Review of Thunderball

Thunderball (1965)
An exceptionally great Bond film
3 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
After the phenomenal success of Goldfinger and with Bond mania in full swing, the producers try to follow up the previous film's success with Thunderball. Fortunately, the film is a thunderous entry in the series and surpasses the previous film in almost every way.

Thunderball is a thunderous, epic film. Here, in his fourth on-screen adventure, SPECTRE has stolen two atomic warheads and 007 is sent to recover the bombs and prevent the organization from using the warheads on a British or American city. Furthermore, the film is the first truly epic film in the series and sets a prototype for which all following large scale, epic films will model themselves after. Lastly, the film manages to strike a balance between the formula established by Goldfinger while remaining true to Fleming at the same time. And SPECTRE's nuclear weapons heist scheme is still relevant today with the terrorist climate that we are in.

The film is full of energy; Connery gives his last truly great performance in the role before getting tired of the character in the next two films he starred in, John Barry's slick and exotic score and Tom Jones's fantastic title song, two wonderful girls in Luciana Paluzzi and Claudine Auger and the menacing villains in Blofeld and his eye-patched no. 2, Emilio Largo. Furthermore, the direction and the screenplay are all top-notch and while the editing in the film's climax could do with some work, the climax is one of the most exciting in the series.

As a sort of side-topic, I find it interesting that this was originally set to be the first film but legal entanglements (Fleming turned the original story into a book without giving credit to Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham) stopped this from happening so the producers went with Dr. No.

Simply put, Thunderball is an exceptionally great Bond film and is one of Connery's finest.
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