A fake Fabergé egg and a fellow agent's death lead James Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. forces.
SPECTRE agents under the command of Ernst Blofeld infiltrate a US air force base situated in the UK and steal two Tomahawk cruise missiles. When NATO is held to ransom, the British reactive their "00" agents and send James Bond to recapture the warheads and kill Blofeld. Written by
Dave Jenkins <email@example.com>
This Warner Brothers film was intended to go head-to-head with the official Eon Bond series film Octopussy (1983) at the box office. Never Say Never Again (1983) was released just 4 months after Octopussy. Because the films starred Roger Moore and Sean Connery, each equally recognized to the movie going public as James Bond at the time, much of the talk in the press was of a "Bond vs. Bond" or "Battle of the Bonds" showdown at the box office. Most industry analysts predicted that Never Say Never Again would win out at the box office due to the return of Connery, more press, and a significantly larger production budget than Octopussy. According to a press release from Variety in 1985 this was not the case. Variety quoted figures from MGM and Warner Brothers that listed Octopussy's US gross at $67.9 million and Never Say Never Again's US gross at $55.4 million. It also listed Octopussy's worldwide gross at $187.5 million, and Never Say Never Again's worldwide gross at $160 million. The article also stated that according to the studios, Octopussy had $34.031 million in US rentals, while Never Say Never Again had $28.2 million in US rentals. When the final results were in Never Say Never Again and Sean Connery ended up losing the much discussed "Bond vs. Bond" showdown. See more »
Bond loses his shoes, shirt and jacket when he jumps the horse into the ocean. See more »
"Never Say Never Again", as everyone knows by now, was the second Bond film to be released in 1983, and was nearly as big a hit as "Octopussy" was (that film was still playing in some theaters when "Never Say Never Again" was released). Lacking the distinctive gun-barrel opening and famous Bond theme among other distinctive features of the EON franchise films, this lacks not only the feel of the EON Bond series, but of Fleming's work, leaving a seriously bloated mess of an American action thriller which happens to feature Bond as the lead character.
Why? That's the first question anybody should be asking about this film. A cynic (which I probably qualify as) would say 'for the cash', others might say it was just to get Connery back as Bond and give him a proper goodbye. Some might say it was in retaliation to the direction the Moore films were headed in, although "For Your Eyes Only" is a far superior and far less bloated film than this, so that argument doesn't quite work.
Of course, there's a lot to dislike here. Connery has moments of inspiration where he slips right back into character, but for most of the film he just looks really old and slightly ridiculous, which fits the plot but doesn't make his performance any less tired. Still, I'd argue that this is a better send-off for him as Bond than "Diamonds are Forever". Kim Basinger is a terrible Bond girl, and as much as I like Rowan Atkinson he shouldn't be anywhere near a Bond film. In addition, the villains here fall flat as well.
That said, "Never Say Never Again" is not a film I can hate, even if I wanted to (and I never want to hate anything), simply because little of it comes off as especially bad yet all of it comes off as flat, bland, and uninspired, and far, far too American for a Bond film. It's just sort of... there being the bloated, over-long, but not terrible film it is. I don't count it as a 'Bond film', as it doesn't feel remotely like one, but even just as an action thriller it doesn't quite work.
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