You Only Live Twice (1967)
UK / English
"Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond "Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war is provoked.
This one belongs to Ken Adam
This one is a triumph for Ken Adam's sets. The volcano base is the most
memorable feature of the film. Oh, the story is fun and the gadgets are
cool, but those sets really sell the film. They would inspire countless
imitations and variations throughout the years.
Finally, we get to see Bloefeld, and it's a bit of a letdown. Donald
Pleasance is a fine actor, but he's not quite supervillain material;
more of the serial killer variety, in the mold of Peter Lorre. Still,
he is by far the superior on-screen version.
The Japanese cast are all outstanding. Special mention should be made
of Peter Maivia, grandfather of Dwayne Johson, aka The Rock. He and the
stuntmen create a brutal fight scene, second only to the train fight in
FRWL, although this is perhaps more inventive.
As for gadgets, outside of the jetpack from Thundrball and Goldfinger's
Aston Martin, Little Nellie is the coolest ride. The aerial scenes are
spectacular and are one of the highpoints of the whole series.
This film really marks the end of the ultra-cool Bond films. After
this, they tend to go down in quality, taken as a whole. Some have
better stories and villains, some have better stunts, but they are
never the complete package that the earlier films were. Still, this one
(along with Goldfinger and Thunderball) would inspire every spy work
that would follow; from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to Our Man Flint,
Marvel Comics' Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.e.L.D., to the X-Men. Everyone
stole an idea from here.
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