Have I mentioned how gigantic of a James Bond fan I am? Probably somewhere. For Christmas last year I bought myself and my dad the at-the-time full set of James Bond DVDs (Quantum of Solace wasn’t out yet). Being a gigantic nerd, I took the individual box sets, which have a DVD from each era, and organized them chronologically. I’ve been watching them in order, though I skipped over Goldfinger because I’ve seen it the most. Last week, while working on a ton of freelance (which is the reason I haven’t been posting as much these past couple days), I popped Thunderball (1965) in and enjoyed the hell out of it.
Here’s what I like in my Bond movies: Bond being awesome (check), bodacious babes (check) and crazy gadgets (check). So, as you can probably tell, Thunderball fit the bill perfectly. There’s a frickin’ jet pack and a car that sprays oncomers like a firehose. The plot follows SPECTRE’s attempts to steal a jet with two nukes on it (which they succeed at). From there, they try to bribe the governments of the world and it’s up to Bond and his cohorts to put a stop to them.
I can’t say for sure whether I’ve seen Thunderball before, though I do think I tried to watch it recently and turned if off for some reason because the first 20 minutes were really familiar. Anyway, you can tell that Thunderball was a huge influence on the Austin Powers movies. You get the big, huge evil organization meeting with the white-suited leader at the head of the table (kind of, he’s really on a raised platform with a divider covering most of his body), the bad guys going by numbers (Number 2 is the main bad guy of the movie who tussles with Bond) and of course, the numbered guy who pisses Blofeld off gets electrocuted and lowered into some mysterious under-chamber. I love that stuff. I understand that the Daniel Craig movies are more steeped in reality, like the Bourne movies, but I’m a sucker for the big, evil organizations and all the crazy gadgets. To me that’s what a Bond movie should be.
Oh man, and the ladies are super hot in this one. There’s a red headed villain whose name I didn’t catch, but wowzers. Plus, you’ve got Claudine Auger as Domino, a sexy nurse giving Bond the business early on and, well, every other woman in the movie really. It’s really kind of amazing what those casting directors did back in the mid 60s. True masters of their craft.
The radness doesn’t stop there, of course. There’s an underwater scene where all the good guys are fighting all the bad guys UNDERWATER! I can’t think of another movie with a scene like that, but it’s got to rank up with one of the best end-of-movie Bond brawls. There’s also a cool scene earlier on in the movie where Bond goes to a meeting at MI-6 headquarters with all of the other Double O agents. We don’t really get a look at them, but I thought it was cool that they would all meet up. The rest of the Double O agents seems like such an obvious mountain of story potential that the keeper’s of the Bond flame have only mined a little bit. Maybe in the next one (which will also hopefully have a few more gadgets and old school spy fun).