In 1983, there was a war like no other on the big screen as James Bond took on James Bond. I mentioned before the circumstances but in case you forgot, or are too lazy to reread, here is what happened. After a long legal battle between Kevin McClory and Eon Studios over the rights to Thunderball and the SPECTRE organization, McClory won the battle. He decided to remake Thunderball and got Sean Connery to reprise the role of James Bond.They then released their film to compete with the Eon Studios movie that came out earlier that year. Since I already reviewed Octopussy, so now it’s time to review today’s movie, Never Say Never Again.
The plot: After failing a training exercise, M orders Bond to health clinic to get back in shape. While there, Bond notices some strange happenings between a nurse and a patient and after being spotted, is attacked by an assassin. The patient happened to be an Air Force Pilot, who was working with SPECTRE to steal a pair of nuclear missiles in order to blackmail the world governments. Bond suspects Maximillian Largo to be involved and along with CIA operative Felix Leiter, begins to investigate his involvement. As the investigation continues and with the fate of the world at stake, Bond must find a way to stop Largo’s plans before he winds up dead himself.
Although it only earned a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the critics were pretty positive about this movie. Many critics felt that this was one of the better Bond films and that Connery, while appearing older, had not lost a step in his portrayal of the British spy. However, in spite of having the more favorable reviews, Never Say Never Again failed to outperform Eon Studio’s Octopussy, earning only $160 million worldwide compared to Octopussy’s $187 million. While Warner Brothers was the studio that released the movie in theaters and early rental releases, MGM studios (who now owned Eon Studios) bought the rights in 1997 and handled all future video releases.
I have to say, I actually like this movie more than Thunderball, but that might be due to the fact that I remember seeing this movie first. Sean Connery was very good and showed why he has long been considered the best to play the role. Klaus Maria Brandauer was a decent villain although the whole jealousy angle did get a little old after a while and while she fit the role of the stereotypical Bond girl, Kim Basinger really didn’t add anything to the movie. The action scenes were played out very well and there was actually a bit more espionage in this film that had been lacking in some of the last few movies. The dialogue was pretty good with quite a few quips and references to the fact that Connery was returning to the role. While not considered an official film, it is definitely a great film to be included in the series.
So if you want to see Sean Connery make a return as the character he made famous, then you should definitely watch this movie.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5