NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983)
Article 5026 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Irvin Kershner
Featuring Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Kim Basinger
Country: UK / USA / West Germany
What it is: Off-series James Bond film
James Bond is called back into active duty to track down the location of two nuclear bombs stolen by a SPECTRE agent.
This movie was not a part of the regular James Bond series. Kevin McClory, who produced and co-wrote THUNDERBALL for that series, won a legal battle against Ian Fleming to make his own one-off Bond movie, provided it was based on that same story, so this is a loose remake. It doesn’t appear to be a favorite of James Bond movie fans, and it lost a box office battle with the official Bond release from the same year, OCTOPUSSY. Me, I’m rather partial to this one. I like the fact that the movie uses Connery’s age as a bit of a gimmick by playing up the “middle-aged Bond” theme. I also love Klaus Maria Brandauer’s performance as Largo; he has an offhand easy charm that works against his character becoming a villain stereotype, and his duel with Connery in the “Domination” game is a highlight of the movie. Barbara Carrera is also memorable as Fatima Blush; she plays her femme fatale role with a winning glee. Unfortunately, there’s really no standout action sequence, and the movie feels a little bland stylistically. The movie also features the feature film debut of actor Rowan Atkinson, and though I really like the performer, I’m glad the movie uses his comic character sparingly. I also like the idea of Max von Sydow playing Blofeld, but he’s used so fleetingly that he can’t really make much of an impression. All in all, I quite like this one, and it has what is for me the single funniest moment of all of the Bond movies; I’m talking, of course, about the contents of a beaker of fluid that Bond uses in a battle against a powerful assassin.