In this movie it is the classic Sean Connery, who portrayed Bond for the first five movies in the Bond series. However, by this time Sean Connery has become tired with the movie series. The movie series has moved more towards humor, action and outlandish plots, which laid the foundation for Roger Moore, one of my personal favorite Bond actors to take over, but Sean Connery did not want to act in anymore screwy Bond movies after this one. He would eventually come back for a couple more, the first of which would be after George Lazenby, one of my personal least favorite Bond actors, didn’t work out, but it’s no surprise there. However, this was the last of Sean Connery’s original five Bond films that were in consecutive order without breaks between them. In my opinion he finished on a high note, though, because I like this movie.
The plot of this movie is that somebody has been capturing rocket ships in space that belong to both the United States and Russia. United States and Russia both think that the other one is responsible, and this leads close to a war between them because this was back when tensions between Russia and the rest of the world, particularly United States were at a high. James Bond must find out who is really responsible behind the rocket ships being captured. He realizes that the rocket ship capturing the other rocket ships comes from Japan and goes there to find out who is responsible for that. Japan could not have been responsible for it because they do not have the resources that Russia and United States do. This movie took place only a couple of decades after the two nuclear bombs literally devastated the entire country of the once prosperous Japan, and Japan was still trying to make up for the damages at the time. Apparently, Bond’s arch nemesis, at least his biggest nemesis in the original Sean Connery Bond films, Spectre with Blofeld in charge is behind it.
The action in this movie like with any Bond film is great. We get a great fight between Bond and a large Japanese guy at Osato Enterprises. The Japanese man does not do much harm to Bond, but he takes a lot of damage before he finally goes down with a smack to the head from a hard Japanese statue. Bond also fights some villains and is chased across a roof top at some docks while he allows his female co agent named Agi to escape. One of my favorite parts of this movie actually is when Bond runs across the roof tops and fights and is chased by the villains. I just think that the great music in the background, You Only Live Twice definitely had one of the better music scores in my opinion for a Bond film, the panning out with the camera showing the entire roof and Bond fighting and running away from the villains at the same time is a great effect. Unfortunately, he is eventually captured by the villains when one of them sneaks up on him and hits him over the head with a club knocking him unconscious. He is then put in a plane and the plane is wrecked, so Bond has to escape before the plane can crash or blow up.
There is not a lot of humor in this movie. Sean Connery has some dry one liners such as Bon Appetit when Blofeld’s body guard is thrown by Bond into a pool full of pirranhas that are owned by Blofeld. However, I think that certain other actors such as the screwy but fun Roger Moore and the juvenile Pierce Brosnan, who appealed much more to younger audiences and people who are young at heart, had better humor than the somewhat dry Sean Connery.
The suspense in this movie is pretty good because it is one of those Bond movies where Bond has to race against the clock to save the day. This time the clock is Bond trying to stop Blofeld before Blofeld can capture another United States space ship and have it blown up in orbit with some of his own guys at the controls, apparently Blofeld found his astronauts expendable as soon as he started the way he wanted between United States and Russia. There is a literal clock at the end when Bond tries to blow up the ship before it can capture the United States space ship, and he succeeds just in time like he always does.
Bond has a couple of allies in this movie. The first one is Mr. Henderson, who does not last long. He is quickly killed off before he can give Bond too much information by a knife to the back. However, Bond is able to avenge Mr. Henderson by quickly killing the two men who were responsible for his death afterwards and then makes his escape with some gun shots and Agi who picks him up in a car. The second ally he has is the much more useful, longer lasting Tiger. Tiger has his own ninja training school. When Bond is captured, another Bond girl, who is also Japanese, goes to get help at the ninja training school and they come to save Bond and help stop the villains the space ship.
The woman in this movie are kind of average. I did not like Agi that much because she did not do much in this movie. She is one of the many Bond girls in the movie series who makes love with Bond and is then quickly killed off. You would think that women by this time would have learned not too sleep with Bond because sleeping with Bond will probably kill you off faster than an STD. However, another much nicer Bond woman is in the rest of the movie. She manages to do some useful things such as get help for Bond at the ninja training school. By the way she is a really good swimmer. I was surprised by how much water she had to swim across to go get help. Also, she was chased by a helicopter and manages to dive under the bullets when they shoot at her, which shows that she is tougher than Agi.
I like how she refused sleeping with Bond because she was all about business and Bond gave the wrong name to the priest. Quite frankly, the whole women sleeping with Bond thing never really floated my boat that much. I don’t get a kick out of seeing other people sleep around, although I do like a good romantic, non sleazy scene once in a while. I just find the sex scenes with Bond kind of pointless. You probably see more of Sean Connery’s hairy chest than you would want to. That guy needs to get waxed, seriously, but then birds won’t be nesting in his tree or whatever. Some people I know skip through the sex scenes. I just don’t give a damn. It’s about as entertaining as watching paint dry, boooring! Anyway back to the second Japanese girl. She manages to shoot a villain in the final fight, which shows she can fight as well. Agi never really did any fighting besides saving Bond in her car a couple of times. She seems to haunt the Osato Building, just so she can pick him up whenever.
The villain in this movie is the greatest Bond villain of all, Blofeld, played by Donald Pleasance. I like Donald Pleasance because he was also in the Great Escape and played the great Dr. Loomis in the Halloween movie series. Plus he was in some really bad, cult horror movies such as Curse of the Minotaur, but if you don’t know what that is you’re probably better off because of it. He does a decent job as Blofeld. Some people say he minces too much when he walks but whatever. He has an interesting scar on the side of his face, too. Where he got it from we do not know. Maybe his cat went nuts one time and tried to claw his eyes out or something. Blofeld’s been stroking his pussy too much. Wait. What? What is even more mysterious is that later on the scar is completely gone in movies such as On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. What’s even more strange is that in Diamonds Are Forever he has suddenly grown hair. Maybe he tried a new hair product or something, we do not know, it was never made clear. However, I’m sure bald men would want to know.
The music in this movie is suspenseful. I thought it was particularly good when he was being chased across the roof. The music during the action scene at the end is also good as usual. The theme song for this movie is one of my favorite theme songs for a Bond movie. I will also be doing a top ten countdown for my favorite Bond movie theme songs, and the theme song for You Only Live Twice definitely made the list.
The setting for this movie is one of the things that made it great in my opinion. Maybe I’m a little biased towards this movie because I love Japan about as much as I love Donald Pleasance, a good deal. They don’t just go to Japan, though. They actually show some Japanese sights such as sumo wrestling with an announcer who sounds like he’s constipated, volcanoes, some of them as fake as the cake, and Japanese dwellings with paper walls that you could walk through in case you lost the front door key.
James Bond does not get a lot of gadgets in this movie. However, he does get a couple of cool things such as a cigarette that can shoot rockets and a small helicopter that takes down four other helicopters in a great fight with a wide variety of weapons. Lots of Japanese and ninja/samurai weapons are used such as shurikens and katanas. Katanas are not actually used by “ninjas”, but some things America just did not know in the 1960s and this can be excused.
This Bond movie made it so close to the top ten that I am putting it as a runner up at number eleven and reviewing my tenth favorite Bond movie tonight called Living Daylights.