Friday, 28 August 2009

Thunderball (1965)

Its often a bad idea to watch movies when you are not really in the mood, to this end I struggled through Thunderball all the while admiring its style and beauty but not really getting into it. All said it is a fantastic film, not my favourite as there are a few weaknesses that make it…not so Bondy… for me.

Credits PDVD_065

Our pre film episode is based around a Funeral of one of Bonds (offscreen) enemies. We soon discover that this is a sham and he is masquerading as his own widow. Bond swiftly dispatches them and makes off using the iconic Jet Pack. We then escape and launch into a less well known theme sung by Tom Jones. It’s certainly one that has failed to stick in my mind, probably due to the nonsensical use of the word Thunderball. The images however are stunning with silhouetted diving women with harpoon guns. It is exceptionally well done and sets the scene perfectly, it’s a shame the film that follows doesn’t quite live up to the promise it gives.


We are weak on girls with this one, the three main lined up are Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) who plays the part of our Femme Fatale and S.P.E.C.T.R.E executioner. She is voluptuous and pretty with a shock of red hair. She also isn't seen that much and never sympathetic. Number two girl is Martine Beswick as Paula who is Bonds Nassau contact, she is even less noticeable then Volpe and when she dies (presumably by suicide pill) it goes almost unremarked. Of course the considered Bond Girl is Domino as played by Claudine Auger. She has a gorgeous body and a great taste in swimwear, Now Claudine is pretty, devastatingly so but for one thing. MOLE. I don't subscribe to the whole “beauty spot” mentality and whenever it was in view that was all i could see. (even at the detriment of her fantastic…eyes. All this aside, the girls of Thunderball play such a small role that with a small rewrite needn't be there at all. PDVD_081


We get a minor look at Bonds DB7 and Q supplies him with some simple gadgets (Geiger counters etc) but we really are very functional here, most of our gadgets are very believable and generally fail to really be classed as gadgets! We have underwater jetskis and a rebreather for Bond but the real gadget is Emile Largos boat the “Disco Volante” which as the ability to separate in to two, beating Star Trek The Next Generation by around 20 years!


None. Really, there is some fast driving and one scene that sort of looks like it may come off into a chase and never does but aside from that. Nowt. Nada. Nyet.

Total BondagePDVD_068

Disappointing, with no strong lead female and a very odd casting of Rick Van Nutter as Felix Leiter Thunderball struggles to be a true Bond film in my eyes. Although we have absolute standout moments such as honest to goodness shark pools, a fantastic summery execution by “Number 1” in a fantastic conference room and some brilliantly shot underwater fight scenes this one lacks something in essential Bondness. Emile Largo looks the part but never really pulls off the menace of his predecessors in fact besides the moment when Bond is trapped underwater in a shark pool (and far too easily escapes) there never seems to be a threat at all. In fact Bond is the pivotal fighter in the scene at the end, saving his useless colleagues left right and centre, this weakens the menace rather then making Bond look great.  PDVD_098

Paul out… they were very nice swimsuits though

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