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Never Say Never Again
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Never Say Never Again is the 1983 James Bond movie that was Sean Connery's seventh and final portrayal of 007. This has all of the trademarks and tropes of James Bond movies. The secret agent beds several women (two in one afternoon). He kills countless men and at least one woman (with an exploding pen). Though deaths are bloodless and rarely graphic, one brief scene shows a woman dead, face down in water, with her eyes still open. The main female character lives with an evil terrorist who threatens to cut her throat if she leaves him. Women's bodies are frequently shown wet, in bikinis, and often without focusing on their faces. In one scene, the main female character is tied to a post, barely dressed, in front of a band of aggressive men on horseback who offer money for her. And just like in other Bond movies, sexual innuendo is a frequent source of humor: The women say things like "You're obviously well-equipped" to Bond, who counters with lines such as, "Going down, one should always be relaxed." Of course, Bond is shown drinking his martinis, and there are also scenes of characters drinking tequila shots and assorted cocktails. One of the minor characters is a heroin addict.
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What's the story?
Sean Connery reprises his role as the promiscuous secret agent in the never-ending cat-and-mouse flick NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. When a terrorist group captures several nuclear weapons in an attempt to blackmail the world powers, 007 is on the case. In the course of capturing the weapons and the bad guys, he wins the affections of the bad guy's lover, Domino Petachi (Kim Basinger). Together, they globe-trot, make beautiful love to each other, and avenge the murder of Domino's brother.
Is it any good?
Sean Connery is compelling as an action/adventure star, with his devilish wink and Scottish brogue, but the constant near-nude women in powerless roles here is tiring. James Bond movies might be more appealing if they weren't so royally sexist. More recent Bond movies tone down the overt sexism a bit, but this '80s classic had yet to get with the modern-day program. The action scenes also suffer from being dated. Several fight scenes look like bad WWF matches, replete with furniture smashing and throwing burning liquid in the eyes. And it's excruciatingly long: more than two hours of knife fights, exploding pens, underwater wrestling, tuxedos, and fiendish snarls. Only for true -- and mature -- fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about media images of men. What is appealing about James Bond? Can you separate out his honorable qualities from his less noble ones? Why do women seem so attracted to him? Do you know any men like James Bond in real life? If not, what does that tell you about his character?
Talk about the women in this movie. What are their motivations for working with the bad guy? What, if anything, is appealing about these women? Do you know any women like the characters in this movie?
What are some of the trademarks of a James Bond movie? What aspects of these movies have timeless appeal, and what aspects seem dated?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.