Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Chosen by Blogalongabond
And so we enter the dark days of the 1970s.
Bond's Intro:This plays the hide the face game again but Connery's reveal is sloppy and lazy feeling this time round, an atmosphere that carries over into his acting and the film as a whole. We get no reference to the traumatizing events of the last film but Bond does at least project some angriness that could be read into. Unfortunately the 'dispatching' of Blofeld so campy (a problem it will have again at the end of this film and then once again at the beginning of For Your Eyes Only) it undermines any tension or aggression. Bond is at least very competent here, following his leads and taking out villains on his own very capably.
Theme Song and Credits: A pretty terrific though very rude Bassey number pick things up, though the perky nippled silhouettes are a little tiresome now.
The Ladies: Jill St. John is ok but Tiffany Case suffers from a severe case of stupidity (we will see this arc almost verbatim in a couple of movies time but with a less interesting actress in Britt Ekland) and pointless demeaning of women. Lana Wood is a delight but again horribly written and after one scene, her death has all the impact of a wet tissue hitting a window.
The Baddies: Oh Blofeld! You really are a shitty super villain. His plan doesn't really make a huge amount of sense but at least he's consistent in his approach to women (you really think he would have learnt his lesson from Tracy though and just shot Tiffany). I like to believe that Irma Bunt has gone through the same miraculous plastic surgery procedure as Blofeld and is Bambi. Or maybe Thumper. Either is fine.
Charles Gray is not a very imposing bad guy and dressed up as an old woman even less so.
License to Kill: He's pretty vicious in this one, throwing scapels accurately (with some Hammer Horror style blood letting) and using Blofeld as a wrecking ball (though that bit is so slow and clunky I can't imagine Ernst got much more than slightly travel sick). However all marginal notion of him as a secret agent is right out. There is a bizarre conversation with Case where they both talk about having killed James Bond (continuing the series' obsession with his death - also seen later here where he is almost cremated) as if he were a famous celebrity.
Bond hates foreigners: He's pretty much a dick to everyone no matter nationality.
Bond hates women: Throttles a woman with her own bikini top, lets O'Toole be thrown out of a window, slaps Case around and calls her a twit because she tries to save the world.
Bond's crazy knowledge: Shows M up over his amazing knowledge of Claret but to his bosses delight knows little about diamonds.
Bond's a big fat snob: Once again catches a villain out because of alcohol.
00's killed: The only 'important' death is dealt with so off-handly as to barely even register. Poor Plenty O'Toole.
Mini overview: A fairly miserable effort, one of the worst (two Moore starrers are in the running too) with wit replaced with overt camp, a bored looking Connery and terribly written females. Even it's action sequences feel lazy (a moon buggy chase so poor and pointless it almost makes me feel fondly over the Hover Gondola to come), uninspired and dreary.