Never Say Never Again (1983)~ Move Review!

Never Say Never Again blasted onto screens in 1983 and we sat back and let it rot as the black sheep of the franchise. It saw a lawsuit taken to the High Court in England to prevent its production. It is the least known and most under rated Bond movie ever, and I am going to look in more depth at the movie! What a final showdown for Sean Connery.

Released – 1983

Film duration – 2hr

Genre – spy, action, adventure, thriller

IMDB – 6.1/10 & Rotten Tomatoes 70

Starring: Sean Connery, Kim Basinger, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max Von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Bernie Casey, Alec McCowen, Edward Fox, Rowan Atkinson.

Song – Never Say Never Again – music by Michel Legrand, lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman and performed by Lani Hall.

S.P.E.C.T.R.E has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find the targets before they are detonated.

A remake of the 1965 movie Thunderball (easily a top 3 Bond movie), Never Say Never Again (I won’t I promise), was one of the more mature and laid back Bond movies, but still packed a punch and left its heated mark on the world. 007 is re-activated in this movie and has to find two nuclear warheads in time. It is not made by Eon.

The movie does not have the classic shot down the barrel James Bond introduction, rather, we are introduced to the movie with a background song Never Say Never Again, music by Michel Legrand and performed by Lani Hall. It is a good song and quite memorable, and doesn’t lack a Bond feel, it is simply played out differently, without all the naked women, and instead we get to see Bond break into a complex with armed guards and fight them one by one, eventually revealing it is a training mission.

It is clear that Bond is not much liked despite saving the world multiple times, as he is sent to a health center, after being told, “too many free radicals, that’s your problem, caused by eating too much red meat, white bread, too many martinis!” Bond (Connery) seems to have taken onboard the wit that Roger Moore was employing and using the same sort of accent by responding, “then I shall cut out the white bread, sir.” In this health center or spa, we see a fight unfold, and it happens to be the best part of the movie in terms of both action and humour. I find it hilarious yet really satisfying to watch. Bond and his larger, stronger attacker make their fight way through the kitchens, hallways, bedrooms and laboratory, and we get to see the magnificence of the building itself, being luxurious. Connery has no issues with the humour and seems to revel in it, throwing a sample of his own urine at the attacker stops him, so we think. It is just a good fight sequence, and the setting is perfect. Bond has aged, we see that, but is still very self aware and doesn’t shy from a challenge. It is laid back and so is Bond.

I would argue that Connery as Bond in this movie is actually better than the previous movies. Diamonds are Forever was good, so were the others. But this new one is just laid back and relaxing, we know Bond will win, which makes it satisfying to watch, because it is a struggle for him. Of course, it is because of a man called Maximillian Largo that Bond is attacked. Largo is under the control of Blofeld from Spectre. Brandauer plays the villain extremely well, giving him charisma and ego, and that hidden maniac within that we all fear. He does not have an eye patch like in Thunderball however, and does in fact have a bit more mystery to him. There is also no shark pool in this movie, but there is a lot of sharks further into the movie. The villain doesn’t mind getting close to Bond or letting him on his ship, with his woman Domino, or for that matter even in his casino.

We are introduced in the health center to Fatima Blush (Carrera), who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as the villainess. The woman has personality, hates men, abuses them, and is crazy and works for Spectre, specifically under the orders of Largo. She stands out as strong and not to be messed with, she sort of overshadows the first part until Bond eventually blows her up after an intense bike chase scene, he does that with a screw pen which doesn’t work at first and Bond remarks that it’s “not perfected yet.” The other Bond girl is Domino, who’s air force pilot brother Largo killed. She is always dressed to expose her toned buttocks or breasts and I noticed after rewatching the movie last night, that a lot of camera work is on them. Particularly during a scene when she is being auctioned off and we get to see her bum bouncing up and down on a horse. I am not complaining though, because she acted the part well.

So Bond has been introduced to Largo. It is the scene in the casino which is a real Bond moment. But before I talk about that, Bond has explored an underwater wreck, been surrounded by sharks, and has escaped. Brief overview, but the scene is only a little important. The film includes Felix Lighter and he works quite closely with Bond in this film.

So the casino, Bond turns up, not wielding his spy glasses this time that allow him to see through clothes though, dumps a pistol in an ice bucket (don’t ask why they did this, it makes no sense) and then he proceeds to a unique game with Largo, it is memorable and defines the film. The pair has to use two joysticks to fight for control or to defend the different countries of the world, the loser is given an electric shock. As you can imagine Bond never gives up, after a series of debilitating shocks decides to challenge Largo to the world. Largo loses and it shows Bond that he is “certifiably” , which means Bond is saying that Largo is certifiably insane. I agree, the whole scene is crazy, because what sane minded person get electric shocks for money? Seems like a game designed to control peoples minds more than anything. Anyway, Bond settles for one dance with Domino, which Largo agrees to. We know Bond doesn’t usually take money, probably because he has enough or no use for it.

During the dance, he exposes Largo to Domino, saying Largo killed her brother. It is a large and luxurious ballroom, a bit like the building. This to me is a statement of Bond. He is luxurious, among the elite in this fantasy, but is a killer, a spy. For the most part he has been among the elite and has blended in well. But I couldn’t help find the dance scene slightly amusing, because Bond and Domino are the only ones dancing, and when he is talking to her, it would be impossible for the guests not to hear him due to his proximity to them.

Next memorable scene, and so far the film has demonstrated that Connery is making a final statement, he is the ultimate James Bond, 007. Nobody will ever beat him, and he knows it, or so he appears to show he is the best. It could be that it is not an official Bond movie that makes it so good. Because of the new directors and writing, it has quirks and differences which highlight it as actually being a really good spy action movie. Forget the one liner nonsense, it is passionate and true to the original concepts. The scene where he goes home (safehouse) after the casino still suited, finds his female associate dead, killed by crazy Fatima on orders of Largo. He then cracks then bike open out of site and comes shooting out of the garage. It is a great scene and you can see that later movies that used bikes, made the scenes and action look awfully similar. No Time To Die did nothing but promote the opening sequence on the motorbike, but it was Connery who was jumping over ledges, riding down stairs, and doing insane jumps decades before. The entire scene is fast paced and fantastic to watch. It made me think of a completely different movie with Sean Connery called The Rock and you can find he review here! Overall it is classic Bond, say no more.

We approach the end of the movie and all is not lost. Another sequence involving a horse, similar to The Living Daylights scenes. Bond escapes his capture using a laser watch. This movie does well in regard to using his gadgets, and using many of them. We don’t see that in other movies. He whisks Domino away from the African warlords bidders, across the ruins of the castle and into the ocean. Some versions, and I believe the television people will cut the 8 second clip of the horse falling into the water on its back, because of animal cruelty or something. I suspect the animal was not harmed. They are picked up by Felix and Bond tells that one bomb is under Washington and the other they have to find. The tears of Allah a rather bizarre name for a terrorist operation, way back in the 80s of movies too. No mention of that in the original Thunderball. But nonetheless emphasises that Largo is crazy.

Final showdown in an ancient tomb and a good old fashioned shoot out. It is Domino who shoots Largo underwater. Oh well, fate eh? I think the movie offers a lot in terms of entertainment. I find the rewatch value to be high, meaning that it never becomes boring, and it will not leave you wondering when it will end. I suggest you watch the movie. I have many times. Last night just made me realise how under rated the movie was. Most people don’t even acknowledge the efforts, classing it as a rip off. He is called James Bond 007, it has Q & M, Felix, and spy gadgets, based on Thunderball. It has a theme song. It has spectre and Blofeld. What more do you want? It is a real James Bond movie and Sean Connery’s 7th and final outing. Imagine the fan base finding out that he was returning to the role after 12 years? The title is a clear take from Connery, who remarked after Diamonds are Forever that he would never play the role again. He was in his 50s! Filmed in France, Spain, the Bahamas and Elstree Studios!

On conclusion, the film is one of the better Bond movies. Connery is appealing, talented and imaginative as 007 reprising his role for the final time. The film is full of well timed wit, excellent dialogue and character development, brilliant storylines and script, effective and exciting fight scenes and action and a good production which was a commercial success.

Never Say Never Again

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5 star movie.

⭐️Sean Connery – James Bond – Movie Reviews!⭐️

Sean Connery leapt onto the movie screens as James Bond in 1962 movie DR NO. From there Connery went on to become the most recognisable British agent in the world, setting a legend and undefeatable position as the ultimate spy from British MI6. Nobody would ever beat him as 007.

Connery starred as James Bond in Dr No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967). We thought he was done for as George Lazenby graced us with his presence in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

However, Connery made a surprise return in super awesome Diamonds are Forever (1971), appearing slightly aged as he was now in his 40s. However this was the last film Connery would appear in as James Bond. The era that started the Bond franchise, the best movies ever made, the most underrated time for the franchise which later went on to be the biggest in the world. It was huge in the 60s, and thanks to the glorious novels that Ian Fleming gave us, the books provided a solid real grounding and likeable backstory for this icon. Fleming died in 1964 and did not see the success of the series as it was turned to film. He witnessed the beginning though, and probably knew what it would become. The James Bond novels which he wrote are great and I encourage you to read them even if you have seen the movies! He wrote them at his Goldeneye Estate in Jamaica!

Wait, there was a retelling of the story Thunderball in 1983’s movie Never Say Never Again! Sean Connery, despite saying he would never return to the role, came back 12 years after Diamonds are Forever at age 52 to reprise the role he essentially helped to create. Although the movie gets a bad reputation as being a rip off of actual Bond movies, it is in fact a James Bond movie, and a good one. It is enjoyable and thrilling, and Connery does not show any signs of slowing down in it. I do prefer the original Thunderball though, simply because it is the best James Bond ever made (Top 3 at least), but I will come on to that later.

Sean was young, following a brief stint as a bodybuilder he became the ultimate spy, a womanising secret agent who smoked, drank and gambled with no remorse, and he killed people. Who was this cool, laid back, 6 ft dark haired gent with thick accent? It was every mans fantasy, or how they might see themselves. Bond was how many men wanted to be, and at a time of great changes, it is understandable that he was very popular. The 60s movies don’t come across as offensive toward women either, they do objectify women slightly, being Bond’s sex and nothing more. But, many of them are villains, play strong characters and don’t just sit in the background. I think the films are still good, and still acceptable to watch.

The first 3 movies solidified his position and it paved the way for a high standard. Actors had to be in top physical condition and all Bond actors including Daniel Craig have complained at least once about the requirements for the role. I believe actors like Pierce Brosnan jogged on moving trains for the movies, jumping carriage to carriage. Sean Connery had the edge from the beginning, being a bodybuilder. He had that physical strength and in the movies you can see the muscles on his shoulders, particularly in Dr No, when he is captured and put into the cell, wearing a white t-shirt. What came after the first 4 movies was more about the character already being well-established. It gave fans nostalgia of the previous movies, and relied not so much on the original scripting and direction as it did stunts and ‘being cool fighting’.

One scene in You Only Live Twice, when Bond flies Little Nellie, a cool little copter, is a stand out scene. Alongside the jetpack in the opening to Thunderball. Or the scene where Bond swings from a skyscraper in Diamonds are Forever using 2 thin sets of strings. What about in Goldfinger, when Bond is driving his car down the alleyway directly at an oncoming vehicle, only to crash into the wall, and we discover it was a mirror? All memorable and tense moments from a series of movies which will always be the best. I say again, Sean Connery’s movies were the best. Yes, there were other great films to come, some of which are my favourite, but the originals really are special. They are nostalgic, magical, professional and extremely well made. I cannot imagine how excited they must have felt in the 60’s going to see one of these classics at the movie theatres.

My reasoning could go on, but the main winning point being the fantastic scripting, acting, direction, music scores, drama, storytelling, humour and wit and winning production crew making the most fantastic worthwhile movies in history. No expense spared in terms of quality, which is what makes them the best. You see, a fantastic line, delivered in the perfect setting can win a scene more than shooting and action ever could. The 60s was a decade of good movies, period. James Bond being born in that decade is no coincidence. An era of genius film makers and dedicated studios, including Pinewood studios where Eon Productions filmed the movies.

Dr No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thunderball – to demonstrate my point it gets the full 5 stars. This is the high point for Sean Connery and the early Bond movies. You need to watch this to appreciate the scale of both the acting, script writing, direction, and overall production, being one of the best movies ever made, in film in general.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever – not that I don’t think they are great, just to prove that the peak resulted a inevitable decrease which would continue.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Never Say Never Again – the rogue Bond movie of 1983, and aged Connery but nonetheless a gripping retelling of Thunderball. What a hidden gem, and having the original Bond return for the role must have been a brilliant surprise.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

We said goodbye to a 90 year old Connery in 2020, but his legacy lived on for many years. He went on to star in so many famous movies after James Bond that to think he played the original is a little surreal. I really am grateful that I have had the joy of his movies since I was a child. Without him as Bond it would not be the same. I don’t want to discredit other actors playing the role, as they all brought unique qualities to the position. For me, Timothy Dalton was brilliant and so was Pierce Brosnan, both for the same reasons, their movies were high tech, multiple gadget action movies which had such thrilling action. I rate The Living Daylights and Goldeneye in my top 10.

It is time to end this post here. Thank you for reading. Which Bond actor is your favourite? Which Sean Connery movie was your favourite? Which Bond movie is your favourite? What do you get nostalgic about?

No Time To Die – Movie review!

Released on the 30th September 2021.

The newest and longest James Bond movie has finally arrived into UK cinemas.

I am a big James Bond fan, and have been since I was a young child. I know every film inside out. After Spectre I was excited to see Daniel Craig in his last James Bond movie. What can I say? The last 5 movies of his have been enjoyable. Starting strong with unforgettable Casino Royale, before moving onto Quantum of Solace, then Skyfall, to Spectre before reaching No time to die.

Where to start. The runtime is mega, making this is the longest Bond movie at 2:43. Originally, George Lazenby starred in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which until Casino Royale was the longest running at 2:22. Why do I need to mention George’s Bond movie? Well…

No Time To Die tips its hat at Lazenby’s Bond movie. We get to here that song, all the time in the world, and certain plot points are rather similar, although it has been twisted. I also found references to other Bond movies. I guess this was how it used to be in the previous films, but more so in this and I put it down to being Craigs last movie, in which they wanted nostalgia to triumph over story. There is an annoying point to get across early on, I did feel as if there was a lot of advertising in this movie, and at one point I felt like the movie was nothing but an advertisement. It saddened me, Bond was never about product placement or trying to sell something. It was about a secret agent. This does detract from the movie for me, and I encourage the next director or film crew to forget about it… Bond has made enough dollar that you don’t need product placement.

Another huge familiarity is to the first ever James Bond movie. Yes. Dr No (1962) is elegantly seen in the new plot and movie. As you recall, Dr No in the original first ever Bond was a nuclear scientist working for Spectre. I see big similarities between Dr No and new and improve villain, played extremely well by Rami Malek, enemy Safin. Even though Blofeld is back in this movie, he is not actually in it very much. To get this out there, he and Safin are not working together. I want to point that out, so you don’t go thinking the new world domination goal is spectre… no, they’re just in the background and to be honest, aren’t really serving much of a purpose. Bond finds himself in Cuba, in a busy club full of spectre agents… he does not get killed even when Blofeld exposes him… at this point it’s safe to say spectre posed absolutely no threat whatsoever in the movie. But that particular scene, in the rich, elite club, does highlight some very disturbing things:

  • Some guests wear some variety of mask – almost venetian
  • Some guests wear animal masks, now that is extremely unnecessary in a Bond movie. Who ever thought that a good idea should think long and hard about why they would need to do that.
  • The entire scene stinks of something, and it doesn’t smell like Spectre.
  • It detracts entirely from the movie, and yet adds absolutely nothing of value

Now, without trying to spoil anything, let’s move onto the good points. There are some strong scenes, and the villain is one of the more frightening in a Bond movie. He’s into some strange hobbies, like keeping and maintaining particular types of plants. He wants to kill everyone on the planet.

Gadgets are minimal again which is something that has let the last 5 movies down. Gadgets were and should be a big part of a spy movie, especially something this recognised. I think bringing James Bond back from the dead – retirement – was a good way to start the story. This movie did have a more well developed storyline and it actually allowed us to see things through.

We get the return of familiar faces and Felix Lighter is finally back. We also have some great action scenes and amazing set design and explosions. Bond suffers a lot at the hands of explosions in this movie and I wonder whether the stunt man made it. Going back to the Cuba scenes, we get introduced to the famous face of black woman Lashana Lynch. She will divide fans, because of what the writers have done around her character. But, she is a good ally and edition and there is no talk of her taking over which is what divided fans after seeing the trailer and listening to interviews prior to the movies release. Daniel Craig is also getting old, and it’s time he moved on, so bringing some young women in was essential. Talking women, this is the only Bond film I think ever where he doesn’t sleep with more than 1 woman… he’s in love with Madeleine Swann (played well by Lea Seydoux, French actress), daughter of former Quantum of Solace and Spectre agent Mr. White (originally in Casino Royale). This is an important point in the movie. Her ties with Spectre are somewhat of a brick in the head for Bond!

I can’t say much other than watching in IMAX is how it is supposed to be viewed. Whatever. Watch it how you want. I’m upset and disappointed by the ending of the movie. I could forget and put aside some of the other extremely questionable writing decisions, but the ending is pretty unforgivable and it has reduced the movie by 1 star. I still think the movie is a good addition and worth watching, and it did bring back some of that witty humour we’ve been missing for years, and vodka martinis and fight scenes. Bond is all over the globe again, great!

No Time To Die – no time to forget that movie. Perhaps we will see nothing of Bond again.

Overall rating: comprised multiple ratings:

Action and adventure –

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Acting and characters –

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bond theme –

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Story and development –

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ending –

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Fish Called Wanda: Movie Review

A fish called Wanda. Release date: 1988. Duration: 1h 48m. Director: John Cleese and Charles Crichton.


A gang of British diamond thieves pull of a massive heist, and then try to double cross one another to find the loot. Barrister Archie Leach is responsible for representing heist leader Georges Thomason. Wanda tries to seduce Leach to learn the whereabouts of the diamonds.

Que: Probably one of the best British comedies from Monty Python John Cleese and Michael Palin. In my top 10 favourite films. A sequel “Fierce Creatures” was released in 1997 ( I will review soon ).

It is quintessential British comedy viewing. Full of fantastic actors and a fantastic storyline, coupled with genius wit and a genuine feel for the art of movie making.

To start I want to talk about the actual filming of the movie. It is clear and crisp and the audio is brilliant. The blu-ray version even more so. This is timeless in that it looks and feels like a modern movie, however there is little to give away the fact it is from the 80’s and it is gripping and entertaining enough not to focus on that!

A diamond heist masterminded and pulled of by Georges Thomason, Ken Pile, Otto and Wanda. Soon the diamonds go missing and it becomes a game of trying to double cross one another in order to find them! Ken is on a bet to assassinate an old lady who witnessed them escaping the crime scene. Otto the psychopath is just up to his eyes in crazy whilst passing himself off as Wanda’s brother. Wanda is busy trying to seduce Archie Leach, the barrister trying to defend Thomason from prison.

It is the chemistry of the actors that bring the film to a new level. All are brilliant but it is Otto (Kevin Kline) who brings things to a completely different dimension. In one of the funniest scenes in the film (out of many), Archie (Cleese) is becoming seduced by Wanda (Curtis) when Otto decides to break in to Leach’s house and hide behind a bedroom door, in order to stop Wanda from having sex with Leach. Soon Leach’s wife comes home with his daughter and then Wanda is hiding too. I won’t go on because you have to see it to believe it…

Ken is still trying to kill the old lady, and hilariously failing. Being an animal right activist, it adds another layer when he accidentally kills her beloved dogs instead. We can really feel the Monty Python humour shining through a during a few scenes the music score briefly plays the theme from the opening of The Meaning of Life.

Of course in the end, things start to get serious as the diamonds are found and who takes them is up to you to see for yourself by watching it!

A great film and a great tribute to British comedies. We don’t see films like this anymore which is a shame.

Rating: 5/5