On a routine space mission, a manned American rocket is attacked by an unknown craft. America suspects the Soviets. The British, believing the situation to be more complicated, send James Bond to Japan, near to where the mysterious ship landed. When a Soviet rocket goes missing in a similar way, international tensions increase and Bond is left with only a few short days to prevent the outbreak of a third world war.
This film contains all the usual elements of a Bond film: beautiful young women, action, exotic locations, and helped by Connery who by now was extremely comfortable in his role. However, Roald Dahl's script requires such a suspension of belief (even more than usual) for this film to work, it makes it difficult to enjoy. Bond manages to fake his own death, get married, and become Japanese, all in the space of two hours, the most unbelievable of these being the acceptance of Connery as a Japanese peasant.
While Dahl clearly helped thrust Bond into a whole new world of villainy and technology, maybe his concepts were slightly ahead of themselves, or maybe he just tried too hard. This was Connery's last outing as Bond until he was lured back four years later for "Diamonds Are Forever".
"You Only Live Twice" is on ITV at 8pm, Wednesday 11th July 2001.
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