1983 - Never Say Never Again
￼Alternate Title - Never Play Bond Again
PG - 134 minutes
Director - Irvin Kershner
Stars - Sean Connery, Kim Basinger, Klaus Maria, Max Von Sydow
I realize this isn’t a “true Bond film.” I also realize that all of the Bond movies are made as an attempt to make a ton of money but this one is truly a cash-grab by Kevin McClory. Basically all he owned was the rights to Spectre and the ability to produce a remake of the mediocre, Thunderball.
At least they finally acknowledge the fact that Bond is getting older in this movie. That’s the one thing they do that hasn’t been done before. Bond reveals that lately he’s been more of a teacher than an agent. His supervisors tell him that he has to diet and exorcise from now on. This is the exact way that you want to see Bond.; bloated and elderly.
Since I already reviewed Thunderball, I don’t be going into much detail on this one. Suffice to say it’s the same fucking movie starring the exact same guy, 18 years later.
Maximilian Largo is the villain and the actor portraying him does an amazing job. He’s clearly the best part of this movie even though he comes off as a creepy rapist in his scenes with Kim Basinger.
The worst part of this movie is a 7 minute scene in which Largo and Bond play what amounts to high-stakes Risk in which they both hold handles and conquer land on a computer screen. The longer they play the more pain they feel from the handles. I would imagine that playing that game would be intense but watching two people pretend to play a barely visual game is fucking BORING. You begin to wonder if the movie will ever return to being about the ocean again. I never thought I’d say that because I think the ocean is the most boring setting for a movie, ever.
Bond uses a pen to literally blow a woman to nothingness. Afterward, even her shoes are cleaned out. It’s like it sucked her into another dimension entirely. Later, Bond is topless and Connery is doing his best at sucking in his gut to pretend like he’s not a senior citizen.
My mind was blown by a scene toward the end. Bond is in a submarine until he is shot out of it in a missile. Once the missile is a few feet above the water it opens up and Bond shoots out like the Rockateer, jet-pack and all…only to land on the ground to get back into a wet suit and go scuba diving to find a cave to go back onto land for a gunfight. During the gunfight he runs away and is seen being carried in a harness by a helicopter which drops him in the ocean again through a well. He went back and forth from land to water so many times in a ten minute scene that it was like watching a game of awkward environmental tennis.
Overall, I really wanted to hate this movie but in the end it was just so-so. A lot of it was boring and stupid but the scenes with Largo made it up to me because I found him genuinely interesting and charming. I wish the actor, Klaus Maria Brandauer had been in a better Bond movie instead so that I could have truly loved that movie. Oh, and Mr. Bean is in this. So there’s that.