Food & Adventures

Thursday 1 September 2016

Project Bond: Thunderball

"I think he got the Point".

The making of Thunderball, the fourth Bond film in 4 years, would lead to a court case over who owned the rights to many aspects of James Bond lore that would put the franchise in jeopardy. Fortunately these problems would not stop the makers from producing a great film. It was not one of my favourites growing up and, to be honest, I think I have only watched this one once or twice but it is still a really good film. Sean Connery is back as 007 along with other regulars Bernard Lee as M, Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny and Desmond Llewellyn as Q. It also stars Adolfo Celi as the main protagonist Emilio Largo.

Cue the barrel Shot...

The film opens with Bond observing a funeral, soon he slopes off to another room to wait for someone. That someone appears to be the grieving wife of the deceased. However, Bond is not convinced and proceeds to punch the widow in the face. It turns out the woman is really a man, a rival assasin. Once Bond has bested his adversary he makes his escape via the ludicrously Bond method of a Jet Pack and after a short car chase in the Aston Martin the dulcet tones of Tom Jones blare out the Thunderball theme.

When the film resumes we're introduced to the sinister looking, eye-patch clad Emilio Largo who is going to a secret meeting of SPECTRE. Number one, you know the guy with the cat, is being debriefed by members of the secret organisation about their various criminal activities. Largo explains a plan they have to replace a NATO pilot with a duplicate so they can steal some atomic bombs.

When we next meet bond he is staying at a spa, now I know it was the 60's and attitudes were different then but is amazes me how 'rapey' Bond is in these early movies. In one scene he forces a therapist at the spa to kiss him and then later he pushes her into a steam room and removes her clothes and presumably has sex with her. She seems quite happy about these events in the next scene but I still found these a little shocking.

I may have missed a plot point but it seemed a bit of a coincidence that Bond just happened to be at the same spa as the duplicate SPECTRE is planning to use to steal the atomic bombs. After a few scuffles with a fellow resident, (who is working for SPECTRE unbeknownst to Bond) he discovers the dead body of the real NATO pilot. At the same time all this is happening SPECTRE manage to steal the NATO jet and land it in the sea where Largo and some helpers retrieve the bombs. The underwater scene is a good prelude to what will come later in the film.

Bond Heads to MI6 where all '00' agents have been gathered as SPECTRE have announced their plan to extort money from Britain in return for giving the stolen weapons back. Bond head to Nassau in The Bahamas to follow up a lead and meets up with his old mate from the CIA Felix Leiter. He gets chatting to a lady called Domino who is the sister of the NATO Pilot killed by SPECTRE and who also happens to be the companion of Emilio Largo. Later at a casino (obviously) Bond comes face to face with Largo.

Later at Largo's complex we see he has a pool filled with several sharks. When Bond returns later to snoop around he ends up fighting one of Largo's goons and they end up in the shark pool, Bond escapes while the sharks are all tucking into the man he was just fighting. After more looking around Bond finds the missing NATO Jet and discovers Largo's plans for the bombs. Bond alerts MI6 to get some back up sent over.

When back up arrives a huge underwater battle ensues between the MI6 frogmen and Largo's henchmen. This battle is brilliant, daggers and harpoons are everywhere. There are mini submarines and the missing nukes. When the good guys have prevailed and the weapons recovered Largo escapes, he tries to get away on a suped-up yacht. Bond and Domino are hot on his heels and when it looks like Bond is about to be killed by Largo it is Domino who saves the day.

Even though, as I said earlier, I have only watched this film a couple of times I really don't know why. I thoroughly enjoyed Thunderball and will definitely add it to my list of Bond films to watch regularly. Here's the trailer.

Project Bond will return with You Only Live Twice.

Well, that's all for now.



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