Film: Never Say Never Again
Algernon: Good to see you Mr. Bond. Things've been awfully dull 'round here. I hope we're going to see some gratuitous sex and violence in this one!
James Bond: I certainly hope so too.The one where
Bond is getting too old for this shit
. Well, technically the other one. Or one of the other ones.
An "unofficial" James Bond
film, starring Sean Connery
and directed by Irvin Kershner (director of The Empire Strikes Back
). It's a remake of Thunderball
, with two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE and used in a blackmail attempt against the nations of the world. Bond is sent to investigate the only lead, a sister of the pilot who performed the operation. The film was the result of an odd legal situation whereby Kevin McClory, who had co-written the novel Thunderball
with Ian Fleming
, was allowed to retain the rights to that film's story and the characters who appeared in it. This included SPECTRE and Blofeld, who consequently were retired from the official Bond films (it also forced Electronic Arts
to rename SPECTRE when they adapted From Russia with Love
as a video game
It was in competition
with the official Octopussy
, which came out the same year. Though it did make a pretty great $55 million, it lost to Octopussy
by over $12 million. This may have been a factor in why McClory never followed up on this to continue his goal of making his own James Bond franchise to rival the EON Productions series, another being the constant legal disputes.
This film uses the following tropes:
- Affably Evil: Both Largo and Fatima Blush.
- Auction of Evil: Largo eventually sells Domino to be auctioned as a sex slave before Bond saves her.
- Ax-Crazy: Largo. Literally.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Largo. Also insanely jealous, and once he thinks Domino has fallen for Bond turns into a Domestic Abuser.
- Beard of Evil: Blofeld
- Berserk Button: Fatima is outraged that Bond would even insinuate she wasn't the best woman he'd ever had sex with.
- Black Best Friend: This movie's version of CIA agent Felix Leiter, played by Bernie Casey.
- Bond One-Liner: Wouldn't be a Bond movie without one.
Fatima: Oh. I got you all wet.
Bond: Yes, but my martini is still dry.
- Bowties Are Cool: Blofeld wears one giving him a somewhat avuncular apearance.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Domino's brother, thanks to some heroin encouragement.
- Broad Strokes: Rather loosely follows the plot of Thunderball, with an update to the 80's and a motorbike for Bond to ride.
- Choke Holds: James uses a sleeper hold on a Mook guard during opening and an assassin uses a sleeper hold on one of the attendants at Shrublands.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Largo comes across like this at times.
- Complexity Addiction: Fatima passes up several opportunities to assassinate Bond with a gun, knife or explosive in favor of a convoluted ambush using remote-controlled sharks.
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Lampshaded by Bond, when Nigel Small-Fawcett is yelling Bond's name to attract his attention, then acts furtively when talking to Bond. The fact Nigel is played by Mr. Bean makes it funnier.
Nigel Small-Fawcett: (yelling) Mr Bond! I say Mr. Bond! Nigel Small-Fawcett, British Embassy, Nassau."
James Bond: Nice to meet you Nigel.
Nigel Small-Fawcett: Sorry I'm late, but as you're one of these undercover jollies, I took the precaution of not being followed.
James Bond: And that's why you shouted my name across the harbor?
Nigel Small-Fawcett: Oh God, did I? Oh I'm sorry! Damn! Damn! Sorry I'm rather new to all this!
- Da Chief: Bizarrely, M plays a strange British variation of this trope. Fortunately, the film acknowledges this M is explicitly not the same character as Bernard Lee's.
- Die Laughing: Fatima.
Bond: "Not perfected yet"!
- Cut Apart: 007 is having sex with a girl as a bomb ticks away under his bed. Cue explosion in a room across the courtyard from Bond and Bond Girl.
Bond: Well, it proves we made the right decision.
Fishing Girl: About what, darling?
Bond: Your place or mine.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: As in Thunderball.
- The Dragon: Fatima Blush.
- Driving Into A Truck: While James Bond is riding a motorcycle the enemy Mooks force him to ride up a ramp into a truck so he can be captured. However, as the ramp is rising up to trap him he guns it and jumps the motorcycle over the ramp and out of the truck.
- Eye Scream: Domino's brother has surgery on one of his eyes to pass a retina scan. This comes complete with a close-up of the hideous stitched-together monstrosity.
- Once it heals properly all it looks like is that he has slight heterochromia, and as Fatima notes, when he has his contacts in you'd never notice anything at all.
- Failed a Spot Check: The Parisian police fail to notice the "boxer in training" and his bicycling manager are both wearing dress shoes with black socks.
- Fake-Out Opening: The opening of the film is just a test exercise.
- Fast Roping: Done during the opening.
- Femme Fatale: Fatima Blush, for many the sole reason to see the film. Barbara Carrere doesn't Chew the Scenery, she has a four course meal plus dessert.
- Friendly Enemy: The Affably Evil Largo towards Bond
- Giant Mook: Lippe, presumably this film's version of Count Lippe.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Largo is extremely possessive of Domino. Seeing Bond dancing with her turns their antagonism from professional to quite personal.
- Groin Attack
- While Bond is fighting the SPECTRE assassin at Shrublands part of their battle occurs in a kitchen. After Bond throws a pan of water in the assassin's face he kicks him in the nuts and runs away.
- Fatima threatens to perform this on Bond with a bullet from her gun.
- Hospital Hottie: One of Fatima's many outfits.
- Indecisive Parody: The film can't quite seem to decide if it's a harsh satire of the Eon series or if it's a regular James Bond film. Plainly satirical scenes (such as Bond's discussion with M at the beginning) are side by side with normal Bond-style scenes, and a blatantly middle-aged Bond certainly doesn't help matters (though Moore was a few years older than Connery and starring in Octopussy at the same time, even he felt he was too old in the next Bond film, and he definitely looked too old).
- Improvised Weapon: Bond defeats one Mook with his urine.note
- Improvised Zipline: During the opening.
- Instant Sedation: During the opening (so it probably wasn't real).
- Large Ham: Both Largo and Fatima.
- Lean and Mean: Blofeld
- Keep the Reward: When Bond beats Largo at the "Domination" video game, theoretically winning over $300,000, he turns down Largo's money in exchange for a dance with Domino. Subverted in that Largo's jealousy makes the dance a much bigger sting than losing money.
- Kitchen Chase: The assassin trying to kill Bond at Shrublands follows him into a kitchen and a fight breaks out, complete with a terrified female chef.
- Kick the Dog: Largo auctioning Domino to some lecherous Arabian slavers. He'd generally been Affably Evil up until this point so this scene seems like it was included just to make Largo out to be more of a bastard.
- Meaningful Name: "Small-Fawcett". Doesn't take Sigmund Freud to get that joke.
- Mistaken for Servant: Domino mistakes Bond for the masseur. As she is an attractive woman in a towel, he doesn't correct her and does the job (as any gentleman would).
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Bond spends time aboard the Flying Saucer as an unwilling but well cared-for guest.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Fatima's death blows her up completely
- No OSHA Compliance: The staircases in Nicole's house definitely don't look safe for anyone prone to losing their balance.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy
- Nothing Can Stop Us Now: Blofeld says this as the warhead is being sent to the target.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Though not younger by that much, but Bond is definitely showing his age - which is M's complaint (though this incarnation of M would appear to have difficulty running an ice cream parlour, nevermind MI6, so he can't complain about having Bond on his payroll).
- Painting the Medium / Take That: Algernon's quip about hoping to see some "gratuitous sex and violence" was aimed at the "official" Bond films which had become cartoonish.
- Granted, this film's not much better in that regard.
- Punny Name: Nigel Small-Fawcett. Think about it.
- Race Lift: Felix Leiter, who is played by African-American actor Bernie Casey.
- Revealing Cover-Up: SPECTRE'S attempt to keep their activities at Shrubland's a secret not only attract Bond's attention, but point him in the direction of Domino - and by extension, Largo.
- Right-Hand Cat: Blofeld's Persian.
- Role Reprisal: Sean Connery as James Bond, for the first time since Diamonds are Forever. 22 years later, he would do it again in the video game adaption of "From Russia with Love"
- Running Gag: The bit about "eliminating Free Radicals."
- Shark Pool: Fatima Blush turns the Caribbean into a giant version by sending electronically controlled sharks to attack Bond after placing a Tracking Device on him.
- Shoe Phone: Subverted at least once. The "gyroscopic bomb" disguised as a cigar case turns out to be just a cigar case.
- Smoldering Shoes: played straight when Fatima is killed by one of Q's devices.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The theme is a light, easy listening tune, and it's first played during the opening training sequence where Bond beats the crap out of everyone.
- Spanner in the Works: Keep in mind, James stumbled onto the plot while he was on holiday in a health spa.
- Stockholm Syndrome: "She could have turned."
- Straw Feminist: Fatima Blush certainly prides herself on being an empowered woman able to control any man she wants, but when Bond implies that he was not impressed by her performance while making love, she nearly goes to pieces, frightened and embarrassed by the idea that her sexual prowess is anything less than stellar. For a brief moment, Fatima actually begs Bond to assure her that making love to her was the greatest experience of his life - right before she resumes threatening to shoot him in his privates (see Groin Attack above).
- She took great delight in murdering her "rival" for Bond's affections as well. Again, Sigmund Freud, field day.
- Superior Firepower: Bombers: The B1B Lancer.
- Tracking Device: Fatima Blush plants one on Bond so her electronically controlled sharks can home in on him.
- Tranquillizer Dart: James uses a sleep-poisoned blowgun dart on a Mook guard at the beginning.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Fatima Blush has not one, not two, not even three, but four times to just shoot Bond, but merely settles for trying inane things like trying to get him eaten by sharks, blowing him up, killing Nicole for no reason, and trying to get Bond to put her in his memoirs. This last one gets her killed.
- Writing Around Trademarks: While it employs the plot and character names of Thunderball, Bond mainstays which Eon wouldn't allow such as the Leitmotif and the Bond Gun Barrel are absent.
- You Are Number Six: Largo calls Fatima "Number 12" at one point to remind her that they have a strictly professional relationship. This, when she was going to kiss him for giving her an order to kill Bond's female assistant.
- You're Insane!: Delivered by Domino to Largo. Largo just smiles and agrees.
- Zeerust: The arcade game Domination, very much so. It was supposed to be advanced and futuristic, but it comes off as LESS advanced than the games in the game room in the casino that Domino had just been inside.