For all of us whose adolescence was entwined around a vision of a coral beach and Ursula Andress emerging from the foam in a white bikini, it's very comforting to return to the ambience; as the admirable Q has it, 'I hope this is a return to more gratuitous sex and violence, Commander Bond'. The plot is a Thunderball retread - the underwater hijacking of nuclear weapons, the holding of the world to ransom; routine stuff if your name is 'Bond...James Bond'. As usual, a hefty slice of the pleasure in watching late Bondage comes from the villains, in this case Bergman's chief angst-master von Sydow as the man with the fluffy white cat, Brandauer proving that a man may smile and smile and be a villain, and Carrera, she of the pneumatic balcony. The action's good, the photography excellent, the sets decent; but the real clincher is the fact that Bond is once more played by a man with the right stuff. Civilisation is safe in the hands of he who has never tasted quiche, and who, on the evidence here, at least, can perform a very passable tango. CPea.
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