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What's the story?
THUNDERBALL gets rolling when evil organization SPECTRE hijacks a British bomber and uses the two atomic warheads onboard as bargaining chips. They want uncut diamonds -- lots of them --- otherwise they'll launch the weapons at an American city. James Bond (Sean Connery) sets out to recover the aircraft, and ends up in the Bahamas with curvy, bikini-clad Domino. She helps him get the goods on SPECTRE's Number Two, who is hiding the stolen aircraft underwater, guarded by sharks.
Is it any good?
Thunderball bored the socks off adventure-hungry kids in the 60s, and time hasn't done it any favors. Sean Connery plays an admirable Bond, but he doesn't have enough opportunity to cap off his victories with suave witticisms. Tossed out with a deadpan, these comic touches are a hallmark of the series. Without many of these moments, the adventure seems lackluster.
This installment in the series doesn't follow the usual formula of pitting the debonair favorite against a cunning adversary. This time, Bond chases a lackey, a Number Two, and spends much of his time on a global egg hunt for a downed plane. The real crippler, though, is that much of the action takes place underwater. Although the cinematography is advanced for its day, the slow, unwieldy underwater fight scenes don't deliver a requisite adrenaline rush. Oddly, the scenes are cross-cut with shots of disinterested sea life, as if to suggest that director Terence Young was more interested in fish and lobsters than he was in the action sequences.
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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.