You Only Live Twice (1967)

Well From Russia with Love had…Russians, Goldfinger had the Chinese and now we have the Japanese in You Only Live Twice. God they’re not pulling any punches are they? Well can’t really say anything it’s the middle of the Cold War and you’re adapting books, not a lot you can do really….

The film revolves around SPECTRE (oh hai guys. Where have you been?) using a spacecraft to steal American and Russian space shuttles in order to provoke World War three. Bond must stop Blofeld (Played by Donald Plesence) whilst wooing  as Aki (played by Akiko Wakabayashi) who is then swiftly replaced after her death by Kissy Suzuki (played by Mie Hama). Bond must also stop the SPECTRE agents  Mr. Osato (played by Teru Shimada) and Helga Brandt (played by Karin Dor). Bond is assisted by Tiger Tanaka (played by Tetsurō Tamba).

If Thunderball was the worst film I’ve reviewed so far then You only Live Twice is the best. The acting is, as always, great and the characters are back to being memorable, even though they probably shouldn’t be. Allow me to explain. Firstly we have Mr Osato, who acts as something of the main villain for most of the film until Blofeld is revealed. Osato does very little and therefore pretty forgettable. Then we have Helga Brandt who follows the idea of the Femme Fatale and, whilst the character does about the same as Fiona from Thunderball she is more attractive and therefore slightly more memorable. Even so she leaves too small an impression. Finally we have Hans who seems to look a lot like Red Grant. In fact this sort of looking henchman is repeated throughout the series. It becomes cliché and therefore the character fades in with the rest. It is however lovely to see Blofeld at last. All of that tension really pays off and the scar is a nice touch, which has been parodied over and over again. , especially in the Austin Powers films. I love the action, especially the fight with Hans and the fight with the assassin in Osato’s office (little trivia that was actually the Rock’s grandfather). I love the setting, I’m a fan of Japanese culture anyway and it was lovely to see it. But by far the most important and best looking set is the volcano base. This is the quintessential Bond villain base and I would wager on it being the best of the series. Finally the song. Nancy fuc$ing Sinatra. Love her Dad, love her. I think the song is one of the best in the series and the backing images of volcanic eruptions look great and…Holy crap I haven’t talked about the dancing-girls. Well they add a lot to the films and this one is no exception.

I love this film, best so far,m perfect Bond film.



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