Bond Movie Review: You Only Live Twice

You Only Live Twice

There is an astronaut performing a spacewalk, and we get Mission Control trying to talk to them, and its looks really bad. I get the feeling they missed something, as one guy is in a plaid shirt, I’m guessing in his living room by himself. Another craft shows up and captures it, and the astronaut is too slow in getting back in the craft, or even angling himself to get caught as well, so his cable is cut as the craft moves on. Had the effects been better, this could have been a stronger opener.

We popover to James Bond in bed with a Chinese woman, after some light racism, some dudes bust in and shoot up one of those beds that fold up to the wall. The cops show up, and pick up Bonds head and see the blood and declare him dead.You Only Live Twice ship

Roll Credits

So how was You Only Live Twice?

Oh wait, He’s not dead, he’s just being buried at sea to get him to the Submarine where M and Moneypenny are waiting to give him the assignment of finding out who captured the satellite? So now Mi-6 is sending Bond to figure out what secret Asian mastermind is stealing the Spacecrafts, and they need to hurry, as the US blaming the USSR and want their ships back or there will be war and Vice versa, and since this is the 60s, they are launching craft almost weekly.

Bond is able to infiltrate Mr Roboto’s office and steals paperwork. After some fun, it’s determined that Mr Roboto is the person behind the threats. Bond fakes that he’s a potential client for Mr Roboto, but he seems through and tells his secretary to kill him. Bond’s Magic Penis does its job, and Bond escapes. Now we get some fights, and Bond is forced to become Japanese to try and stop Number One’s plan as the American’s are about to launch!

You Only Live Twice  lairSo how is You Only Live Twice?

Ok, Let me go over the flaws.
Turning Japanese is an awesome song, and lets not go into what the song means- but back to Bond. The whole Japanese segment is a bit insulting to modern ears, and to be honest, doesn’t work. Having “Ninja Training” is like people picking a fight saying they “Train UFC” and throwing a side kick. Just doesn’t work. The Ninjas might as well be the Japanese National Guard for all the specializes they have. Or yell Yo Joe.

From Vulture.com, just cause the list is awesome.

“To put it more bluntly: This film has not aged well. A few examples of why:

  1. James Bond says, “Why do Chinese girls taste different than other girls?” as he kisses a Chinese girl named Ling.
  2. Ling says, “Darling, I’ll give you the very best duck,” then tries to kill Bond, but instead helps him fake his own death, and afterwards is never mentioned again.
  3. Bond says to a Japanese superspy named “Tiger” Tanaka, “I like sake, especially when it’s served at the correct temperature: 98.4 degrees Fahrenheit.”You Only Live Twice Japanese
  4. Bond is bathed by a group of Asian women in bikinis, at which point Tanaka explains to him, “In Japan, men always come first. Women come second.” Bond’s response? “I might just retire here.”
  5. Bond chooses a Japanese woman for a massage, at which point she’s replaced by another Japanese woman, Aki, from earlier in the movie. When Bond says he couldn’t finish his massage earlier, Aki says, “This time you shall finish it.” Bond and Aki start inexplicably hooking up, and Aki says, “I think I will very much enjoy serving under you.”
  6. Bond goes to see chemical magnate Mr. Osato, and his assistant Helga Brandt says, “Mr. Osato believes in a healthy chest,” to which Bond responds, “Really,” as the camera carefully frames her bosom.
  7. Tiger has a ninja school and is training ninjas.
  8. Bond is made up to look Japanese, which he very much does not: He basically just gets a terrible wig and weird eye makeup.
  9. Bond takes a local Japanese girl as a wife, and her name is Kissy.
  10. Aki is killed by poison meant for Bond while lying in bed next to him, which Bond does not mourn or ever mention again.
  11. The movie ends with a full-scale ninja attack on the villain’s lair, which bizarrely includes Kissy, whom Bond ends the movie … kissing.”

In fact, the whole last part of the movie just kinda hurts what was, up until then, a very solid movie. I honestly think you could take the first half of this movie, and make it today.
Blofeld really seems like a wuss, and a bit of a coward, after being built so much. I understand its a Lex Luthor-type thing, but how bad-ass do you have to be to shoot a gun?

What does work?

You Only Live Twice  blofeldBlofeld is built as dangerous. Seemingly more henchpeople are killed by Spectre than by Bond. He comes across as ruthless, part of the reason why Blofeld become Dr Evil is such a disappointment at the end.  Blofelds lair? By Moneypenny’s Girdle, this thing is awesome. I mean watch your step when you visit, but this place looks awesome.

Helga Brandt is hit or miss. She comes off as dangerous as hell, and has that wonderful array of torture devices that have to get Steve Martin’s dentist all kinds of excited, but her fall is lame as hell, again, like Blofeld, start off awesome, then drops off.

That the problem with this movie for me, it starts off on such a great roll, and has this time crunch that’s gives a reason for the rushed aspect, but then we just quit for this stupid “Ninja Segment” It just hurts the flow and kills the movie- for what ends up being a standard running gunfight.

I’ll go 5 here, this isn’t a bad movie to take a look at, but the ending just hurts. Just due to the ending, and a spaceship eating another ship in space is fun, but whats the point again?

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