After Thunderball, many people wondered if the James Bond series had finally jumped the shark and would fade out into the sunset.
Okay, maybe not at the time, but any self-respecting action movie junkie today that would have picked up on the Bond series today would have thought so… provided that they didn’t already know a ton of movies came after it.
Fine, it’s a bad hypothesis. What was not bad, however, was You Only Live Twice.
As far as Bond films go, You Only Live Twice was just about as perfect a Bond film as there could be. Evil genius with a cat and a scar on his face played by Donald Pleasence? Check. Ninjas? Check. Car chases and helicopter battles? Check. Sean Connery again? Check. Asian women giving men massages and more? Check over and over and over again.
Besides all of that, You Only Live Twice was able to take the ridiculousness of a spy movie and adapt it into real life activities such as the Space Race between the US and USSR. Some of the stunts were hokey but, unlike Thunderball, it was done with some sort of grace and a whole lot of self-deprecation.
Master Evil Plan:
SPECTRE and Japan plan to bring about World War 3 between Russia and the United States by stealing the country’s space shuttles in orbit and laying the blame on the opposite country.
Randomly Awesome 007 Moments:
1) James Bond dies. But just for a little while.
2) Bond gets into a kung fu fight, the greatest, longest fight ever in a Bond movie… so far. He then finishes it off with a drink.
3) Aki drives up on the Osato Corporation to bail Bond out in a Toyota 200GT constantly, and it’s awesome every time.
4) Bond gets bathed by three Japanese girls.
5) Japanese secret service carjacking by helicopter.
6) Aerial helicopter battle with Little Nellie.
7) Donald fucking Pleasence. Every single scene.
Randomly Horrible 007 Moments:
1) SPECTRE can launch a space shuttle hijacking. With technology like that, they should be able to write their own ticket in a legit business, right?
2) Bond makes a way too long debriefing on his aerial battle, using sexual innuendo about Little Nellie that was over the top. It’s a damn helicopter.
3) Bond does Japanese-face. Or whatever you want to call it. It’s like blackface, but more ridiculous.
4) The lava effects were severely lacking.
Randomly Awesome Quotes:
1) Ling: “Darling, I give you very best duck.”
2) Aki: “I think I will enjoy very much serving under you.”
3) James Bond: Japanese proverb say, ‘Bird never make nest in bare tree.'”
4) Tiger Tanaka: “Rule number two: in Japan, men come first, women come second.”
5) Tiger Tanaka: “The one thing my honorable mother taught me long ago was never to get into a car with a strange girl. But you, I’m afraid, will get into anything. With any girl.”
6) Q: “Look, 007, I’ve had a long and tiring journey, probably to no purpose, so I’m in no mood for juvenile quips.”
-Bond Kills: 12
-Bond friends killed: 3 (James Bond himself if that counts, Henderson, Aki) plus a crater-load of ninjas
-Bond assassination attempts:
1 by being shot up in a Murphy bed…even though it was staged.
3 by martial arts
1 by guns
1 by car chase
1 by dock thugs
2 by Blofeld (1 gun, 1 by blowing up his base)
I give this film 4.5 out of 5 Bonds in Japanese-face. One of the best ever.