Joel's 100 Films in 2015: You Only Live Twice

5. You Only Live Twice watched on 1/05/15 Ah, so.

It's maybe the most racist Bond movie (and that's saying something) as it's got Connery in Asian disguise for a significant portion of the main story, but it's also got Blofeld in his first real appearance (Donald Pleasance, setting the table for eventual lampooning by Mike Myers as Dr. Evil). It's also got an ultra-light helicopter fight. Oh and a volcano lair, with a full set of functional volcano guns to protect it.

Knowing all of that, it's even easy to overlook the complete phone-it-in nature of Connery's performance here. He was fed up with being Bond (and apparently mobbed constantly during the filming in Japan, which couldn't have helped his attitude), and it completely taints what would have been his final turn as James Bond (if not for the mega-payday that brought his return in Diamonds are Forever, and the legal loopholes that allowed him to remake Thunderball in Never Say Never Again). The setting is appropriately exotic (and the film is as beautiful as any of the Connery Bond films), but overall it doesn't meet the heights of Goldfinger or From Russia with Love. There is an en masse army vs. army battle to end the film (as in Thunderball) that goes on too long, but at least this time it's not underwater so everyone is moving at regular speed.

3 Stars.