Thunderball

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

James Bond—MI6 agent 007 and sometimes simply “007”—attends the funeral of Colonel Jacques Bouvar, a SPECTRE operative (Number 6).Bouvar is alive and disguised as his own widow, but Bond identifies him. Following him to a château, Bond fights and kills him, escaping using a jetpack and his Aston Martin DB5.

Bond is sent by M to a clinic to improve his health. While massaged by physiotherapist Patricia Fearing, he notices Count Lippe, a suspicious man with a criminal tattoo (from a Tong). He searches Lippe’s room, but is seen leaving by Lippe’s clinic neighbour who is bandaged after plastic surgery. Lippe tries to murder Bond with a spinal traction machine, but is foiled by Fearing, whom Bond then seduces. Bond finds a dead bandaged man, François Derval. Derval was a French NATO pilot deployed to fly aboard an Avro Vulcan loaded with two atomic bombs for a training mission. He had been murdered by Angelo, a SPECTRE henchman surgically altered to match his appearance.

Angelo takes Derval’s place on the flight, sabotaging the plane and sinking it near the Bahamas. He is then killed by Emilio Largo (SPECTRE No. 2) for trying to extort more money than offered to him. Largo and his henchmen retrieve the stolen atomic bombs from the seabed. All double-0 agents are called to Whitehall and en route, Lippe chases Bond. Lippe is killed by SPECTRE agent Fiona Volpe for failing to foresee Angelo’s greed. SPECTRE demands £100 million in white flawless uncut diamonds from NATO in exchange for returning the bombs. If their demands are not met, SPECTRE will destroy a major city in the United States or the United Kingdom. At the meeting, Bond recognises Derval from a photograph. Since Derval’s sister, Domino, is in Nassau, Bond asks M to send him there, where he discovers Domino is Largo’s mistress.

Bond takes a boat to where Domino is snorkelling. After Bond saves her life, the two have lunch together. Later, Bond goes to a party, where he sees Largo and Domino gambling. Bond enters the game against Largo, and wins. Bond and Domino leave the game and dance together. Bond returns to the hotel, uses a connecting door to enter his room and notices someone is also inside. Felix Leiter enters and is silenced by Bond, who finds and disarms a SPECTRE henchman in the bathroom. He releases the henchman, who returns to Largo and is thrown into a pool of sharks.

Bond meets Q, and is issued with a collection of gadgets, including an underwater infrared camera, a distress beacon, underwater breathing apparatus, a flare gun and a Geiger counter. Bond attempts to swim underwater beneath Largo’s boat, but is nearly killed. Bond’s assistant Paula is abducted by Largo for questioning and kills herself.

Bond is kidnapped by Fiona, but escapes. He is chased through a Junkanoo celebration and enters the Kiss Kiss club. Fiona finds and attempts to kill him, but is shot by her own bodyguard. Bond and Felix search for the Vulcan, finding it underwater. Bond meets Domino scuba-diving and tells her that Largo killed her brother, asking for help finding the bombs. She tells him where to go to replace a henchman on Largo’s mission to retrieve them from an underwater bunker. Bond gives her his Geiger counter, asking her to look for them on Largo’s ship. She is discovered and captured. Disguised as Largo’s henchman, Bond uncovers Largo’s plan to destroy Miami Beach.

Bond is discovered, and rescued by Leiter, who orders United States Coast Guard sailors to parachute to the area. After an underwater battle, the henchmen surrender. Largo escapes to his ship, the Disco Volante, which has one of the bombs on board. Largo attempts to escape by jettisoning the rear of the ship. The front section, a hydrofoil, escapes. Bond, also aboard, and Largo fight; Largo is about to shoot him when Domino, freed by Largo’s nuclear physicist Ladislav Kutze, kills Largo with a harpoon. Bond and Domino jump overboard, the boat runs aground and explodes. A sky hook-equipped U.S. Navy aeroplane rescues them.

REVIEW:

For once I am home on a Tuesday evening, only to find out that there is not a damn thing on television worth watching. As it happens, Thunderball was on Netflix instant, only to be removed on the 1st, so I would say this is as good a time as any to view the next Bond film, wouldn’t you?

What is this about?

With his sights set on a blackmail payday of global proportions, terrorist mastermind Emilio Largo hijacks two nuclear weapons — and only James Bond can stop him in this 007 classic featuring Oscar-winning special effects.

What did I like?

Exotica. This is a film that has many scenes on the beach. As you can imagine, there are some of the most beautiful bit of scenery to be found in these scenes. The location is breathtakingly beautiful and almost distracts you from the action that is going on with Bond. Throw in some really gorgeous pieces of eye candy (par for the course with Bond films, as I’m learning more and more with each film) and you will be floored with the beauty of this picture.

Under the sea. The climactic battle scene, though there is some argument about this, happens underwater. Complete with underwater het packs, scuba gear, harpoon guns, etc., you will not be able to turn your eyes away from what is going on. Not to mention the fact that you will be cheering 007 on as he takes on the henchmen and attempts to save the world.

Nefarious plot. Emilio Largo’s plot to take over the world through the use of nuclear weapons was actually quite the dastardly, ingenious one, especially during the 60s. This guy is only #2 over at SPECTRE, but it makes you wonder what #1 is capable of.

What didn’t I like?

Length. At over 2 hours long, I felt that this was a film that could have had about 10-15 minutes cut out of it, at least. There really was no reason for it to have been this long. What should have been cut out? If it were up to me, probably the constant stock footage of the Carnival, or whatever celebration that was, that they kept flashing to like it was some sort of subliminal message. I’m sure there are other parts that could have been cut, as well, but that stuck out to me.

Q. In order for 007 to get his gadgets, he has to have a meeting with Q. Here is my problem with that in this film. Apparently, they flew him down to the Bahamas, gadgets and all, to have this meeting. Wouldn’t it have been much easier to just have this meeting in London earlier in the film, rather than this pointless cameo?

Overall, I think Thunderball was a solid film. I won’t say it will go down as my favorite Bond flick, but in the end, it may end up on the list. Only time will tell. Do I recommend it? Yes, but if you’re looking to watch a random Bond flick out of the blue, this wouldn’t be the first choice. Still, give it a shot and see what you think.

4 out of 5 stars

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One Response to “Thunderball”

  1. Good review. I’ve posted on every 007 film. Check them out.

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