Just when we thought the James Bond film reviews were over and done with, a reader of the Nerdscoop website recently informed us that one film has been forgotten. Sean Connery returns to his most famous role as James Bond 007 in Never Say Never Again. This film is classed as an unofficial Bond film, which means it wasn’t made by EON productions (Albert R. Broccoli’s production team) and therefore didn’t contain the James Bond music or the infamous gun barrel opening.
This picture is a remake of earlier James Bond film “Thunderball” which also starred Sean Connery. Being released in 1983, the same year as official Bond film Octopussy, the at the time media created a battle of the Bonds scenario. Thankfully the two films were released at separate times and Octopussy naturally did take in more money at the box office.
Never Say Never Again is essentially a more accurate adaptation of the original Thunderball novel, with slight differences. There’s no jet pack, and the story stays considerably closer to Ian Fleming’s original intention than the “official” Thunderball movie did. When 007 (who is now older, yet still in good shape) starts to slip in training,”M” orders him to take some much needed relaxation. However, when two nuclear weapons go missing the experienced James Bond is put back into the field and begins his search to prevent (you guessed it) World War 3.
It isn’t a total failure, being superior to Octopussy, but isn’t in the same league as Thunderball was. They were basically the same films with an older Connery in this one. The only real difference is the execution. There was always going to be a comparison and Thunderball wins it hands down; the villain was noticeably bad in this and I kind of missed Adolfo Celi, who played his role to perfection in Thunderball.
Is Never Say Never Again worth a watch? Only you can decide, but as a hardcore Bond fan I would say maybe write this one off as an honest mistake.