Partly financed by the MFI Furniture Group, "Never Say Never Again" closely mimics the lack of excitement and intense frustration that only the flat-pack equivalent of a movie could bring. The rank pall of opportunism hangs over this sorry rogue enterprise from producer Kevin McClory, as he tries to assemble the component parts that make up a Bond movie and fails.
The instructions may mention humour, action, gadgets, girls, and criminal masterminds, but this film botches them all. McClory couldn't even use the right tradesman for the job. Sure, Sean Connery was once the ideal guy to front the assembly of such an enterprise, but here he looks weary, slow, and hugely disinterested.
In a retread of "Thunderball", SPECTRE gets their hands on some bombs, with the intention of using them to extort rather large sums of money from wealthy countries. Handily for Bond, he discovers this while at a health farm that appears to be the front for world domination.
Of course, before Bond can go anywhere, he needs to get tooled-up with the latest gadgets. A Q-like character is on hand with the goods in the shape of Alec McCowen. He gets to utter the line that sums up the intentions of the whole film, when asking Bond: "Now that you're on this, I hope that we're going to have some gratuitous sex and violence?"
This movie is exactly an excuse for such nonsense, but the staging of it is so inept that it all ends up resembling a Bond film, "Carry On..." style.
"Never Say Never Again" is on ITV at 8.30pm, Wednesday 1st August 2001.
Read a review of the DVD.
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