Sean Connery is Back in Action as James Bond! --Variety
"...one of the most sophisticated of the Bonds. John J. Puccio, DVD Town
|Sean Connery is back for his final performance as superagent James Bond in this high-velocity action thriller from the director of The Empire Strikes Back. When two atomic warheads are hijacked by the evil Spectre organization, Agent 007 is hurled into an explosive, pulse-pounding race to save the world from nuclear terrorists!|
"Inventive, imaginative, tension-filled fun! Los Angeles Times
"Brandauer is a great Bond villain, and the role still fits Connery like an old tux. Rob Thomas, Capital Times
"The action's good...but the real clincher is the fact that Bond is once more played by a man with the right stuff. Time Out
"Gone is the excessive gadgetry that mars Bond films, and, as a result, the characters are more prominent and colorful. TV Guide
In this remake and updated version of the 1965 THUNDERBALL, James Bond, who has been primarily teaching for the last few years, is quite happily yanked out of semiretirement to deal with the deadly SPECTRE organization's newest plan for the destruction of the planet. (The Bond story line mimics Sean Connery's semiretirement from the role, which he had last played in 1971's DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER.) Agent Number 2, also known as Maximilian Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer), has managed to steal two cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads, and Agent Number 1, Blofeld (Max von Sydow), has threatened to explode them in areas with large populations if a huge, and almost impossible, ransom demand from the NATO countries is not met. The film features an excellent gaming battle between Largo and Bond, as well as stunning turns by Barbara Carrera and Kim Basinger.
Cast & Crew
Sean Connery, as suave as ever, returns to the role that made him an international star. This time Bond must stop a power-hungry madman who attempts to extort the world's major governments in a story that revisits THUNDERBALL.
Golden Globe (1984)
||Barbara Carrera, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
New York Times
"...This is the better Bond, by a wide margin....Connery is in lively company..."
"...Opulently mounted....Carrera lets out all the stops as an egocentric witch....Basinger is luscious as the pivotal romantic and dramatic figure..."
ReelViews 6 of 10
In 1971, following the release of Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery announced that he would "never again" play the role of James Bond. As a result, the producers brought in Roger Moore, and the series continued. 12 years later, in 1983, Connery reneged on his anti-007 vow and once again slipped into the role that had earned him worldwide fame...Fans of the real James Bond exulted -- at least until they saw the movie...Kevin McClory, the producer and co-writer of Thunderball, won a legal battle to make his own Bond movie. The only stipulation was that it had to be based on the characters and situations of the original Thunderball. So, using Lorenzo Semple Jr. (Three Days of the Condor) as his screenwriter, McClory set about updating the story. The result, which has a hokey, jokey feel, is possibly the worst-written Bond script of all (barring the satirical mess called Casino Royale). However, McClory did score a major coup by getting Connery on board for the production...Unfortunately, Never Say Never Again is a poor excuse for the veteran actor's return. The humor is over-the-top, the direction is pedestrian, and the storyline drags. Were it not for the simple pleasure of seeing Connery playing 007 one more time, this film would have been nearly unwatchable. All things considered, it's not a very good movie, but at least Connery's charisma salvages parts of it...There was a great deal of hype in 1983 about the "dueling" Bonds -- Roger Moore's Octopussy versus Sean Connery's Never Say Never Again. Ultimately, both entries were duds, with Never Say Never Again offering slightly better entertainment based solely on Connery's presence. Nevertheless, it's a major disappointment that, having lured back the original 007, the film makers couldn't offer him something better than this drawn-out, hackneyed story.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
Ah, yes, James, it is good to have you back again. It is good to see the way you smile from under lowered eyebrows, and the way you bark commands in a sudden emergency, and it is good to see the way you look at women. Other secret agents may undress women with their eyes. You are more gallant. You undress them, and then thoughtfully dress them again. You are a rogue with the instincts of a gentleman...It has been 12 years since Sean Connery hung it up as James Bond, 12 years since "Diamonds Are Forever," and Connery's announcement that he would "never again" play special agent 007. What complex instincts caused him to have one more fling at the role, I cannot guess. Perhaps it was one morning in front of the mirror, as he pulled in his gut and reflected that he was in pretty damn fine shape for 53. And then, with a bow in the direction of his friend Roger Moore, who has made his own niche as a different kind of Bond, Sean Connery went back on assignment again...What makes "Never Say Never Again" more fun than most of the Bonds is more complex than that. For one thing, there's more of a human element in the movie, and it comes from Klaus Maria Brandauer, as Largo. Brandauer is a wonderful actor, and he chooses not to play the villain as a cliche. Instead, he brings a certain poignancy and charm to Largo, and since Connery always has been a particularly human James Bond, the emotional stakes are more convincing this time...Sean Connery says he'll never make another James Bond movie, and maybe I believe him. But the fact that he made this one, so many years later, is one of those small show-business miracles that never happen. There was never a Beatles reunion. Bob Dylan and Joan Baez don't appear on the same stage anymore. But here, by God, is Sean Connery as Sir James Bond. Good work, 007.
- Roger Ebert