Thunderball (1965)

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SPECTRE steal two nuclear weapons and threaten to destroy two cities unless their ransom demands are met.

Thunderball was the first James Bond film as we know them today; it introduced the now familiar gadgetry and various plot elements have been used and re-used in Bond films ever since. In this way Thunderball can be considered the most influential 007 of them all, and as such the gaping lapses in logic can be overlooked; for example, surely adding settings to health equipment that can actually kill you is just plain bad for business! The formula of a globetrotting Bond encountering exotic beauties at every turn, aided by the ubiquitous Q and Felix Lighter has now passed into cliche, but Connery’s quips still have far more wit than the dumb one liners of Roger Moore and there are some strong female characters, particularly SPECTRE’s fiery assassin and 007’s beautiful assistant played by Martine Beswick. Adolfo Celi is suitably menacing without ever turning into a Bond caricature and there is a thrilling climax on a speeding hydrofoil. Its only real flaw is its length; some of the sequences are rather longer than they really needed to be, such as the pointless chase through a carnival and the unwisely dialogue-free underwater battle which slow things down considerably.

Other than that, Thunderball is a good, solid outing for the original Bond.

6.5/10

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