Once again for the first review today of James Bond’s You Only Live Twice (1967), here’s a review by Luke of Oracle of Film.
Thanks to Luke once again for this review!
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
“I think I will enjoy very much serving under you.”
Number of Times Seen: 4
Brief Synopsis: Bond fakes his own death to investigate the capture of an American shuttle.
My Take on It: You Only Live Twice is definitely the biggest Bond yet, racking up the biggest budget and an extraordinary amount of set-pieces. When your film has a volcano that doubles as an evil lair, you know that you are making a blockbuster event.
Yes, this movie does get rather silly. It doesn’t help that when it comes to 007 parodies, You Only Live Twice unwillingly sets itself up as the easiest to mimic. Blofeld finally appears, but Donald Pleasance plays it to theatrical, more pantomime villain than sinister mastermind. Another moment of camp spy fun is a build-your-own helicopter, which gets involved in a dogfight with three enemy helicopters. You Only Live Twice is a very daft movie, but that is part of the fun. These moments are both iconic and entertaining, making it hard to fault the addition of them.
My problem with this movie comes from more simple areas. The most criminal for me is the lack of conclusion. Saving the Blofeld card for another day, Bond doesn’t catch the bad guy, meaning that the movie’s ending hangs in the open, as if this is Part One of an ongoing story. It makes the movie feel a little too episodic, so re-watching this one made the slower build-up feel a little more frustrating. Also, the Bond girls here, while originally quite three-dimensional characters, succumb to Connery’s charms without so much as a fight, adding to the concept of Bond girls being flimsy excuses for a romance card.
Bottom Line: Good fun, but more money doesn’t equal quality and You Only Live Twice hasn’t aged as well as the four films that came before it.