Anthony's Film Review

Thunderball (1965)

Thunderball doesn't meet the standard set by Goldfinger, but it's still fun...

The fourth James Bond movie reaches a point in the series where it is hard to meet the standard set by the previous movie. It's not to say that Thunderball is a bad movie. What I mean is that since Goldfinger is probably considered a perfect Bond movie, it's not surprising for the next one to not be as perfect. It does, however, have a slight imbalance leaning towards action. Other elements of the Bond Formula are there, of course, so it's not a total loss.

Sean Connery doesn't have as much charm in this one as Goldfinger, although he still have some witty lines. For example, he tells one of the women in the film, "What I did was for king and country. You don't think I had any pleasure in it, did you?" The Bond girls are OK in my opinion. Domino Derval and Fiona Volpe do add their own spark to the screen, yet they don't seem too memorable for some reason. The villain, Emilio Largo, is likable in a way. At least he is one of those villains with a unique physical characteristic: an eye patch.

I do like how this movie puts James Bond in an environment not yet seen before: underwater. From spying on the Disco Volante to being trapped in a pool with sharks, Bond uses his skills as a swimmer and any gadgets he has at his disposal. And of course, the exciting climactic underwater dogfight with harpoons and close combat is the highlight of the movie. Other things I liked in the film include the fight at the château and the chase through the parade.

There is a rather interesting story behind the scenes. Thunderball was originally conceived by Kevin McClory for a movie before Ian Fleming took it and turned it into a James Bond novel. Both men received credit for this film, but after a long legal battle, McClory acquires the rights to Thunderball and the concept of the SPECTRE organization. He would later make his own Bond movie called Never Say Never Again, also starring Connery and based on this story.

But I digress. Thunderball is still a James Bond movie that could entertain the audience for two hours. There is no doubt that it has action, wit, and excitement. Again, the film may suffer somewhat from more action than necessary, but it's not a big deal. It's fun for plenty of Bond fans, young and old.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Thunderball, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my reviews of the following:

Official James Bond Films Unofficial James Bond Films


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