Never Say Never Again
By Sierra Filucci,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Boobs, bombs, and Bond galore in epic 007 thriller.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
James Bond fights evil. Even though his boss and the British government seem rather inept, he makes decisions to help keep the world safe based on what's right and wrong. That said, the movie sends stereotypical messages about women and certain ethnic groups.
Positive Role Models
James Bond's behavior is risky (because that's his job) and he's a pleasure seeker (caviar, martinis, sex). In the film, he never seems less than noble, but as a role model for boys, he doesn't demonstrate ideal or even realistic choices. There's nothing wrong with pleasure, but when it comes at the cost of making true connections with people and valuing people for more than sex or what they can do for you, it becomes problematic. The women in the movie are definitely not role models. They're both sex objects, one evil and powerful, one innocent and powerless.
Violence & Scariness
Almost nonstop fighting, with guns, knives, spears, bombs, exploding pens, etc. People die but there's no blood. One brief shot of a dead woman lying face down in water. A woman throws her pet poisonous snake into the car of the man she double-crosses; for good measure she blows up his car before rescuing the snake.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Ladies just fall into James Bond's bed without much effort on his part. Though the sex is frequent, and promiscuous (one day he has sex with one woman, fights a few sharks, and then beds the woman who rescues him from the ocean), it's not graphic. One brief scene seems to be Bond thrusting behind a woman but turns out to be him getting a chiropractic adjustment. As in other Bond films, sexual innuendo in the dialogue is a frequent source of humor.
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Occasional mild swearing, like "hell," "ass," and "damn." Sexual innuendo a frequent source of humor in the dialogue; for instance, "You're marvelously well-equipped," and "Going down, one should always be relaxed."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Bond enjoys his martinis -- shaken, not stirred. Characters also drink tequila shots, brandy, assorted cocktails. Some smoking in the background. One minor character is a heroin addict.
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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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Never Say Never Again
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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?
- In theaters: October 7, 1983
- On DVD or streaming: October 17, 2000
- Cast: Kim Basinger, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Rowan Atkinson, Sean Connery
- Director: Irvin Kershner
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 134 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: May 18, 2023
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