttles about to find the perpetrator. He tosses this fuckhead into the pool, but it’s just that idiot Nigel. He says hey, M’s concerned about Bond not being in the service, and he says, “Never,” to which Domino replies, “Never?” He kisses her (gross) and then winks at the camera. WE DIDN’T EVEN GET A TITLE DROP IN THIS FUCKING MOVIE AND NOW IT’S TOO DAMN LATE BECAUSE IT’S OVER.
This wasn’t good. This was crappy. Off-brand, generic cereal “Colonel Crisp” crappy. As mentioned, this wasn’t an “official” James Bond franchise movie but a weird off-shoot that they lured Sean Connery back into the titular role with a boatload of money. And even then, it’s just a re-telling of Thunderball, the third-worst James Bond movie that had been made up to this point.
I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t be ageist, but Sean Connery is too damn old to be playing Bond at this point. His skin looks like leather, his physique is disturbing, and when he interacts with a 20-year-old Kim Basinger it makes me want to vomit. He looks bored and tired, much like Roger Moore looked in his last spin as the title character. I guess if the character was growing old with its intended audience that started circa 1960, it makes sense, but nobody wants to watch a geriatric James Bond in modern times. It just doesn’t make sense, and besides that, it kind of kills the whole excitement thing that we should be feeling for the character.
The movie’s just Thunderball. Literally and legally, it’s just Thunderball. The guy who played the villain, whose name is Klaus Maria Brandauer, does a great job as Largo, but who cares? Kim Basinger looks phenomenal in what must have surely been her film debut, if not damn near it, but she’s playing the same thinly drawn character that Domino was in Thunderball. Outside of that, there’s almost nothing in this film that makes it interesting. I hated Thunderball, and its 80’s update does little better. At least they cut down the underwater scenes for this one. And that’s it.
This is my last Bond review in this series. I got through 3 different Bonds and watched 15 movies, and now it’s the end of November, which was the cutoff for this project, and I’ll be concluding this little endeavor for now. Up next are Christmas movie recaps, which will be created as time and interest allows. It’s the holidays, after all. I want to finish all of the movies, but I’m getting Bond Burnout at this point and will take a break from the film series until at least early next year to finish this project. I hope you enjoyed reading it! It was fun to write but also exhausting sometimes. I’ll be posting a conclusion post tomorrow/next post to wrap up this idea and what I’ve learned from the series.
Not great. This whole project has disappointed me, since I’ve watched now 15 Bond movies over the course of a month and found nearly half of them terrible. When James Bond is great, it’s top-notch entertainment; sadly, it only achieves this (less than) half of the time. This movie—while not part of the canonical Bond franchise—continues that floppy tradition, providing a lackluster final entry for Sean Connery in the role that he originated on-screen. As a farewell—just like Moore’s last outing—it’s a crummy note to go out on. One out of four Bonds.