Remove ads

Information

Year
1983
Runtime
134 min.
Director
Irvin Kershner
Genres
Action, Adventure, Thriller
Rating *
6.2
Votes *
40,758
Checks
5,108
Favs
55
Dislikes
105
Favs/checks
1.1% (1:93)
Favs/dislikes
1:2
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Realenur's avatar

    Realenur

    Not as bad as first feared, but all scenes with Bond and Kim Basinger is like the beginning of a porn movie and did they not have the budget to invest in a single bra for her doing the shooting. I know the beautiful, unintelligent, helpless Bondwomen is part of the universe, but this is excessive.

    I think it works after all.
    6 years 3 months ago
  2. CinemaDump's avatar

    CinemaDump

    I am a huge James Bond fan, through and through. From the greats to the mediocre entries, 007 movies represent a two hour time slot that is guaranteed to be enjoyable for me. At least to a certain extent anyway. I guess Sean Connery is my favourite Bond but honestly all of them have their reasons to be likeable. I'm not one of those pro-Connery or pro-Moore types either. I love them all.

    When I first heard about Never Say Never Again, I guess I was scandalized. It's not part of the original EON productions and was born out of Kevin McClory's long legal battle for the film rights of Thunderball. He was one of the original writers of the Thunderball script and once Ian Fleming wrote the book for Thunderball which borrowed heavily from the film script, well that opened the door for McClory to get his foot in.

    The whole idea of having gotten away with getting the rights to Thunderball which includes the SPECTRE organization strikes me as opportunistic even if I can understand the reasons behind McClory's beef with Fleming. But really, remaking Thunderball (which is a personal favourite of mine) eighteen years later with Mr. Connery himself coming back?!? It's two parts crazy and one part money-grabbing. The film even made a very impressive profit from its investment and became the highest grossing Bond film which I'm sure really riled up the folks at EON.

    Synopsis

    An aged James Bond (Sean Connery) has been held back by his superiors since he's not only just a risk, he seems to be unable to perform at adequate levels anymore as evidenced by failing a test exercise. Meanwhile, SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) is able to steal two nuclear warheads from the United States and threatens terror and destruction unless they are paid tribute. M (Edward Fox) is ordered by the Prime Minsiter to reinstate the double O's and get James Bond on the case to find the missing bombs before it's too late.

    Review

    The beginnings of Never Say Never Again is the best portion of the film, basically the first one third. It brings some really nice hand to hand melees that have a great mix of objects-as-weapons mania as well as some tasteful humour. Really, I was impressed by this. There are some changes to the original Thunderball script but nothing bad yet at this point. It's more or less just changing how things happen with the same results in the end.

    Sean Connery is a little old-looking here and that can't be denied. He was 52 at the time but he's still a prime piece of man though. He's in great shape and he still looks the part. His age is addressed which is better than trying to put the blinders on and ignore the issue. It's realistic in that sense and I like it. Not only is James Bond older here, but he's working in a different world with advances in medicine, nutrition and he can't be the sexist secret agent he once was. At least not as outwardly anyway. He gets lightly grilled by Domino (Kim Basinger) when he makes one of his usual comments which he quickly tries to correct. Sean Connery still has his comedic timing and he's given some pretty nice quips throughout the movie.

    In terms of what doesn't work with NSNA, well the problems start showing up especially in the last two thirds of the movie. The whole production just kind of loses steam and is honestly quite boring. Klaus Maria Brandauer who plays Maximilian Largo is not a good actor and he comes off as big spoiled baby more than once. Kim Basinger is nothing more than eye candy and all of NSNA could've been fine without her. Replacing the card playing scene with a ridiculous video game thing between Largo and Bond? Maybe at the time it was seen as cool and modern but it's not something that's aged very well and it's beyond ridiculous anyway. Interesting to note that the great video game crash began the same year Never Say Never Again was released.

    M who is played by Edward Fox is lacking the cool presence from Bernard Lee and they might as well have not cast a Miss Moneypenny at all for how little time Pamela Salem is given. Max von Sydow is clearly a great choice to play Blofeld though. spoiler Also of huge importance here, without John Barry's usual music, Never Say Never Again doesn't feel right and the title song is quite mediocre to say the least. Music during chases and stealthy scenes aren't very nice to the ear either.

    Is Never Say Never Again a complete failure? I don't think so. I remember refusing to give it any sort of credit for what it does right and was ready to only focus on the negative aspects. There are quite a few negatives though which is too bad because it started off surprisingly well. It's in no way close to capturing the utter coolness of Thunderball, but it brings back Sean Connery to a role he said he'd never do again. He got a truckload of money, plus percentage of profits as well as casting, script and director approval to come back. Wouldn't you? Jack Schwartzman was a terrible producer though apparently which caused Sean Connery to even take on some producing duties. Anyhow, it was nice seeing Sean come back with the same kind of energy he had in the first Bond films. NSNA is disappointing but it's not a complete disaster either.

    Rating

    5.5/10
    8 years 3 months ago
  3. demagogo's avatar

    demagogo

    It's no way a terrible movie, considering how unsatisfactory were Bond films in the context (from Moonraker to Octopussy, and the rest of the 80's flics to come), and that Connery playing himself is what everybody takes, accept it or not, as the standard for Bond. Anyway, the film doesn't stand out, maybe because it's kinda out of place, which is understandable.

    Seeing something outside from the Eon canon makes things fresher honestly, and I imagine Tarantino's would-be Casino Royale might have had some similar kind of reaction (or maybe not, bc even Death Proof gets praised bc the guy directed it), but probably that's more being used to something than taking, say, one possible variation of a narrative on its own sake.

    A good thing also is that Connery's Bond is very self-aware of Connery's Bond. I found funny that. There are some really ridiculous scenes, but so do almost every Bond film.
    6 years 5 months ago
See all comments

Friends

Login to see which of your friends have seen this movie!

Activity

  1. Ren The Man checked this movie 4 days 2 hours ago
  2. Kankelbar checked this movie 5 days 9 hours ago
See more activity

In 2 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #111 in Marshall Julius's Action! The Action Movie A-Z
    Marshall Julius's Action! The Action Movie A-Z's icon

    Marshall Julius's Action…

    111
  2. This movie ranks #802 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office
    Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office's icon

    Box Office Mojo's All Ti…

    802
View all lists this movie is in