Never Say Never Again
Director: Irvin Kershner
Starring: Sean Connery, Max von Sydow & Kim Basinger
Length: 134 min.
Released: October 7, 1983
Using an astounding array of weapons, Agent 007 has singlehandedly wiped out an army of Her Majesty’s enemies. But when a lovely captive slips a knife into 007’s ribs, the superspy’s boss decides it’s time his top agent sharpen his lethal edge. So James Bond is off to a health spa. However his “vacation” is cut short by Largo, a power-mad mastermind set on carrying out his plan for worldwide nuclear blackmail. On Largo’s side, the murderous femme fatale Fatima Blush and vile SPECTRE chief Blofeld. But Bond does have an ally though, Largo’s girlfriend, the willowy Domino, who falls for Bond.
This film is a major anomaly in the Bond films. It’s a remake of Thunderball that stemed from all the controversy surounding that film and it’s not considered an “official” Bond film. One watch and you can tell why. The title is based on a conversation between Sean Connery and his second wife, Micheline Roquebrune. After initially retiring from the role following Diamonds Are Forever (1971) he told the press he would ‘never’ play James Bond again; her response for him was to never say “never” again. She is credited at the end of the film for her contribution. As a result, it was the first Bond movie to use a non-Ian Fleming originated title.
I would have to say this is the strangest Bond film of them all. Why is it so strange? For starters it’s Sean Connery’s last film as Bond…and he looks soooo old. It was not released by EON Productions, so it doesn’t have the music, the typical opening credits, the gun barrel looking at bond and then him shooting and the red dropping down on the screen…no Q…nothing! It tries to replace all that stuff, but it just falls short. The gadgets are okay, but the music is horrendous. The opening sequence would have been so much better if it didn’t have that awful song starting out the movie.
It does have some fun moments though. For example, there is a memorable sequence regarding a rather insane idea for a video game and a pretty cool motercycle Bond uses to avaid hs enemy. It’s also intresting to see Connery and Basinger share the screen.
There’s also a small debate over if this film fits into the chronology of the rest of the Bond films. As explained on Wikipedia:
“As a standalone film, it takes place in an alternative timeline compared to previously released films. Specifically, while the portrayal of Connery as Bond is true to the fact Connery played Bond for 6 of the 7 first films, most involving SPECTRE, this film ignores the events of those films, as Blofeld is active and apparently previously unknown to Bond and MI6.
Several fans however, those of whom decide to place the film’s story within the EON Bond series, have speculated that the events depicted show a failed attempt from Blofeld and Largo to bring back SPECTRE from the dead, without obviously counting at Bond’s resurgence from retirement. Even in this scenario, the whereabouts of Blofeld remain unknown.”
This is the main film that made me dicide to watch the Bond films in release date order rather than the story’s chronological order. It’s hard to place this one.
At any rate, it was a valient attempt by Connery…but he should have stopped with Dimonds Are Forever. I’m giving this one 3 stars out of 5.