Countdown to Skyfall: Never Say Never Again (1983)

Countdown to Skyfall: Never Say Never Again (1983)

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983)

BOND: Sean Connery

DIRECTOR: Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back, Robocop 2)

BOND GIRL(S): Kim Basinger (Domino Petachi); Barbara Carrera (Fatima Blush)

COOL GADGETS: A fountain pen that shoots an explosive dart.

THEME SONG: "Never Say Never Again," sung by Lani Hall.  Uh, who?  Yikes.  If the last Bond song was "All Time High," this is definitely an all time low.  A horrible song that sets the movie on the wrong foot right from the start.

IMDB PLOT SUMMARY: A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated.

ICONIC MOMENTS: Bond shoots Fatima with the pen dart and she blows up, leaving only her smoking stilletos still intact.

FUN FACTS: Subject to lengthy and complicated court battles over the remake rights to Thunderball.  Producer Kevin McClory ultimately triumphed, and created this renegade Bond entry.  It has nothing to do with any of the EON productions, other than the fact that it's a remake of Thunderball and stars Connery as 007.  Octopussy was released in June of 1983.  This came out in October of that year.

VERDICT: Connery may be the best Bond so far, but nobody does it better than EON.  This one's a real stinker.  The music is terrible (both score and songs used).  Apart from a semi-cool motorcycle chase in the middle of the film, the action is retro and unimpressive - this may be an '80s movie but, apart from a laughable video game confrontation between Bond and bad guy Largo, it does not feel modern in the slightest.  The script offers a lamer version of Thunderball - where are all the awesome underwater action scenes?  That was the main reason to see Thunderball, and they're absent here.  Connery still has charm in spades as Bond, but he can't overcome the cheap, cash-grab feel of this production.  Worst of all, it's really boring.  it runs well over two hours and will have you checking your watch often.  I did like seeing Max Von Sydow briefly as Blofeld, and, even better, Rowan Atkinson in a small comedic role (his first film!), but those are minor pleasures.  Never again is right.  I mean, c'mon, just look at this shit.

GRADE: D

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