Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Connery is Bond one last time... and he rules!

Never Say Never Again (1983)
Starring: Sean Connery, Max von Sydow, Barbara Carerra, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Kim Bassinger, Bernie Casey and Alec McCowen
Director: Irvin Kershner
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

An aging James Bond (Connery) returns to field-agent work when SPECTRE's leader Blofeld (Von Sydow) resurfaces and steals two nuclear warheads.

"Never Say Never Again" is one of those rare times when the movie-going public actually came out ahead as a result of a legal battle between producers. This movie came about because of a settlement relating to the film rights to Ian Fleming's James Bond character, and, while it's a remake of "Thunderball" and not part of the official James Bond movie canon, it's actually a pretty good Bond film. At least if you enjoy classic Bond... if you're a fan of the Daniel Craig movies, you might not like it that much.

Connery's final performance as James Bond (a decade after he swore he'd never play the character again) isn't quite up to "Goldfinger" or "Diamonds Are Forever", but it's still quite good. The mix of humor and coldbloodness that marked Connery's Bond, however, is here in full force and it helps the film immensely.

What also helps the film is Max Von Sydow's Blofeld. It's too bad he didn't play the character in a "real" Bond movie, because he is the best Blofeld save Charles Gray.

And there's the gorgeous Barbara Carerra, who plays one of the very best and sexiest femme fatales to appear in any Bond movie. She was an actress I wanted to see more of in this film, in every sense of that phrase.

For a different take on James Bond, you're better off checking out "Never Say Never Again" than those Daniel Craig films, particularly if you're an old coot who enjoyed "Goldfinger", "From Russia With Love" and "Diamonds are Forever".

(The illo in this post was "borrowed" from the Illustrated 007 blog; it was the poster for the Thai release of "Never Say Never Again," and I LOVE those collage-style poster/cover images! Click here to check out more great James Bond-related artwork.;

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