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Starring: Sean Connery
Director: Terence Young
Rating: 3 / 5
It may seem hard to believe in light of today's movie timetables, but there was a point when sequels were produced annually. In fact, when Thunderball was released in 1965, it marked the fourth James Bond movie in as many years. While it may have marked the fourth appearance of Sean Connery as the suave spy, this film seems to lack a little of the uniqueness of its predecessors. That being said, it still possesses the quintessential James Bond, and it does have one of the series' better villains in Emilio Largo. Besides, any film that spawns a remake has to at least be worth something, right?
Agent 007 (James Bond) is dispatched to investigate the recent disappearance of two nuclear weapons. It seems that both vanished when the plane carrying them left radar contact, and no one has any idea where the plane could be. Bond comes into contact with Domino Derval (Claudine Auger), the sister of one of the plane's pliots, and she in turn leads him to her "uncle," Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi). Largo, identifiable by the distinctive patch over his left eye, is more than meets the eye, and Bond soon begins suspecting that Largo may have played a substantial role in the disappearance of the nuclear weapons.
Pursuing Largo to his private estate, Bond has to evade killer sharks (kept as pets by Largo), harpoon-wielding divers, and an army of trained assassins, all in an attempt to reacquire the stolen devices. Of course, Bond is not alone in this adventure, as CIA agent Felix Leiter (Rik Van Nutter, the third actor to play the role) is back to assist Agent 007. Q (Desmond Llewelyn) is also back, producing even more quirky gadgets for James Bond. Included in his latest menagerie is a miniature breathing apparatus, an ingested homing device, and a radiation-detecting wristwatch. Oh, Double-O Sevenů
Director Terence Young once again helms this James Bond film, and he affords us some rather impressive, if slightly drawn out, action sequences. The underwater battles which occur near the end of the film are incredibly elaborate, and very lengthy. There seems to be an unending supply of troops on both sides, as someone invariably takes a harpoon in the chest every three seconds. Sean Connery is his usual charming self, spouting off casual one-liners with the ease of an old pro. Claudine Auger makes for a nice addition to the growing collection of Bond girls, but Luciana Paluzzi (as bad girl Fiona Volpe) is undistinguished. Thunderball is another entertaining, though overly long, James Bond adventure, but expecting it to be another Goldfinger is just wishful thinking.
|Sean Connery..........||James Bond|
|Adolfo Celi..........||Emilio Largo|
|Claudine Auger..........||Domino Derval|
|Luciana Paluzzi..........||Fiona Volpe|
|Rik Van Nutter..........||Felix Leiter|
Certification: Rated PG.
Running Time: 125 minutes.
Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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