Editorials

James Bond: From Worst to Best – You Only Live Twice

You Only Live Twice

donald_pleasance_blofeld_you_only_live_twice

This is probably the film most associate with Ernst Stavro Blofeld and what he looks like. Donald Pleasence is fantastic in the role and it’s here that he received his signature look with his bald head, scarred eye, and white kitten on his lap. This is obviously what Mike Myers picked up on back in the day when he decided to spoof the series in his Austin Powers films. Actually, a bulk of this film was parodied in the first of that series as well. Blofeld is a great villain and Pleasence gives his best interpretation here. As far as the film goes, this is where the series got a bit goofy (luckily they brought it back to reality with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). The gadgets are great, if over the top, but it’s really Bond posing as a Japanese man where this one gets a little crazy – especially since Connery already towers over the rest of the cast. While that is a fairly small aspect of the film, it feels unnecessary. Other than that, this one is a ton of fun.

First of all, the stunts are pretty fantastic. There is a great sequence where a helicopter lowers down a large magnet to snatch up a car that is moving at high speed, and drops it into the ocean. It’s a pretty fun sequence and is well shot. There’s quite a bit of action in this one, making it really go by fast. Connery is great as always here, clearly having some fun. The sequence with Q’s tiny helicopter is a lot of fun, if ridiculous. But watching his tiny helicopter face off against four armed military helicopters is a blast…it’s a good thing he had four different gadgets to use as he took them down one-by-one! The final sequence with Bond raiding Blofeld’s volcanic lair is also great. Really stands apart from the rest because he teams up with a bunch of ninjas to do it! Seems really crazy when I write it out like that, but it oddly enough works in the film.

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The chairs in this movie are even too small for Connery

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I mean, just look at him trying to get out of it now

This and Live and Let Die were the last of the classic Bond films that I watched, and I couldn’t believe how this one had flown under my radar. Especially since it has become such an obvious influence on other films, like the aforementioned Austin Powers and notably in Brad Bird’s The Incredibles. There are a lot of Bond “trademarks” here; the volcanic lair, Blofeld, the cat, the indoor shark pool, as well as a handful of gadgets. While it may not be one of the more substantial Bond flicks, it is fairly seminal and definitely a fun ride. Aside from a couple outlandish moments, this one clips along at a brisk pace and Connery is great here.

Worst to Best so far:
24. Live & Let Die
23. The Man with the Golden Gun
22. A View to a Kill
21. Die Another Day
20. Octopussy
19. Moonraker
18. Diamonds are Forever
17. Quantum of Solace
16. Licence to Kill
15. The World is Not Enough
14. You Only Live Twice

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