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2013-06-22: Transfered all of my 2011 "My Year in Music" posts from Facebook.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Superficial Bond Reviews --- #04: Thunderball

* First of all, it's an awesome title: Thunderball! C'mon! Say it like Tom Jones sings it! THUNNNNNDERBAAAAAHAAAAALLL!

* This fourth Bond movie starts out with a fight between 007 and a dude in a dress, and it's a good thing, believe it or not: The silliness of the situation/costume is perfectly balanced out with the excellent quality of the physical confrontation itself - long, brutal and kinda frightening. Great, great fight.
But I'm starting to learn that something always screws up a Bond sequence, and this time, it's the ridiculous jetpack he escapes in after the fight. He even has a stupid little helmet with him, as if he were a limp-wristed, scooter-driving Italian art student, and not James Friggin' Bond.

"I'm a jet-fueled penis."

* The ridiculous elements continue to pile up after a while, and I'm starting to lose interest in the movie very quickly. The ridiculousest of the ridiculous is a massage contraption that Bond gets caught in, that almost kills him. How, you ask? Because someone turns the machine all the way up to its "kill" setting!
I'd like to strap the screenwriter into one of those. Either that, or ask him what kind of gym he goes to, that's got machines that kill you if you don't watch the settings carefully. Lazy-ass hack.

* After losing my temper over the machine thingie, I kinda drift off. I can't even be bothered to fantasize about Domino (who's really hot), because I'm too bored.
I start think about my previous idea about the Bond movies being far too long, and Thunderball is no exception. Half the damn movie seems to be about equipment being moved - slowly - under water. It's like watching le Grand Bleu, without any drama, danger, excitement, romance or dolphins.
Seriously: a proper editor could've snipped this thing down to a Baywatch-length TV episode, and I'm starting to wonder if the Bond editors are explicitly told to aim for the two-hour mark, to "give the audience value for their money" or something.

* Then! Suddenly! Insane underwater harpoon mayhem!
Dozens of dudes are impaling each other, being stabbed, choked and beaten to death, and I'm thrilled and confused at once.

* Before I've completely oriented myself after having my nap disturbed by all that harpoony goodness, Bond is on a boat doing five hundred billion knots, and fighting like he's on the Benny Hill Show. Everything is so hilariously speeded up, I start to chuckle and sing the Benny Hill Show tune with such gusto I almost fail to notice that Bond actually kicks some serious ass in this movie.

* To sum up: Thunderball is long, weird and boring.
Any movie that can render the concepts "hot chick", "rocket bike", "SPECTRE electrocution" and "drag fistfight" insignificant, should be forgotten.
Thank God that the next movie out is You Only Live Twice. It can't be any worse, right?

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