Ladies and gentlemen, Connery is back. After how terrible his replacement had turned out in the last movie, this time they gave him a shit ton more money to come back for one final(ish) time, almost ten years after he originally took on the role. He’s an older Bond, even starting to grey at the temples, but he’s still every bit the charming, classy badass he was back in Dr. No. One of my favourite moments in the whole movie is when he gets knocked out by the bad guys, and they literally bury him into this section of underground oil pipeline they’re building in the Nevada desert. So Bond wakes up in this metal tube underground in the middle of nowhere. He turns and sees a rat, and says to it “one of us smells like a whore’s handkerchief”. Then he smells himself and goes “I’m afraid it’s me, sorry old chap”. Classic Bond. Anyway, the movie picks up right after the end of OHMSS, with Bond again out chasing down Blofeld, this time out for blood after the murder of his wife. In other words, this time, it’s personal. And it’s a great re-introduction of Connery. We see a montage of him kicking ass and taking names, and you know who it is, before you even see his face. Then they eventually do reveal it and he gets a “Name’s Bond. James Bond”. Awesome. So Bond confronts Blofeld, who is again played by a completely different actor who looks nothing like either of his predecessors, in his plastic-surgery-to-turn-henchman-into-body-doubles-of-me/mudbath room. Bond seemingly kills Blofeld, but he was just in the process of making identical duplicates of himself, so maybe keep that in mind. Then we get into the real plot of the movie. Basically Bond has to go undercover as part of an elaborate plot involving stolen diamonds in Las Vegas. That’s right, we’re going Ocean’s Eleven, baby! But not the cool elaborate heist full of “oh my god you thought the plan was failing but that WAS THE PLAN!” twists version, I mean the original, which is more about hairy middle aged guys hanging around casinos hitting on skanky women. So a lot of this movie is Bond hanging around casinos hitting on slutty women, which is always fun. There’s also also a police chase on the Vegas strip that reminds me of GTA: San Andreas, the aforementioned pipe in the desert scene, and a whole lots of twist and turns. Basically it turns out it’s all a plot by Blofeld, who’s still alive (surprise!), and needs the diamonds to build a laser in space. While all this is going on, this girl in the diamond smuggling ring gets attached to Bond (of course), and ends up becoming something of a sidekick throughout the rest of the movie. She’s played by Jill St. John, a model who was I guess famous in the 70s. She’s pretty crappy at acting, but she makes up for it by running around in a bikini the whole final act. There are also these two creepy assassins, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, who are trailing Bond. One of them is bald with a big walrus moustache and glasses, and they’re all weird and polite when they kill people. They’re pretty cool. Anyway, the whole thing comes down to a big final confrontation with Blofeld on his offshore oil rig, where Bond has to switch a cassette tape in a computer to stop a space laser from blowing up Washington D.C. Wow, that sounds kind of stupid when you say it out loud. Overall, I think this is a great entry in the series. It serves as a nice wrap up to the Blofeld arc, it has some awesome action moments and a great story, and oh man, I forgot to mention, there’s one part where Bond winds up in a coffin in a crematorium, going into the furnace about to get burned to death and it’s super intense. Yeah, this movie is dope, I think people forget about it. For some reason it just never seems to mentioned in the same breath as Goldfinger or Dr. No. I guess maybe it just got lost in the shuffle between the George Lazenby one and the Roger Moore ones. But looking back on it now, it totally stacks up with all the classics. In fact, forget what I said about You Only Live Twice, I think this one might be my favourite of them all (ah, I can never really pick one). But seriously, this movie is super underrated, and a great end to the Sean Connery era.
Overall Rating: Grand exit/10