NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN
Bond: Sean Connery – 1 tusk
After 12 years off, Connery turns in a performance that is a site for sore eyes. Perhaps it’s one that really hadn’t been seen since Thunderball. Of course, he’s older now, but that’s accounted for in the script. And he’s still two years younger than Roger Moore who is still filming official Bond films.
Girl: Kim Basinger as Domino – 1 tusk
Basinger’s Domino is no where near as cool as Auger’s Domino. Basinger is much more whispy and frail making her turn at the end out of character. When Auger kills Largo, it’s not nearly as surprising.
Gadgets: Several – 1 tusk
Super-motorcycle, laser watch, exploding pen, missiles that turn into rocket transports…all typical Bond gadgetry. The motorcycle was cool and a refreshing change of pace from the typical car chases.
Opening Theme: “Never Say Never Again” performed by Lani Hall – 0 tusks
The music as a whole has a Muzak feel. I feel like I should be listening to this while sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.
Villain: Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximillian Largo – 1 tusk
Also no where near as cool as his Thunderball counterpart, he’s at least a somewhat interesting departure from Largo-1. He’s got some charisma and seemed an even match for 007.
Henchman: Barbara Carrera as Fatima Blush – 1 tusk
Not really a henchman in the same way some of the official movies have a henchman, Fatima Blush does carry out some of the dirty work that Largo himself doesn’t do. She’s fine up until her little meltdown where she wants Bond to write a letter admitting she was “the best.” Suddenly she was this crazy woman. That came out of nowhere.
Pre-title opening sequence – 1 tusk
Not really applicable, although, there is an action sequence concurrent with the opening sequence. It’s not really anything special, but it’s ruined by the song that doesn’t fit the mood of the sequence.
It’s impossible to review this story and not compare it to Thunderball which is infinitely better in every aspect. The remake aspect is forgivable since the many of the movies after the first four wind up being remakes anyway. Never Say Never Again is slow moving at times and contains a lot that really dates the movie (video game table scene).
While it’s not the official Bond, having Connery in the role lends a certain amount of legitimacy to this movie. If nothing else, it’s interesting to look and see what a 1980s Bond movie might have been like had Connery stayed with the role for another 12 years. Connery playing the role is certainly no more far-fetched than Roger Moore playing the role, especially considering Moore is two years older than Connery. And the age aspect is addressed in this movie so at least it plays a part in the story.
From a continuity perspective, knowing that it doesn’t, it’s interesting to me to try to figure out how this movie might fit in the timeline of the Connery films. If you took just his six original films and this one, could they work together? Do they work better together than the six original Connery movies and the Moore films together? Is it more believable that Never Say Never Again is a continuation of the Connery films than Moonraker is? Interesting thoughts. It’s not perfect and one would have to wonder how Bond meets up with two different guys named Largo each dating their own Domino and working on an evil plan very similar. No, it doesn’t work, but it’s interesting to think about.
Previous Bond Movie Reviews
From Russia With Love
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Diamonds Are Forever
Live And Let Die
The Man With The Golden Gun
The Spy Who Loved Me
For Your Eyes Only