Monday, June 13, 2011

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967)

When I first started reviewing the James Bond series I was pretty excited, but after the first few bored the shit out of me I started losing interest. It's been nine months since my last review on the series and after painfully trudging through this installment it might be nine more before the next one.

Something strange is going on: every time Russia or America send a spaceship up another larger craft comes along and gobbles it up. Sounds like a job for James Bond, so he fakes his death and travels undercover to Japan where he quickly infiltrates a building and steals some documents that lead him to a dormant volcano that's actually the lair for a bad guy who's trying to start a war between Russia and America. Naturally, Bond doesn't take kindly to this silly horseshit and punches a lot of people until peace is restored. He also bangs a few sluts.

As usual, everything looks very easy for James and the bad guys are ridiculously stupid. One time Bond is dead asleep and a dude sneaks in the house, crawls up in the ceiling then lowers a string down to drip poison into Bond's mouth! Why?!!!! If Bond is right there asleep just toss in like 20 hand grenades or something! Or maybe blow up the entire house with missiles from your army of helicopters. Jeez. Another time Bond is tied to a chair and instead of killing him they untie him, put him in a plane and then parachute out leaving the plane in a dive.  Naturally Bond karate chops his way over to the controls and lands the plane. I guess I'm over thinking the whole thing, but the film would have been much more enjoyable if the villains were actually competent.

Lots of James bond-style action, a few attractive hot chicks (especially Akiko Wakabayashi), way too little screen time for Donald Pleasence, beautiful Japanese scenery, a pool full of piranhas but we never see them just their bubbles, helicopter dogfight, ninjas. The highlight of the movie for me, besides Dr. Loomis, was a short appearance by the legendary Tetsuro Tanba!!!

I say skip it.

One and a half Thunderballs out of five.

Part 1 - Dr. No
Part 2 - From Russia With Love
Part 3 - Goldfinger
Part 4 - Thunderball
Part 6 - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Part 7 - Diamonds Are Forever
Part 8 - Live and Let Die
Part 9 - The Man with the Golden Gun
Part 10 - The Spy Who Loved Me
Part 11 - Moonraker
Part 12 - For Your Eyes Only
Part 13 - Octopussy
Part 14 - Never Say Never Again
Part 15 - A View to a Kill
Part 16 - The Living Daylights
Part 17 - License to Kill
Part 18 - GoldenEye
Part 19 - Tomorrow Never Dies
Part 20 - The World Is Not Enough
Part 21 - Die Another Day
Part 22 - Casino Royale
Part 23 - Quantum of Solace
Part 24 - Skyfall
Part 25 - Spectre