Friday, March 25, 2016

007 Movie Rewatch – Thunderball (1965)

(This is a revised version of a Persona Paper post.)


Bond is at the funeral of one of his enemies, a SPECTRE agent. But Bond notices something odd about the widow, who turns out to be the agent – who faked his death – in disguise. Well, Bond kills him, and escapes with a jetpack, that’s just lying around.

Bond is sent to a health spa. There he notices some odd goings-on. He even finds a dead guy who is bandaged up.

One of the other patients at the spa had plastic surgery to look like the dead guy, a French NATO pilot. The fake pilot gets onboard a British bomber loaded with two nukes. He kills the rest of the crew and makes it look like the plane crashes. Instead, he flies it to somewhere near the Bahamas where it “lands” on the water. It sinks and these divers cover it with camouflage netting and kill the fake pilot.

SPECTRE then demands £100 million in diamonds from NATO for the return of the bombs. If they don’t pay, then some city will be destroyed.

All the Double 0 agents are called in, and Bond discovers the dead pilot had a sister, Domino, in the Bahamas, so he goes there. Domino turns out to be the mistress of Emilio Largo, the SPECTRE agent behind the bomb plot. But Domino soon, naturally, falls for Bond.

Bond meets up with Felix and Q and gets some gadgets. He tries to find the bombs on Largo’s ship, but instead finds out there’s an underwater hatch in the hull, which allows them to do secret stuff underwater.

Bond is captures by Largo’s henchwoman Fiona, but escapes. At one point, her guards try to shoot Bond, but he’s dancing with Fiona and he turns her so that she is shot and killed.

Bond and Felix find the missing bomber. He tells Domino that her brother is dead, and asks for help. She tells him that Largo’s men will be retrieving the bombs from an underwater bunker and he can replace one of the guys. He does this, but ends up locked in the bunker.

Fortunately, one of the Q gadgets he had is a tracker, and Felix is able to find and rescue him. They warn the Navy that Largo is heading to Miami. Navy Seals parachute into the area, and there’s a massive underwater battle with spear guns and knives. It seems that maybe the Seals are losing, but then Bond comes in and saves the day.

Most of Largo’s men are killed or captured. He goes back to his boat, which is under fire from a destroyer. But it’s no ordinary boat; it has a hydrofoil hidden in the front. Bond manages to get onboard, save Domino, and she kills Largo. Bond and Domino jump ship and the boat hits a reef and blows up.


I didn’t much care for this movie. There is a great deal of underwater footage, which can be interesting. But stuff done underwater is often … slow. And in the big fight, there are a whole bunch of faceless Largo guys, slowly fighting a whole bunch of faceless Seals. This was apparently the first Bond movie of over two hours, but it feels much longer. Not helping is that there are some scenes that didn’t make any sense until I read the Wikipedia entry and realized Oh, that’s what that was. Also, there are some scenes where stuff happens. Like Largo has a shark pool and traps Bond in it at one point, but Bond is able to escape. I didn’t include it in my recap, because it doesn’t really add much to the story.

The idea behind this was to watch a movie, then write up my thoughts.  When I first did this, I watched Goldfinger, but didn’t write up anything at first.  A couple days later I was bored, so I watched Thunderball.  Then it was a week or so before I figured I should get around and write up my thoughts.  For Goldfinger, that was pretty easy.  But I had pretty much forgotten Thunderball. 

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