The fifth James Bond film took a step down in quality for me as You Only Live Twice has some major flaws going against it.
In the height of the Cold War, someone is responsible for hijacking space shuttles, first from the US and then from the Soviet Union. The British government believe that it is someone other than one of the two main powers and send James Bond (Sean Connery) to Japan to investigate.
We do officially meet Blofeld (Donald Pleasence), Number One of SPECTRE, who we have been teased about for the previous several movies.
The story of the movie is very thin and contains so many holes that you have to stretch credibility way too much. The pacing of the movie is very shaky. The first half of the film is dull. The second half is ridiculous.
I did enjoy the pool of piranha in Blofeld’s chambers. That was worth a couple of cool deaths.
Honestly, there were a few times where the film felt a little racist. I do not think the film intended to be racist. It was just a part of the time. So I did cringe a couple of times looking at the film with 21st century eyes instead of 20th century ideas.
Roald Dahl was one of the writers on this film, which was disappointing because I did not find anything interesting here considering I really enjoy Dahl’s work.
I see on IMDB that something that I saw early was, in fact, true. Early in the movie, when Bond was fighting a henchman in the office of Osato (Teru Shimada), I thought that the henchman looked familiar. I thought that the man looked like “High Chief” Peter Maivia, a professional wrestler from the 60’s and 70’s, who was the grandfather of Dwayne Johnson. Turns out that it was Chief Maivia. The bond franchise has used several pro wrestlers over the years (including Professor Tanaka) in henchmen roles. It was cool to see Maivia here.
I found this Bond film disappointing and it sure seemed as if Sean Connery had begun to be wavering on the role.