I'm not entirely sure why people say this is the best of all Bond films.
Not to say it's bad, the production values are higher than ever, the story isn't half bad, the performances are good, but it just doesn't have a lot of punch for me. We once again encounter SPECTRE as they hijack two nuclear warheads and hold the world ransom for 100 million pounds which springs our dear James into action, trying to track down the nuclear devices before the countdown ends. It's probably the most basic plot SPECTRE has concocted, but I've always had a soft spot for villainous organizations and it does lead to interesting elements in the story. This time we trek into the Bahamas and while it does look dazzling, there isn't much time to appreciate it since we're always on the trail of the warheads. This isn't bad by any means, the stakes have been significantly raised since the Lektor decoding device in From Russia With Love, and there is a larger scale climax no doubt due to the biggest budget yet in the series. I don't mind the underwater fight scenes, it's certainly a nice change of pace, but it does sort of drag. Serious props to Ricou Browning for the direction of those scenes, I mean who the hell else would you get besides Gillman from Creature From The Black Lagoon to help in crafting underwater combat? The cast this time is hit and miss, Sean Connery does fine but this was only the beginning of the end for him which we will cover more next time. Claudine Auger is not the most compelling of Bond girls but I do appreciate the character they do give to Domino and she does fine work. Though I personally wish we could have seen more of Paula, an american agent that James works with, mainly because you see there is history between the two and it really seems like they've worked time and again in the past which is something I would love to see more of. They genuinely have great chemistry together though all of their scenes together I could count on one hand, and it's just such a shame. Villains on the other hand are more miss than hit, Adolfo Celi as the eyepatch wearing second in command of SPECTRE does well with the material but there's hardly any intrigue in his character though I chalk that up more to the script than the actor. The shining star of this movie is the mesmerizing Luciana Paluzzi as the glorious Fiona Vulpe, not only is she ridiculously gorgeous but she proves to be a capable, cunning, and endlessly fun villain to watch, think of her as a proto-Xenia Onatopp. I won't actually delve into the behind the scenes of this film, partly because it is a very involved and very complicated matter that would take up so much time, and also partly because I have very strong feelings on the matter and I do not wish for this to deteriorate into a rant because I have 20 other movies to review. You can find the information just about anywhere, and all I will say is this was the most ridiculous thing that caused problems for the entire series for decades to come and I feel great sympathy for Ian Fleming during this time. I like it just as much as Dr. No if a bit less so I give it...2.5 stars, 5/10, I sometimes wonder why this was the most popular and loved film for a time. But the next movie is better I promise.
I highly recommend the review of this film by Calvin Dyson, a growing Bond reviewer on YouTube. I strongly agree with his opinions and his content is very well done so check it out!
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