Film Review: You Only Live Twice

Written by Roald Dahl and essentially the second film in the “Blofeld” trilogy of James Bond films “You Only Live twice” gives you something which up to this point hadn’t really been seen in a Bond movie. An almost serious story!

Whether it’s the Roald Dahl effect, or the fact that it’s only very loosely based on Ian Flemming’s book, the plot and story actually feel, for once, plausible. Yes spaceships swallowing each other and taking off and landing without trace may be the only part that stretches your imagination; but honestly that’s not a bad thing. Placing 007 into a grown up plot, as has been shown more recently, actually produces better end results. At least in my view anyway.

And even though it’s got Sean Connery once again taking on the role of Bond, the seriousness and maturity provided by the plot means that gone, in the vast majority, are all the gadgets, womanizing and over the top one liners and double entendres that Connery, up to now, has made almost his trademark when it comes to portraying the infamous “British Spy”.

This all ties together to produce a film, which considering it’s age and position in the Bond timeline, is not only very entertaining but also, seemingly still current and viable in today’s modern society.

Now, I originally started watching the Bond films again because they released the novels as audio books. I’d listen to an audio book while rowing each day and when I’d finished it I’d watch the film and see how they compared, and ultimately which I enjoyed more. Up to this point, the books were winning, mainly because, the plots within the books are plausible, and relevant to real life. The films were all “based” on them with added stupidity.

However, as I’ve currently stopped rowing, I’m not longer listening to the audio books. So this is one of the first times I’ve actually watched an old Bond film having not listened to the book first. And while, I understand the book and film have virtually no comparison plot wise, I think, only watching the film and not having anything to compare it to as such, meant that I judged it on its own merit and not in competition.

This all added up to create a film that I actually enjoyed. It kept me entertained, I didn’t clock watch, I didn’t think about tomorrow night’s dinner, I sat there engrossed in the world of espionage and exports. If you start rating the Bond films from the earliest, Dr No, this is certainly my favourite so far by a long, long, way.

8 out of 10 stars (8 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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