June 16, 2014
Movie Night: Never Say Never Again.
Review #595: Never Say Never Again.
Sean Connery (James Bond), Kim Basinger (Domino Petachi), Klaus Maria Brandauer (Maximillian Largo), Barbara Carrera (Fatima Blush), Bernie Casey (Felix Leiter), Max von Sydow (Ernst Stavro Blofeld), Edward Fox (M), Rowan Atkinson (Nigel Small-Fawcett), Gavan O'Herlihy (Jack Petachi), and Alec McCowen (Q) Directed by Irvin Kershner (#004 - RoboCop 2 and #114 - The Empire Strikes Back)
Due to Kevin McClory's lawsuit over the rights of the novel Thunderball, he gained the filming rights of the novel, even after the movie was released, despite EON's attempts to stop it, and McClory would help produce a new version on the Thunderball story, with Lorenzo Semple, Jr (notable for developing the 1960's Batman TV show and Flash Gordon - #215) writing the screenplay. Connery was brought to play the role 12 years after he last played Bond in the spectacular disaster of a film Diamonds Are Forever (#280). The film was released 4 months after Octopussy (#360), the other Bond film from 1983. So which one is better? It's hard to discuss this movie. Of the six Bond films in the 1980's, this isn't the worst one, but it also isn't the best. Connery does good in his return to Bond, a little aged but a little more defined, and refined. The supporting cast isn't bad (though Atkinson is an exception), it's certainly better than Thunderball's cast, especially with Felix Leiter, who is more interesting to watch this time around. Basinger does well, she has at least some chemistry with Connery, and the dance scene is at least watchable. The villain is ever more interesting because he leaves an impression on you, though admittedly the scene where he plays against Bond in a video game is either an odd inclusion or just surprising, but then again the other Bond movie had Bond dress up as a clown, so pick your poison. The aquatic action isn't as annoying due to not there being as much of it, which is refreshing. The movie is actually pretty decent, not too bad, and it's a good way for Connery to have one last hurrah. There, I've reviewed all the Bond films, even the unofficial ones...for now.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.