THUNDERBALL

1965

4/10

 

 

DIRECTOR: Terence Young

May Contain Spoilers!

Scuba, scuba and more scuba! The film’s plot takes off when a model NATO plane is crashed into the ocean, enabling a team of super-terrorists to steal the payload, two nuclear bombs. Then, James Bond (Sean Connery) spends the rest of the movie in a wet suit, or half of one at times, doing stuff under the sea, but it’s not really clear as to what on just one viewing! Then, it ends up with a scuba battle, which though innovative, it’s still confusing and runs out of steam. And there has to be a reason why this has never been done again on this scale.  But the final act is played out on a speeding yacht, and I mean speeding!

This was something out of Key Stone Cops, with the film being sped up as if they were running out of time. Well cut the scuba! I do try not to be too critical of film techniques of the past and speeding up film was a method of the day but not one which I like, but may be if the film had offered more characterisations or intrigue, then maybe I wouldn’t have had time to dwell on it. But I had plenty. This was a poor effort from Bond, quiet boring and misjudged, with what seemed to be nothing but filler throughout, most of which, playing out underwater. And what about the end?

Three people escape the yacht at the end before it’s collision with some rocks and the fireball which ensues, but only Bond and his girl, Domino (Claudine Auger) are rescued by an early sky-lift system. What happened to the other bloke? Do they care? Do I care? No, not really.

The mystery of what happened to the other bloke sums up my feelings about this movie. Contrived and thoughtless. It just goes through the motions and tries to put Bond into a new environment, underwater rather than hotel suites and car chases, though they are included as footnotes. I get the ideas behind this, but it didn’t work for me.

Not Bond’s best moment, that’s for sure.

 

 

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