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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Thunderball

Starring: Sean Connery, Claudine Auger
Director: Terence Young
Rated: PG
RunTime: 129 Minutes
Release Date: December 1965
Genres: 007, Action, Suspense, Classic

*Also starring: Adolfo Celi, Luciana Paluzzi, Rik Van Nutter, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, Desmond Llewelyn, Roland Culver

Review by Andrew Hicks
2½ stars out of 4

This James Bond movie will forever be known as the underwater one, as it takes whatever interest or fascination anyone ever had with scuba diving and crashes it off a cliff, with overkill as the driver. This was Sean Connery's fourth appearance as 007, a sad follow-up to GOLDFINGER, but not quite as sad as the fifth Bond movie, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.

The plot this time has SPECTRE stealing two atomic bombs from a crashed NATO plane. So that's overlong underwater sequence #1, when the evil scuba divers retrieve the bombs from the ocean floor. When SPECTRE demands a huge ransom from the U.S. and England, Bond is sent to investigate. He stumbles upon a Frenchman with an oceanside house, complete with shark pool and giant yacht. So here comes overlong underwater sequence #2, as Bond investigates the underside of the yacht and surrounding areas, shortly before a group of henchmen/frogmen attack him. There are only so many times you can watch someone get his scuba mask ripped off before it becomes tiresome.

The main problem with THUNDERBALL is that such a significant chunk of it takes place underwater. Besides the two previously-mentioned overlong underwater sequences, #3 occurs when Bond finds and investigates the crashed plane, with #4 being the climactic underwater fight scene, where dozens of casualties occur on both sides. And as usual, Bond gets laid by three different women, though to my knowledge, this is the only time he's ever made love on the ocean floor (no jellyfish jokes, please). So he's now a member of the Mile Below Club. "I hope we didn't disturb the fish," he remarks to the lady afterwards. Okay, _now_ you can make your jellyfish jokes.

Copyright 1996 Andrew Hicks

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