|It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Bond in a jetpack!|
If Thunderball has one thing, it is this: only opening that can boast Bond getting in a fight, first with an old lady, and then with a drag queen. And then...taking off in a jetpack? Yeah. I'm sold.
The opening credits is everything you would want from a Bond opening. The song, sung by Tom Jones, is deliciously Bondian, we've got the silhouetted women bodies swimming through the water. Sounds good to me. Nothing particularly astounding by it, but at the same time, I couldn't really ask for more.
Characters: Dear Felix. He's no longer an old man! Victory! Instead, he's a silver fox of a man. Who, despite the fact that he's CIA, nearly gives away Bond's cover in his first line of the movie. Well done, secret service. He's almost as bad as Archer.
Of course, my friend Q is always amazing. It helps that he's wearing a stupid islandy pineapple shirt. I really think the chemistry between Q and Bond is some of the best chemistry in the movie. They've got their snippy banter as Q attempts to teach Bond a little more control on his motor reflexes, and yet their bromance somehow shines through every time. Sean Connery and Desmond Llewelyn have a wonderfully organic naturalness to their relationship, and I can't get enough of it.
Bond Girls: James Bond is amazingly rapist-like in this movie. I mean, he's always a bit of a rapist, but in this movie he's particularly forceful. His first near-sex scene involves him grabbing a struggling physician and attempting to kiss her into submission. He's punished briefly with the rack of death, but then is rewarded for his efforts by blackmailing her into sex. The moral here? If devious methods to get laid doesn't work the first time, try, try again.
Poor Paula is great. She puts up with Bond even when he abandons her to watch the car. And she's one of the few early Bond girls who doesn't actually get in Bond's pants. Which just proves my point. As a woman, you have one of two options in a Bond movie. Sleep with Bond, or die. Like dear totally not a lesbian Tilly, Paula ended up with the latter.
And then there's Domino. She's all you need in a Bond girl, really. Sassy, hot as hell, and she turns into putty under Bond's charm, but. Eh. It happens. Unlike most poster girl Bond Girls, she actually has a little drama, what with her murdered brother and all. However, it helps that her little sob story is told through tears and bikini strings.
Villains: SPECTRE is back. In a big way. One of the best scenes is at the very beginning, when we open up to a SPECTRE meeting of nefarious characters. Blofeld at the front, stroking his pussy, and speaking with a shade covering his face. Which is the first hint you're not working alongside justice. The second hint is when everyone in the business deal is referred to only by numbers. The third hint is when your boss kills members of the business deal via electric chair. Do not trust the comfortable looking lounge chairs.
Largo, with his coat with floppy arms and his eye patch, is a brilliant villain. And he has a crazy band of eunuch bodyguards who wear only black and sunglasses. Between the sunglasses and the eye patch, it's like the three blind mice all over again. Speaking of blind. He also happens to be one of the only Bond villains who gets killed by his captive mistress/token Bond girl exacting revenge on her murdered brother. How epic is that? Pretty fucking epic, I'd say.
Fiona Volpe is one badass villain. In all honesty, she's really the reason I love this movie so much. For one, she can actually act. She's precise, cunning about her kills, and deadly in a way most female villains aren't. Sure, she uses sex to get her way, but she does it with an amount of coldness that somehow makes her that much more awesome. She fucks them to get her way, but it's not simply a "distraction method" until the men get here and take care of it. She uses her time she spends with her victims to memorize their habits and use that against them. In short, she's a great villain, who just happens to be extremely foxy. And she has a fucking motorcycle that explodes things. Take me to your bedroom.
Angelo is another great one. He's just one of those guys that happens to be in the wrong business at the wrong time. First of all, he's clearly crazy as fuck. He spends two years devoting himself to this one role and getting intense plastic surgery. And then goes ahead and asks for more money. C'mon, dude. Haven't you ever seen how these things work? You ask for more money after the mission and they're just going to kill you. It's the way it happens.
Most badass moment: Stealing a plane with warheads by hijacking one of the pilot's faces, then submerging it under water in a fake crash landing? Underwater landing strip and everything? I've got to hand it to the movie, for a Bond movie, this one actually has...well. A plot. And a good one, at that.
Most ridiculous moment: I. Hate. Underwater. Fights. I'll say it now, and I'll repeat it every time we have one. Because Bond goes through a period in which, in every fucking movie, they have a damn underwater fight. What, did Hollywood have a surplus of maneating sharks or something? They're hard to choreograph, every moves with giant flippers, and it's just awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe it was cool the first time, but I've seen enough Bond movies to be sick of it.
Best quotes: Codename? Thunderball...
Moneypenny: "In the conference room. Every 00 in Europe has been rushed in, and the Home Secretary too."
Bond: "Somebody's probably lost a dog."
Domino: "What sharp little eyes you've got."
Bond: "Wait until you get to my teeth."
Fiona: "Some men just don't like to be driven."
Bond: "No, some men just don't like to be taken for a ride."
Fiona: [in bathtub] "Since you are here, would you mind giving me something to put on?"
*Bond hands over shoe*
Bond: "You mind if my friend sits this one out? She's just dead."