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Never Say Never Again (1983)

James Bond

Wow, he actually doesn't look 80 in this poster
Wow, he actually doesn't look 80 in this poster

Bond: Sean Connery (ThunderballYou Only Live Twice)

Bond Girl: Domino Petachi  Played By: Kim Basigner (BatmanNine 1/2 Weeks)
Bond Supervillain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld  Played By: Max von Sydow (Strange Brew • The Greatest Story Ever Told)
Bond Villain: Maximilian Largo  Played By: Klaus Maria Brandauer (Mephisto • Out of Africa)
Villain's Goon: Fatima Blush  Played By: Barbara Carrera (The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)"Dallas")

Genre: Action Adventure Thriller (UK,USA, West Germany) 

Directed By: Irvin Kershner (Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes BackRoboCop 2)

Overview: SPECTRE has stolen two nuclear missiles and is holding the world ransom. Bond, using his old-man walker, travels to Nassau to follow a lead that man just pinpoint the man who has them.


Allow me to begin with an excerpt of Hal Erickson's writings for the All Movie Guide:

The title of the 1983 James Bond adventure Never Say Never Again is a self-mocking reference to star Sean Connery's insistence back in 1971 that he would never play Bond again. Reportedly, the huge salary offered Connery was but one consideration that brought him back to the 007 fold; the other was the producers' assurance that Connery would have full control over all aspects of production, a promise that was not kept often enough to the star's liking. Essentially, this film is a remake of the 1965 Bond flick Thunderball (the producers were able to get away with this due to a legal tangle involving the original 1961 Ian Fleming novel). Bond emerges from cozy retirement to cross swords with Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer), a megalomaniacal business exec who steals several nuclear missiles, intending to bring the World Powers to their knees. Kim Basinger plays Domino, Largo's mistress, whose loyalty Bond secures when she learns that Largo was responsible for the death of her brother. In addition to Basinger, the film boasts a toothsome villainess by the name of Fatima Blush (played by Barbara Carrera). After wrapping Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery swore that this was his absolutely final performance as James Bond; thus far, he's kept his word. 

Sadly, he should never have agreed in the first place. But it's hard to say no to the 5 million plus points he agreed to for this one. Still, Connery's act of turning $15 million to do a Never Say Never Again sequel is pretty noble, I must say... I hear the working title was Connery, You Cash Whore.

Who knew the tired Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull "I'm Old" gag had a champion in Never Say Never Again? In this remake of Thunderball, everybody is old: Bond, Domino, and the comically enhanced plot. The entire far-too-long first-act-before-the-actual-plot includes such un-funny 'comedic' social commentary as MI6 poorly run by bureaucratic administrators, James being scheduled for high colonics at the fat farm and the tired old nut of 'video games will kill you'... ok, actually that one was awesome.

Before I flip the guard off my rage trigger, let me first get into the things I loved about this one: James Bond goes to the Bahamas and competes against evil villain Largo in a friendly gamble. No the game is not baccarat, nor backgammon, nor poker, but Domination.

"No, I wanna play Pakistan!"
"No, I wanna play Pakistan!"

And yeah, for as much as it's two grown men playing a tank control 4-bit 2-colour videogame, that shit is awesome. Largo totally plays cheap though. You know he's played the game like 40 times but he still asks Bond to have a live game - for money - with no tutorial - and omits some of the effects until Bond experiences them, namely electrocution. Bah, what a cheap ass. Still I think I'd blow Largo right out of the water...  after a couple attempts.

And that's about all I liked about never Say Never Again. Why is that exactly? Well let me tell you:

Just talking big picture, the story does not unfold like a typical Bond. Firstly the characters: 'Q' and Moneypenny... AREN'T, and 'M' is a horribly false voiceover. Bond's boss hence becomes a too-young weenie bureaucrat in a bad suit. The premise of the nuke theft is even more out there than the plastic surgery doppelganger of Thunderball. And who's sexier than shrieking 'Vicki Vale' Basinger? Any single one of the Bond girls that have come before and who will come after… oh the double entendres, they just roll off my keyboard.

Now that I've actually opened the pandoric 'dare we compare this to the original' box,  when considering this alongside Thunderball, a successful, exciting and second personal favorite of mine... Jesus let's just not do that, we'll just make Thunderball's ugly little brother cry, it's so pathetic.

A few more issues before I shut down this tragedy: 

Instead of enjoyable soundwork we're blessed with constant annoying alarms blaring all over the Bahamas.
The title song is poo.
Rowan Atkinson overdirected to comical stupidity, stumbling about with his jaw jutting out and speaking like some retarded Royal.
The script is all too entirely expository.
Worst bathing suit ever.


Bond Cars:
The now-old Bond drives to his detox in a now-old 1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre
Though not a car, Connery engages in a high-speed chase in a Yamaha 650 Turbo Seca.

Bond Gadgets:
The Yamaha 650 Turbo Seca has a nitro turbo switch.
Q gives Bond a pen that fires explosive rockets.
A watch with frikken laser beams in 'em!!!

Performance: 6 Cinematography: 8 Script: 7 Plot: 7 Mood: 6

Overall Rating: 68% (Never Never Never Again)
(not to be included in the Final Tally)

Personal bodycount: 6 including one bare-handed one!

Foiled Assassinations: 2

Near Misses: 1

Dames Bedded: 4

Martinis Drank: 2

What's all this?

| | | | | | | |

It's been a long time since I've seen this one, I picked it up on Blu-ray a while back but haven't watched it yet. Once I've finished re-posting all my Bond reviews I'll watch this one again, I intentionally leave it out because it's not considered part of the franchise, but still you can't pass up another Connery Bond.

Well, technically it wasn't his last time retaking the Bond role, if you count voice acting for the video game.

Good point, you mean From Russia With Love for the PS2 right? yeah if i included video games on my site I'd be too busy to go to WORK.

but you know that's a might fat hair you're splitting! you're right! Connery's a liar! Of course he probably did all those lines inside 2 days.

I had enjoyed "KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULLS" very much. On the other hand, "NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN" was a piece of graceless crap.

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