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Non-Review Review: Thunderball

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

Thunderball perhaps gets a bit of a bad wrap because it’s perhaps not quite as good as From Russia With Love or Goldfinger. I’d argue that very few Bond films are. Thunderball perhaps represents the first moment that the series came to a rest – the first three installments had been built around establishing the character, his world and the tropes and clichés that viewers could expect from movie to movie. Sometimes concepts evolved gradually (for example, the novelty henchmen grew from the three blind assassins to Klebb and her knifey boots to Oddjob), while sometimes they were introduced suddenly (Bond’s Aston Martin), but by the time the fourth film came around, all these elements had been fairly firmly established. As such, the fourth film seemed to be more intent on consolidating the series than in breaking new ground. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that.

Bond isn't washed up... yet...

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