In the opening scene of Thunderball James Bond takes off from peril in a Jetpack. He climbs into his more beat up Aston Martin and uses driving skill and water jets in his car to get away with her assistant Paula riding along. Right from the beginning we see this is going to be a big film and James Bond is going to bring it as big as he can. However no martini's and no Bond, James Bond introductions left out a little bit of Bond's staples, not that they are required here. We find James Bond has an assistant who is never really explained or referenced. Why would a 00 need an assistant? Otherwise Bond is in top form again, for this grand movie.
3 girls fell to Bond's charms in Thunderball. First a blonde nurse who helps Bond heal up in more ways than one. A classically beautiful girl that is easily forgotten and just the opening Bond girl for the movie. Fiona Volpe is the second a red haired Seductress who is an assassin and works for SPECTRE. She is chesty, gets naked often and wields a shotgun like a pro. She is one of my favorite Bond bad girls so far. She is focused, sexy, and evil. She doesn't flip to the good side and I love that. The good Bond girl is Domino Derval. A beautiful Brunette, one of my favorite Bond girls based on looks alone. She is stuck with the villain of this movie and wishes to be away with Bond, she is helpful throughout the film and one of my favorites so far.
Villain And Threat:
2 Atomic Bombs have been stolen from a plane using a body double. Those bombs are set to be blown up in 2 major cities in the world unless 100,000,000 in diamonds is delivered in 7 days. While the goal seems to be only the money the threat is huge. Ernst Blofeld and SPECTRE are the leaders of the threat, but, Emilio Largo is the man in charge of this specific operation. He owns a tank of sharks on his Bahamas property and commands the evil Fiona Volpe and keeps Domino Derval as his mistress. There are missile firing motorcycles and underwater secret passages that Emilio controls. The threat and viillians here seem like a real threat and it doesn't seem like James Bond is going to save the world in time in Thunderball.
This movie used a lot of underwater filming using new technologies that no one had ever seen before. James Bond movie again paved the way for film technology of the future. Besides all the amazing underwater filming there are a load of smart cool gadgets in Thunderball. There is a tiny 4 minute underwater breathing apparatus, an underwater camera to take pictures, and an underwater geiger counter to find the missing atomic bombs. A radio transmitter to track someone, that can be swallowed like a pill, and the biggest gadget a cruise yacht that splits into two to reveal a speed boat leaving the back half behind.
If I was going to compare this movie to everything before it, this movie delivers the best of everything I have written about. Good gadgets, a strong threat, beautiful women and a coll James Bond. However I for some reason do not see this as the best yet. There were parts that seemed slow or went on a bit too long. It is a strong contender, but I do not think this ranks higher than Goldfinger. But worth watching for sure. A great addition to the James Bond library.