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You Only Live Twice (1967)

Originally Written
Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Budget: $9.5 million. Opening dates: UK June 12, 1967; US June 13, 1967
Worldwide Box Office: $111.6 million

Sean Connery returns for his fifth and final consecutive performance as the well loved secret agent James Bond. Unfortunately for a film that is advertised as "the big one", You Only Live Twice seems to be quite the opposite as it squanders its two lives rather quickly.

In this chapter of the Bond franchise, the great 007 has his death staged to make it possible for him to go undercover and investigate a series of missing space capsules belonging to Russia and the United States. These incidents have ignited the possibility of a nuclear warfare between the two countries who are both blaming each other for the theft of their space capsules. But it is the belief of the British government that the missing capsules are actually being held in some secret location in Japan, Bond is sent to investigate.

Through his investigation Bond is lead to a small island where it is believed that the capsules are being stored, required to disguise himself as a Japanese man and stage a marriage between a local woman on the island, Bond begins to get closer to the secret that lies deep in the depth of the island's large volcano. It is in the volcano where the mysterious leader of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, is finally revealed. Planning to capture another recently launched USA space capsule, Bond must stop Blofeld before his actions begin a war between the United States and Russia!

Quality wise You Only Live Twice doesn't compare to the previous films in the Bond series, it's almost as if this film belongs in an entirely different spy series. With a decent beginning the story quickly begins to grow tiresome. Even Connery didn't seem his old witty self but instead rather dry and emotionless, adding to an already mediocre film. Part of the problem is he doesn't have much to work with in terms of a well written script, the entire plot of the story is not clearly recognizable until the near end of the film.

On multiple occasions I felt like I was watching an old Godzilla movie, half expecting a huge monster to pop out of the volcano at any time to devourer the villagers. And of course this colossus base inside a volcano makes total sense, no one in the village knew about it, yet someone had to have built it! I guess no one noticed a massive launch bay being built in their own backyard! Of course why would they, when no one could notice that Bond was one strange looking Japanese man, he was only about a foot taller than all of them and looked like a Romulan from Star Trek!

In the end, You Only Live Twice is the worst of the first five films by far and is quite possibly the main reason why Sean Connery didn't return for the next installment, because I honestly don't believe he enjoyed doing this one. Even with it's high moments such the fight between Bond and the sumo wrestler and the helicopter battle, it's all countered by a horrid script, bad acting, and lack luster performance by Sean Connery. Also the void of any real good looking Bond girls and Blofeld's very brief appearance at the end of the film make You Only Live Twice a real James Bond cop-out, and my least favorite of all the Connery Bonds.


1 comment:

  1. Sweet Bond reviews! These movies are classics. Feel free to check out my movie blog, follow if you like:


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