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A real disaster of a flick that clearly reflects the uncertainty and disarray surrounding the franchise at the time. With George Lazenby out of the picture and a small cavalcade of fill-ins dropping off for one reason or another, EON pressed the panic button and brought Sean Connery out of mothballs for a swan song. It's a mistake from the very start. Not only does Connery look unreasonably old for the part, he badly overplays his confidence and worldliness, often coming off as desperate and smarmy. The screen is crowded with gaudy sideshow characters, including a trashy, ditsy leading lady and two villainous hit men who seem far more concerned with excessively elaborate setups than actually doing away with anybody. Even longtime nemesis Blofeld, who may have been the sole beacon of excellence in the equally-forgettable You Only Live Twice, is ruined by an awful recasting, horrendous new personality quirks and a master plan that makes no sense whatsoever. But that's par for the course, really, as the plot at large is peppered with so many dumb jokes and absurd asides that just keeping up with this swerving, goofball storyline is a challenge worthy of MI-6. There's a good car chase midway through the second act (which loses some steam thanks to a similar pursuit, just a few minutes earlier, involving a freaking moon rover) and a few of the gags are so mind-blowingly stupid that I couldn't help but laugh, but otherwise this is a completely insignificant chapter in the character's long, speckled history. Unless you're a dedicated completist, keep your distance.
Having revisited the final canonical Sean Connery 007 film, DIAMONDS
ARE FOREVER, I have to admit that I was wrong. I don't necessarily hate
this movie, and I don't believe it's the worst Connery 007 movie in the
series. That said, it's still an incredibly weak entry and a low note
for Sean Connery's end to his official series run. After George Lazenby
and ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE didn't perform as well as the
studio had hoped (though it was still a success), their mission became
to replicate the massive success of GOLDFINGER through any means
necessary. All the signs are there: Sean Connery in the title role,
Shirley Bassey performing the main theme, James Bond returning to
America to unravel a complex bit of villainy, and a more toned down
film that discards a lot (but not all) of the over-the-top elements of
the previous films. The result is a tonally dull and overly complex
that, while mildly entertaining at times, is pretty unmemorable.
Following the events of the previous film, 007 concludes his worldwide
manhunt for SPECTRE leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld when he confronts him
and apparently kills him in a plastic surgery facility. From there, he
is called in to investigate a diamond smuggling ring out of South
Africa in which the diamonds have never resurfaced. When people in the
smuggling chain start turning up dead, Bond finds a point of contact in
Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) and poses as a smuggler to infiltrate the
In a sense, it was good to have Connery back in the title role. But any good will the movie has from that is soon dissolved once we get into the movie itself. From the very beginning, I felt we were off on the wrong foot when it's revealed that Charles Gray has stepped into the shoes of iconic villain Blofeld. I don't have anything against Gray (though the only other time I've seen him on film was as the short-lived MI6 contact Henderson in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) but he doesn't fit the Blofeld mold. The series had gone through a few Blofelds at this point and I'd always wished they'd chosen one actor (preferably Donald Pleasance) and run with him. So, a new Blofeld and it's Charles Gray. It didn't work for me but it could've been forgiven if the rest of the movie wasn't so flawed. Let's move on to Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. Bizarre as they were, my major complaint with them had to be the fact that Putter Smith (Mr. Kidd) can't act. This is because he's not an actor. It shows. His line delivery is awkward and lifeless, and it ruins any potential creepiness coming from Bruce Glover's Mr. Wint. Let's shift to some positive casting: the Bond women in this movie are some of the hottest. Jill St. John and Lana Wood are both gorgeous and, while Plenty O'Toole (Wood) is sort of annoying, Tiffany Case (St. John) could be considered one of the stronger Bond women of the earlier films. She's tough and independent, even if she doesn't know her associates well enough to know if she should truly trust them.
Oh, one more bit of bad casting: Jimmy Dean, country star/sausage guru, as business mogul Willard Whyte. Yup.
Now, I am happy that the movie attempted to tone down a lot of the over-the-top campiness of some of the more recent fare. No orbital space capsule hijackings, no phony rear projection bobsled chases, etc. The bulk of this movie handles itself with some class. Until the moon buggy chase. At one point, Bond is escaping from an industrial complex where they're filming some sort of moon landing and Bond commandeers the goofiest looking moon buggy you'll ever see, drives it through a wall, and goes bouncing off through the Nevada desert pursued by guards on strange little motor tricycles with balloon tires. As Bond careens around the desert a medium speeds, cars and motor tricycles go barreling out of control and launch off sand dunes by the guards who've apparently never operated a motor vehicle. I'm sorry, but this sequence (when combined with Wint and Kidd mostly Kidd) ruins any credibility the movie hoped to maintain. It doesn't do the movie any favors that the plot comes across as way more complex than necessary. Around the midpoint of the film, I totally lose track of who has the diamonds and where they're going and I don't regain my bearings until Bond busts into Whyte's top-floor penthouse.
DIAMONDS ARE FORVER isn't the worst 007 film but it's far from one of the best. It's decent entertainment at times but there's nothing here (aside from the moon buggy chase) that remained with me after the final credits rolled when I first saw the movie years ago. The entire final act, with an assault on an oil rig, is a dud. I'd completely forgotten all about it until I rewatched the film again not long ago. As the seventh film in the series, it gives the impression that the series began to lose some steam and the 007 hit machine might not be as invulnerable as it once seemed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the last of the Bond films to feature SPECTRE and the second to
last one to feature Blofeld as the main enemy. Connery returns for this
film, because apparently they made an offer that he could not refuse,
but this is the last official Bond film that he appears in, and the
franchise is then taken up by Roger Moore with a multitude of new
opponents. Connery does take the role better in this film than in the
previous appearance, but maybe it is because he knew that it would be
his last one, and that they already had some options in the winds.
The film opens immediately after On Her Majesty's Secret Service, where Bond is hunting Blofeld after the murder of his wife, shortly after they were married. He finally catches up with Blofeld, but it was disappointing that the bald headed guy that had appeared in the last two movies had been replaced with a grey haired guy. The suggestion is that Blofeld has had plastic surgery to change his appearance, however it is clear that Bond does recognise him. Personally I was disappointed that they had changed Blofeld's character, and the movie definitely loses points for that.
However, this is still one of my favourites, and most memorable, films. The bulk of the action takes place in Las Vegas where Bond is on the trail of a diamond smuggling cartel. It seems that Spectre has pretty much been defeated, and this is Blofeld's last attempt at world domination. However, we do not realise that Blofeld is actually involved until most of the way through the movie, as the organisation is some shadowy group that appears to be connected with the mob.
Two of the main antagonists are interesting, yet they are also incredibly brutal. In the book they were the antagonists, and Blofeld seemed to have been added simply as an after thought. I guess it is good that after this film they could no longer use SPECTRE because they were then forced to look for new and other antagonists to send Bond up against.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Diamonds Are Forever may not be the most memorable or all around best
entry of the series indeed, the general consensus seems to be that it
is one of the worst but it does deliver most of the things I look for
in a Bond film; good fights and car chases, witty dialogue, attractive
women, and, most of all, a couple of hours of sheer entertainment.
Things start off wonderfully with a pre-credit sequence, where James Bond hunts down the archrival Blofeld, presumably for revenge from the previous film, that really sets the tone of the film; incredibly cheesy but lots of fun. After that we get a plot about diamond smuggling and some kind of evil scheme including nuclear warfare and world domination that is as difficult to follow as it is to care for, but it does provide a good playfield for Bond. Most notably, there is a great fight scene in an elevator, and a sensational car chase through Las Vegas.
This was Sean Connery's last film as James Bond (save the somewhat unofficial Never Say Never Again), which might explain why he looks a bit uninspired. Nevertheless, an uninspired Connery is still better than most actors, at least in this role. With very few gadgets and virtually no screen time for Q and Moneypenny, he has to carry the film a lot on his own, and still does a good job with that.
There are still some complaints to be made about Diamonds Are Forever. It features the usual dull climax at the villain's base with lots of explosions and an alarming countdown, and the henchmen Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint are awfully weird and misplaced. It is unsure who they are working for or what they are doing, and the homosexual subtext is strangely out of place. However, most of the weak points can easily be forgiven when you have so much fun along the way.
A Bond outing that is curiously short on action and one which is often criticized by Bond-enthusiasts as being responsible for the lighter tone that has been subsequently prevalent in the series. It is not without its merits: It does have some of the wittiest exchanges in the series, Hamilton's direction and Adam's production design ensure some definitive Bond moments, Barry's score is top-notch, and Connery exudes his usual authority. But the film has only a couple of cursory car chases and an anticlimactic climax to complement it, which is a pretty humble deal in comparison to the extravagance of its predecessor. Additionally, the Las Vegas setting feels rather dull, failing to offer much scope for adventure. In all, though not bad, the film somewhat compulsively refuses to elevate itself into a higher plane. Strange.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When Bond, at the very brief intro, throws the bad guy easily in the
poor lair's mud saying (Welcome to hell Blofeld), you'll understand
simply that this one isn't about action. (Diamonds Are Forever) is the
funniest Bond yet, and originally a comedy more than anything else. I
bet it was a vacation for the franchise's team in Las Vegas. So, for
anybody loves Bond movies as action / spy thrillers, this could be
their most provocative one in the series. And for the rest, it's the
relief or the comic episode. As for me, I'm one of the "rest" because I
love it very much.
I rank it also as the second sexiest Bond (after Thunderball). Jill St. John the first American Bond girl was one of the best ever. She's exceptionally sexy. For one reason she can be hot by only a look, and for another reason her manners were a bit outrageous compared to Bond's other girls (she said "my behind" along with the immortally ambiguous, sort of fun to think about, "Blow Up Your Pants" !). She was astonishing in that skimpy violet bikini, while (Guy Hamilton)'s naughty, oh too naughty, camera shooting her from the back side in close distances and more than once ! Especially when she was handing over the tape to Connery.. Ahhh that was sexually bold to holy extent. Over and above I'm just crazy about her intro, considering it one of the most breathtaking intros in the history of cinema! (along with Ann-Margaret in Viva Las Vegas, Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot..).
This movie is as Jill St. John's loudly colored bikini; campy yet funny and hot. It's one licentious Bond, filled up with just sexual spices and sarcastic joking. They even deleted a Sammy Davis Jr. cameo (maybe to reduce the hilarity of it). The Bond stuff was in the background, since the mission this time got nothing to do with espionage. The climactic sequence seemed like an empty repetition of maybe all the previous climactic sequences with a ticking bomb in a lair, many henchmen running in uniform, Bond trying to flee, with always a girl in a bikini (or not too much clothes!). This is what I call a boring deja-vu already. But some comedy made it less boring and more entertaining this round.
By the way here, and maybe here only, the rocket that Bond wants to, and used to, blow near the end looks like anything but a rocket. Well, strangely this time when it comes to its shape Austin Powers was right! And come to think of it; it's the climax of the 60's wicked metaphor that distinguished the whole Bond; beating the evil guy's attempt to penetrate the world, and rape the peace by blowing up his horny.. let's say virility! Then, for more teasing, winning the girl ! And if you have doubts just remember that (Shirley Bassey) fainted when she knew how the movie's remarkable theme song was a figurative expression about penis (it's true story, I did my researches well on that !).
(Connery) was weary; looking tired to be Bond, or trying his best to look tired to be Bond! He clearly did it for the money, but unlike (Never Say Never Again) he seems this time really uninterested (or uninteresting !).
If you want to sum up this movie then think : Jill St. John walking in front of the camera in only a panty and bra, Lana Wood as (Plenty O'Toole) going in front of the camera in only a panty!, 2 astonishing chicks trying to kill Bond in their bikinis (Oh Yeah!), 2 more violent men assassins yet loving each other gaily (!), Bond landing on a toilet seat, Q playing Las Vegas games, and Ernst Stavro Blofeld himself dressed as a woman and talking about nice cheeks !! As you see it is a gay party. Sometimes too gay to be a spoof of itself, or simply the most comic Bond. A colorful time both ways.
Diamonds are Forever was Connery's assignment to reprise the role of James Bond after turning down the earlier starring role of Our Majestry's Secret Service and this was left to George Lazonby. OOMSS may have received mixed reviews but it was clear that Lazonby as Bond was completely lacklustre and it wasn't surprising that he only made one appearance as the super spy while Blofield may been played by different actors such as Donald Pleasance, Telly Savalas and this time, Charles Gray in this 1971 release. Diamonds are Forever is a highly watchable film because there are some excellent choice of locations and my favourite is Las Vegas and the Neveda desert and there is generally good levels of action and the car chases along with the humour and dialogue that adds up. But the film is not without its drawbacks by being a bit dated and it is sometimes lacking the qualities of earlier Connery-era Bond films, being more violent and also a little bit dreary and has also been hampered by production problems. Finally, compared to today's Las Vegas, its hard to imagine what it was like back in 1971 with all those frequent changes that have taken place over the years making it virtually unrecognisable.
Fleming's novels were more than once accused of sadism by critics, fortunately in most cases, not much of that made it into the movies. "Diamonds Are Forever", though, has not only some scenes of very dark humor (for example when Plenty is thrown out of the window - and the killer "apologises" for her safe landing with the words "I didn't know there was a pool down there"), but regrettably also a few others that border on the tasteless. I am thinking of the way Bond disposes of the 2 killers on the cruise ship, or when he happily says he "sincerely hopes" Franks is dead - in these scenes, the audience gets the impression he actually enjoys killing people in interesting, painful ways which is a long way from the old-school type of hero that would kill only for self-defense or if it really can't be avoided. From the fantasy in "Goldfinger" and "You Only Live Twice", we are down to earth here which also shows in the locations that are not exotic, but plainly continental Europe (Amsterdam) and the USA. There even is a car chase scene which would fit into anything from "Smokey And the Bandit" to "Kojak", but for Bond it's below standard to trash a few cars. What I liked best: the escape with the moon car is funny and unusual, the 2 athletic ladies kicking Bond where it hurts were a novelty, and I liked Charles Gray as a villain with a good reason to attack Washington DC ("If we destroy Kansas, the world may not hear about it for years"). Instead of a little known Bond girl whose participation in a Bond is the only highlight of her career, this time we get to see an actress already known for her other movies: Jill St.John was a great choice for the part of Tiffany Case. Not one of the top 10 Bond movies, but "Diamonds Are Forever" still has a handful of good moments.
After a one-film hiatus, Connery returns for the seventh entry in the series, once again matching wits with nemesis Blofeld. Connery looks old and bored, which is not surprising given the rehashed plot and rather dreary action sequences. The pre-credit sequence reveals that Bond has also become alarmingly misogynistic. Rather than just shoot Bond and get it over with, Blofeld concocts elaborate plans to kill the agent, allowing the latter to escape to make another sequel. St. John gallantly carries on the tradition of lovely Bond women, doing much of her acting in a bikini. The final shootout goes on much too long and ends in a whimper.
"Diamonds are Forever" is insulting on so many levels. First it throws
away the opportunity it had to capitalize on the brilliantly brutal and
genuinely sad ending to the excellent previous Bond entry, "On Her
Majesty's Secret Service", by basically making a joke (several jokes,
actually) out of it, and reducing Bond once again to a wisecracking,
ultra-suave cartoon character. Then, for the rest of the film it's one
cheesy line after the other. Did the screenwriters even bother to work
This is without question the hokiest of the Connery Bond films. It's just not funny at all, and features a monstrosity of a plot which is utterly ludicrous from start to finish. Is there anything here besides ultra dumb 'science fiction' and inconceivably lame jokes, and not in the charming way much of the sexual punning in the better entries come off, just overly silly and bad comedy.
Well, Sean Connery is back, but this is nowhere near the quality of his past performances (I even liked his often criticized turn in "You Only Live Twice). As a matter of fact, he just sleepwalks through the whole movie, and seems awfully cheery for a guy who lost his wife not all that long ago. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" earned more than $500 million internationally when adjusted for inflation, which shows that people did generally enjoy it in spite of the negative media surrounding Lazenby's (admittedly idiotic) idea to quit the role. So why did the writers and producers choose to dumb the next entry down to a point where the hardly intellectual "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" looks like an avant-garde masterpiece of philosophical film-making in comparison?
"Diamonds are Forever" is seriously, seriously dumb and obviously made for adolescents or those with an adolescent mindset. Hell, the premise is that Blofeld wants to build a giant laser satellite with diamonds. There's also an obvious increase in nudity and sex here, which I wouldn't mind if it wasn't so obviously and haphazardly shoehorned into the movie to draw crowds, which again begs the question of why the producers thought the movie needed that considering the financial success of the previous entry.
Dumbed down and sexed up, "Diamonds are Forever" is a poor send-off for Connery, who barely shows any interest in the role at all in his final performance before "Never Say Never Again", but THAT is a whole other story.
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