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Never Say Never Again

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Never Say Never Again

Starring: Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer
Director: Irvin Kershner
Rated: PG
RunTime: 134 Minutes
Release Date: October 1983
Genres: 007, Action, Suspense

*Also starring: Max von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Kim Basinger, Bernie Casey, Alec McCowen, Edward Fox

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Andrew Hicks review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  Steve Rhodes read the review movie reviewvideo review

Review by Andrew Hicks
2 stars out of 4

Never say, "Watch this movie," to someone either. Not that anyone said that to me. In fact, I wish someone had said the opposite to me. I sat through two-plus hours of Sean Connery trying to pretend he was still young enough to be James Bond, more than twenty years after portraying 007 for the first time in DR. NO. His age makes the multiple fistfights and love scenes with beautiful women more absurd-looking than usual. I'd say the fact that six years later Sean Connery would start playing action heros' fathers (INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE and ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES) should clue you in on what I'm talking about. Why Connery couldn't leave the legend as it was instead of returning for the most bland Bond movie he's ever done is what puzzles me. No, I don't ponder the mysteries of the universe and the mortality of life. I ponder this for hours on end.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN is a remake of 1965's THUNDERBALL, one of the more mediocre efforts from the Connery years. (Why they couldn't redo GOLDFINGER or DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER is another thing I stay awake nights pondering.) It keeps the basic premise of that movie--villain Largo, owner of an enormous yacht, steals two nuclear devices and threatens their detonation on the world if a ransom is not met--but changes almost everything else.

Bond is reactivated as a double-o agent, only to be shipped off to a health farm to purge him of his ancient habits of eating red meat and drinking martinis shaken not stirred (when it's so much better for your body to have them stirred and not shaken). He does engage in a couple other old habits of his--sex with his masseuse and a destructive fight with a goon trying to kill him. He also stumbles upon the evil nurse (Barbara Carrera) working for Largo. That's conquest number two for Bond, who attracts beautiful women like flies... actually, mosquitoes might be a better comparison when you think about it.

He then ends up playing a high-stakes video game with Largo (They had to take advantage of that 80's technology.) and doing the tango (vertically and horizontally) with Kim Basinger. Then there's the motorcycle chase, laser watch, Carrera's combustion and endless scuba diving. But it never seems like a full-fledged Bond movie. Besides the fact that Connery is over the action hero hill, British inventor Q. is played by a different actor and Moneypenny only has two lines. Wouldn't you think if Connery aged twenty years since the first movie that Moneypenny would be pushing fifty too? Nope, she's still unexplainably thirtyish. That's something else I'll be pondering at great lengths tonight.

Copyright 1983 Andrew Hicks

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