James Bond Reviews: #13: You Only Live Twice


     I always have had a nostalgic soft spot for You Only Live Twice. That tends to happen when it’s one of the first Bond films you’ve ever seen. I would go so far as to say that it’s almost an ideal first Bond flick. The exotic locals, the megalomaniac villain, the volcanic lair, killer fish, femme fatales, shit, I can keep going. They know what’s up when making the movie, and yes, it’s really fucking entertaining.
     After 007 (Sean Connery) has apparently met his demise, he is sent to Japan to intercept a transmission signal that is being used to coerce the US and USSR into starting World War III. With the help of Tanaka (Tetsurô Tanba) and Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi), Bond must infiltrate the true organization behind it all lead by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasance): SPECTRE.
     This installment was the one that truly cemented the Bond franchise as one of true spectacle. Many give the full credit to Thunderball, but this one really went overboard with its lavishness. For fucks sake, Bond is shooting people down in a little helicopter. I’m not making this up, watch the movie, it’s there. Remember the Austin Powers flicks? They’re really parodying this movie over the rest, and is the foundation of what came after.
     You Only Live Twice notable in that this was the last Bond flick where Connery actually gave a shit in his performance. The man defined suaveness, and tough shit while making it look easy. And while Blofeld has been so far played by three different actors, Pleasance’s portrayal is by far the most definitive. He oozes that menace and ruthlessness that makes it entirely believable that this man is agent 007’s archenemy. For these reasons alone, this is not only an entertaining Bond films, but also one that is required viewing, especially with the newest one coming out…


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