We begin with James in France attending a funeral; for a transvestite, that isn’t actually dead. Either extremely judgemental of the man’s lifestyle choice or annoyed by the fact that he’s still alive Bond proceeds to kill him and escape using a jet-pack which I believe raises the question. Was the whole thing just an excuse to finally use the jet-pack?
Thunderball sees the return of SPECTRE and its many numbered members. Maybe Dr No gave me false hope of the intelligence of the members of SPECTRE but number one seems determined to slowly kill off the agents in albeit rather inventive fashions – surely this will eventually lead to two problems, firstly a lack of people and secondly having to assign increasingly larger numbers which is just going to get confusing for everyone. Even though this film was made in the sixities I still feel that number two’s eye patch is probably a little out of date; unless channelling you’re inner pirate at a child’s birthday party. What did intrigue me was the mention of SPECTRE’s execution branch which given its previous inventions of the blowing up chair and poisoned spike must be quite the creative workplace.
Once again Bond does not disappoint on the clichéd seducing of every woman he runs into, except for poor Miss Moneypenny. Firstly he seduces a nurse, initially against her will but like so many before her she quickly becomes needy and clingy; maybe woman have been missing a lot of relationship advice subtly offered by Bond films because if one thing is standing out its playing hard to get works – very well but as soon as you get clingy James will lose interest and very quickly and conveniently get called away to do very important work things. Later in the film he also claims to have only slept with SPECTRE agent Fiona for King and Country – what a hard life!
Managing to avoid being sent to Canada Bond once again finds himself in a tropical climate, and once again everyone is dressed in suits! We also see Bond back at the blackjack table demonstrating his questionable card counting abilities to impress women. This film’s main bond girl ‘Domino’ tells the audience her tragic tale of how when she was young she fell in love with a pirate with pet sharks but now finds herself trapped and scared; controlled by number two – who does in fact have a real name! Making it all so easy for Bond to swoop in and steal her innocent affections.
Everyone’s favourite geek, Q also is back in this film, unfortunately backing up the stereotype that geeks dress badly by getting into full holiday mode with a rather garish Hawaiian shirt. Though once again it would appear that money has been poorly spent as they seem to have run out halfway through making James’ wetsuit; leaving him trouser-less.
Things look like they might start to get exciting as Fiona and various SPECTRE lackies chase an injured Bond through a parade of the characters from It’s a Small World to a secluded bar for casual dancing and shooting the wrong person by accident, poor Fiona; all she wanted was to be given a higher agent number.
With this being the longest of the films I’ve watched so far I was starting to loose attention towards the end. However on the whole, I like the sharks and the underwater fighting – much quieter and much more entertaining to watch than the typical on-land fights. Leading to my conclusion that we need more underwater fight scenes in films, and if not completely underwater we should make people just wear the flipper and snorkels for sheer amusement factor.