Thunderball (1965)

Thunderball Movie Review

Thunderball Movie Review

Thunderball is a 1965 spy film and a fourth entry in the Bond series starring Sean Connery and directed by Terence Young. It is a lesser entry in the franchise.

The plot is once again too convoluted to be enjoyed properly. This entry has the most characters yet and that really is troublesome as most are never properly explored and are rushed. It has too many characters to remember and it is way too complicated and fast-paced. It is an ordinary story that has a pretty interesting beginning but the resolution and the middle parts are all lacking.

Thunderball‘s major assets are the underwater sequences. They take approximately a fourth of the running time and are the most intriguing aspect in the film. I liked the underwater photography very much and the action below was satisfying. But some parts, especially with sharks, are too naive and hard to believe. And the overall action apart from underwater scenes is not particularly interesting or that well executed.

The characters are okay, but still forgettable. Bond is good again and I liked his humor pretty much. Emilio Largo is quite a solid villain and their cat-and-mice subplot is entertaining. But the other characters are all forgettable and there are too many female characters here with not one of them being particularly memorable or well developed or even useful to the story.

But I liked the humor a lot. It is along with underwater stuff the sole reason to see this film. It has some unbeliavably funny moments with James Bond himself being quite comedic. Its sexy and playful humor was present before and it is once again present here and I hope the future films will have it as well as I find it fitting for this type of a franchise.

The acting is solid. Claudine Auger is okay as Domino and Adolfo Celi is pretty good as Largo. But it is of course Sean Connery who once again shines in the title role and is the standout character and actor. He gives a fine performance and is a great Bond.

Thunderball is weak technically speaking which is a reason why I found it forgettable and inherently flawed. It is so dark too many times and it lacks the kind of cinematography and use of exotic locations that the franchise was famous for before. It just has some pretty intriguing underwater scenes, but everything else is lacking. And the beaches are fine but again no cool cities or famous landmarks. The direction is weak and the pacing is all over the place. The gadgets are overused but I still liked them overall and I found most of them fun. The humor is also excellent as is the acting. But it isn’t as suave or as confident as before both in tone, action and execution. Comparing it to other Bond films, it is one of the weaker ones and it disappointed me even more than ‘Goldfinger’.

Thunderball is a weak film. It has cool underwater sequences, excellent acting and the humor is pretty good, but it is lacking otherwise both in terms of plot which is forgettable and action which is not that well executed or that memorable. It is a disappointing and very flawed entry.  

My Rating – 3

Posted in 1960s, 1965, Action, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Spy and tagged , , , , , .

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