“Thunderball”: Politiken’s film review (1965)

Danish daily Politiken’s review of ”Thunderball”, 18th December 1965

The stolen nuclear bombs

World premiere of the latest James Bond film

"James Bond needs no introduction; after all, he's the hero of our times for better or worse. But as we're now treated to a world premiere of his new film, ”Thunderball”, it must be said that his latest adventure is very much of a technological bent. Sure, there are lovely girls aplenty, and this particular year, the beautiful coupling of technology and erotica is something that we should know everything about, but the girls are of a rather synthetic quality; they hardly arouse any interest among Bond or the audience, and this year, we can't be ignorant of the fact that technology and irony ought to be merged, but in a showdown between technology, wit, and romance, technology (in this film) takes the lead.

This makes sense in our cold, technological spy era. Yes, it's inhuman, and therefore not really thrilling, but seeing this much technology – that actually works! – is amusing nonetheless. In his previous film, Bond had a car that could do just about everything; now he's equipped with advanced frogman gear that would make any mermaid smack her tail with envy.

This time, he battles the international crime syndicate Spectre, who has kidnapped two nuclear bombs and is demanding a ransom of several millions. Bond is not only given a car that any one of us would find useful while driving under the influence; he also gets a radioactive pill which, when swallowed, states your position; a wristwatch of wonders, clever weaponry, and a good deal of equipment for going under water. The latter turns out to be a good idea, inasmuch as the gangsters have hidden the bombs at the bottom of the sea, and the majority of the film places us among sharks and other minnows. The engineers behind this endeavor might have become so pleased and impressed with their undersea prowess that they've overdone it a bit; the film feels longish and somewhat monotonous in spite of all its ingenuity, but even so, seeing all this technology in action beneath the waves, where frogmen shoot each other down with arrows during the climax, is diverting. Could this be the first undersea fight in history?

The plot as such should be experienced rather than retold. It has a few charming implausibilities of its own and a steadily increasing tension. Once more, Sean Connery plays James Bond with a relaxed, off-hand charm, indifferent as well as efficient; villains, women, and sharks make up the supporting cast. The film is not top-drawer Bond, but otherwise it's self-recommendatory. Its success is guaranteed and bound to be huge."

Review written by Bent Mohn
Translation by James Bond•O•Rama.dk


Thunderball Politiken 181265

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