Oh boy do I wish this wasn't Connery's last outing.
After the great You Only Live Twice and the excellent On Her Majesty's Secret Service, this movie feel like 2 steps backwards. It's not horrible, but off the heels of the last movie it just doesn't fit. Which is odd because the movie begins with James hunting down Blofeld starting in Japan, with not even a slight mention of Tracy, so one could argue the last movie happened later on after this one. But anyway after that, Bond is tasked with a more simple case dealing with diamond smuggling in which he is accompanied by one of my favorite Bond girls Tiffany Case, while the pair are being hunted down by the devilishly fun Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. This film is...problematic. There's quite a bit I enjoy, Jill St. John is wonderful as Tiffany Case and you know me and redheads, but she really is class in this movie and a lot of fun to watch. Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are so good I kind of wish there was a movie just about them, Bruce Glover and Putter Smith are wickedly menacing in that camp sort of way, and the fact that they're a couple is just the icing on the cake. I love them to bits and pieces. And of course there is the most weird casting choice I think I've seen in awhile, Charles Gray as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Now let me be clear, I friggin' loooove Charles Gray in this movie, but dear lord would this casting only work in this movie, it is something that must be seen to be believed. Which is odd because he already was a character in You Only Live Twice but then again, in both From Russia With Love and Thunderball Blofeld was played by the same person as Professor Dent in Dr. No so it's kind of a theme in this series. And there is stuff I hate, like the most ridiculous excuse for continuity I have ever seen in a car chase, the plot is boring to the point I was nodding off to sleep, every character besides the ones I pointed out are dull and unmemorable, the moon buggy scene is nearing weeping hilarity, and I'm honestly wishing Sean Connery never returned to the series because he quite honestly deserved a better reprisal than this. Oh God, this movie is a hot mess. Like that's pretty much all the good things I can say about it, the rest is just sort of blah with even Connery delivering an even less than good performance than his last appearance. I'm not sure if it's the plot, or the directing, but this movie falls very flat for me and I would only recommend watching it if you were having a marathon like me. I like it ever so slightly more than Thunderball but I think even Dr. No is better than this. If I am venturing to Las Vegas and attending the Circus Circus, I will be breathing some devil ether thank you very much. I still say Thunderball is the weakest of the Connery era but this barely scraped above it, by a fun cast, an emphasis on camp, and a semi-decent climax. 2.5 stars, 5.5/10, Roger Moore please help me learn to laugh and love again.