For a laundry list of complicated legal reasons, independent producer
Kevin McClory was allowed to make this "renegade" James Bond film, the
only one not produced by the Broccoli-Saltzman gang at EON
Productions. A remake of THUNDERBALL (1965), NEVER
AGAIN is most notable for Sean Connery's return to the role of
Bond. After a dozen years away from the role, he effortlessly
proves why he is considered the definitive 007. The film
doesn't fare so well but it does have its strengths, including a strong
first hour and the ravishing Barbara Carrera as over-the-top evil diva
Fatima Blush. But the second half of the film meanders, as
director Irvin Kershner (best known for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) seems
to lose conviction in the material. The precious few action
scenes are strictly by-the-numbers, as if Kirshner regards a silly
video-game sequence to be of greater consequence. The
underwater battle in THUNDERBALL suffered from excessive length, but it
was at least staged imaginatively and with grand style.
tosses off the scene in NSNA, not bothering to make a clear distinction
between the good guys and the bad guys, and it sputters to an uncertain
conclusion while we're still waiting for the action to start.
When the action is lukewarm, there's no sense of danger, leaving the
film too dependent on Connery's charisma to pull things along. - JL
The cast is much more fun to watch than than the movie itself, starting with Sean Connery, who is obviously older than we remember him from the heady days of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and GOLDFINGER, but really not looking that much more the worse for wear than he did in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. As soon as he's shuttled off to Shrublands to get himself back in shape and discovers an evil plot afoot, Connery immediately reminds us why we have missed him so much since that movie. Kim Basinger does much more with the character of Domino than Claudine Auger did in THUNDERBALL, and Barbara Carerra is simply in a class of her own as the beautiful and sadistic Fatima Blush. Klaus Maria Brandauer is a quirky Largo, (but I miss Adolfo Celi) and Max Von Sydow is perhaps the finest actor ever to portray Bond's own Professor Moriarty, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Add a small but amusing appearance by Rowan Atkinson and you've got a cast that goes along way towards making up for the weaknesses stated above. They can't save the film from being mediocre (the contemporaneous Roger Moore film OCTOPUSSY is the more entertaining movie by half) but their professionalism and talent do make NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN worth revisiting every few years. ½ - JB007 Page Prev. Film: Octopussy Next Film: A View to a Kill
IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR GREAT MOVIE QUOTES
"Your brother's dead. Keep dancing."
HOW TO TALK LIKE A BOND VILLAIN
"A terrible catastrophe now confronts you. However, it can be
avoided by paying a tribute to our organization, amounting to
twenty-five percent of your respective countries' annual oil purchases.
We have accomplished two of the functions that the name SPECTRE
embodies: terror and extortion. If our demands are not met within seven
days, we shall ruthlessly apply the third: revenge."