James Bond Reviews: #9: Thunderball

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     1965, the absolute height of Bondmania. People were going apeshit over any and everything Bond. It always made sense that this was the most popular Bond film, since the book itself was very cinematic. Thunderball and You Only Live Twice, are the two most modern Bond films out of the classic Connery era. I just mean that there’s a shit ton of action, with the most common element of its day: SPECTRE.
     Bond (Sean Connery) needs to be at his absolute sharpest, so M (Bernard Lee) sends him to a detox clinic, because Connery Bond is basically Archer. While there, he uncovers a terrorist plot from SPECTRE involving the highjacking of a couple nuclear warheads and holding the world for ransom. Yes, this is where Dr. Evil was born.
     Here, Connery is in top form as Bond (unlike that campy, sleepwalking, piece of shit Diamonds Are Forever), having a confidence and wit that young people would call trolling. When Bond finds Fiona (Luciana Pauluzzi) in his tub, he lays out the charm by giving her something to put on. Her shoes. Largo (Adolfo Celi) has that smug, arrogant douchebagary that has been imitated in later Bond films, but can’t be duplicated.
     What amazes me, film wise, is that by the fourth film they were in their groove. Exotic locale, beautiful women, an over the top plot involving world domination, this installment has it all. Every great element from the series was perfected by this point. The action driven plots that dominate the rest of the franchise has its seeds laid here. Love it, or blame it, this is one of the essential 007 films to watch

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