50 years of James Bond
From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, we revisit all 22 James Bond films
As the twenty-third 007 adventure 'Skyfall' hits cinemas, Time Out's resident gentleman spy Adam Lee Davies takes a trip through Bond's back pages. We got the girls, we got the gadgets, and we got the glamour: truly, all of Bond is here...
Read Time Out's review of 'Thunderball'
Villain: Emile Largo
At stake: The nuking of Miami
Candy: Claudine Auger/Luciana Paluzzi
Gizmo: Jet Pack
Theme song: ‘Thunderball’ by Tom Jones
Quote: 'See you later, irrigator!'
Overlong, repetitive and already starting to feel a little familiar, ‘Thunderball’ is the first of these Bond films to occasion memories of falling asleep in front of the telly after too much Christmas pud.
It starts well enough with James narrowly coming out on top of a bizarre and bruising scrap with a transvestite French spy before making a daring jet-pack escape. It doesn’t take long, however, before the film gets bogged down in an off-the-peg plot about a couple of stolen missiles being used to further SPECTRE’s evil designs on the world.
Connery is masterful throughout; as assured, trim and cruel as the role demands and delivering his most controlled performance as Bond. John Barry’s grand and portentous score is similarly impressive, but neither Connery nor the music are able to pump life into a dull story that’s executed without any real sense of purpose.