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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A blast as the 'unofficial' Bond movie
It's easy to dismiss 'Never Say Never Again' as the 'unofficial' Bond movie, made during legal wrangling over who owned the rights to the character (note the conspicuously absent 'gun barrel' opening credits that were traditional in all the official Bonds of this period). However, to do so would be to write off a hugely fun adventure. Essentially a remake of the more...
Published on 4 July 2012 by Benminx

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slick, enjoyable but not premium Bond
At once the victim of impossible expectations after years of false starts and rumors about Connery's return to Bondage and also a breath of fresh air as the Roger Moore Bond films increasingly floundered, Never Say Never Again was a welcome riposte to the worst excesses of the EON franchise in 1983, but time hasn't been that kind to it. There are certainly some horrible...
Published on 12 Dec 2007 by Trevor Willsmer


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slick, enjoyable but not premium Bond, 12 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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At once the victim of impossible expectations after years of false starts and rumors about Connery's return to Bondage and also a breath of fresh air as the Roger Moore Bond films increasingly floundered, Never Say Never Again was a welcome riposte to the worst excesses of the EON franchise in 1983, but time hasn't been that kind to it. There are certainly some horrible miscalculations, Carrera's cartoonish villainess Fatima Blush (like Faye Dunaway on steroids), Edward Fox's self-parody as M, Pamela Salem's simperingly moronic Moneypenny and an embarrassingly over-the-top Rowan Atkinson's horribly unfunny Nigel Small-Fawcett among them, not to mention that problematic and much-despised easy listening score from Michel Legrand.

A famously troubled production, with Cubby Broccoli frightening studios, investors and co-stars away through years of lawsuits and Connery taking against the film's inexperienced producer Jack Schwartzman so violently that he would reportedly hide whenever the actor came anywhere near his office, most of the scars aren't visible in the finished product. Thankfully the worst excesses of the legendary unfilmed but sadly rather silly and OTT script Connery and Len Deighton penned in the early 70s, Warhead (which climaxed with a hang-glider attack on the Statue of Liberty and boasted a villain with his own underwater lair), were also toned down, albeit largely for budget reasons. With only a watered-down version of their radio-controlled sharks remaining, this version is at least a little more grounded than the rampant silliness that had seen the Bonds stray unrecognisably far from their roots in Ian Fleming's novels. Despite uncredited co-writers Ian La Fresnais and Dick Clements pilfering their earlier movie spinoff of Porridge for some of the jokes, the more streamlined screenplay flows better than Thunderball, which was always the clunkiest of Bond scripts in its desperation to throw everything including the kitchen sink into the mix, but it's also less fun. Odder still is the very American feel to the film, with a clean, spare look that's uncomfortably at odds with Connery's previous outings.

On the plus side, Klaus Maria Brandauer is particularly good as Largo, Bernie Casey brings an easy familiarity to his role that makes him one of the best of the many Felix Leiters in Connery's tenure, and Alec McCowen and Max Von Sydow are fine in undemanding parts while Robert Rietty, who voiced Largo in Thunderball as well as numerous other Bond characters over the years, turns up briefly onscreen for a change. It's also thankfully light on the gadgets that got particularly out of control in the EON series during the 80s and the action scenes are for the most part well-handled, with an excellent fight with Pat Roach the standout despite a particularly lame gag ending. Enjoyable but no enduring classic.

After years as only a no-frills edition with just a trailer, Sony released an NTSC collectors edition that includes a heavily-lawyered three-part documentary on the making of the film, audio commentary by director Irvin Kershner and Bond historian Steven Jay Rubin, trailer and stills gallery - but do be warned that the US Blu-ray is Region A encoded and won't play in UK machines, though a UK Blu-ray is finally available as of April 2013. The picture quality is a distinct improvement, with warmer colour, but it is the UK censored version omitting two shots of a horsefall.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A blast as the 'unofficial' Bond movie, 4 July 2012
It's easy to dismiss 'Never Say Never Again' as the 'unofficial' Bond movie, made during legal wrangling over who owned the rights to the character (note the conspicuously absent 'gun barrel' opening credits that were traditional in all the official Bonds of this period). However, to do so would be to write off a hugely fun adventure. Essentially a remake of the more serious 'Thunderball', this has Bond trying to retrieve stolen nuclear weapons in the Caribbean while battling lethal killers and shark-laden traps, and has barely a dull moment. Laden with gadgets, the scenery, action and direction (by 'Empire Strikes Back' director Ivin Kershner) are all great. Connery throws himself into the movie with humour and enthusiasm, Barbara Carrera is enormous fun camping it up as a Euro-villainess with a vicious streak, and Klus Maria Brandauer is suitably enigmatic and threatening as the criminal mastermind working for SPECTRE.
Great fun.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Connery said never again but gave his fans another chance..., 7 Feb 2010
By 
D. McAndrew (Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
WARNING. This region A blu-ray disc has been coded differently to every other region A blu-ray disc I've encountered so far. It unfortunately would NOT play on my all region blu-ray player, giving the message that it required a region A ONLY player. I have played many region A blu-ray discs on my player, but for some strange reason, this one must have been coded differently to stop overseas buyers from enjoying this movie.

As for the film, it's not Sean's best Bond but but it is highly entertaining anyway.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the official Bond, 8 April 2013
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This review is from: Never Say Never Again [Blu-ray] [1983] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This is not a part of the official series of James Bond films, so you will not hear the unmistakable guitar riff here.
It is far from being the best Sean Connery Bond film, but not the worst either.
It is however much better than all the Roger Moore Bond films and much much better than the two last ones he starred in.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't be too hard on Sean, 8 Mar 2003
By 
Ward-Minter (British Virgin Islands) - See all my reviews
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I read all the reviews of this Bond film and think folk are being a little hard. Yes, it is no "Goldfinge"r or "For Your Eyes Only" but it is a good film nonetheless. The point about Connery looking old is the 'point' methinks. Bond has been through a hard life (being orphaned, expulsion from school, becomming widowed etc. See learn your facts before criticising) and it is this hard life that shows in the film. Although a superhero he is still human!!
And the criticism about no action scenes??? What film were you watching?? There is a wonderful motorbike sequence, a great horse ride and a super Bondesque fight scene with none other than Pat Roach (The huge wrestler from Aufweidersein Pet.) Also for Coronation Street fans the late Maxine Peacock's mother is in it!!!!!!! (but don't let that put you off)
I am not old enough to remember Connery first time round but believe this is a worthy edition to the 'proper' James Bond films. As for the on line reports about Connery acting like a dirty old man, I know many girls around 25 years old who still say he is the sexiest man on earth some 20 years after the film, so there.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unofficial James Bond, 24 Sep 2012
By 
ReviewBlog51 (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
For me, Sean Connery was the definitive James Bond and in 1983 he reprised the role again for 'Never Say Never Again', a uneven (unofficial) remake of 1965's 'Thunderball'. It's a shame that he couldn't have bowed out of the role in a better movie than this, although I know that it was rather popular at the time, no doubt fans were just greatful to have another chance to see him as Agent 007.

It's a film with a comedy edge, I did appreciate some of this but found bits to be over the top. The storyline also seems to drag on and the acting varies. Sean Connery is as good as he can be (if a little older) with what is a rather average script, I particularly liked Bond girl Barbara Carrera and Klaus Maria Brandaue plays a good villain.

Unlike so many Bond films, this one doesn't have a great opening song and to be honest, in terms of typical Bond films, not a great deal of action takes place. However, there are a few moments in the film that do hold up and some scenes that aren't bad at all (still, not enough for me to rate it three stars).

In my opinion, 'Never Say Never Again' is not actually the worst Bond film, but should appeal more to completists only. It's better to rent it instead and stick to purchasing the Bond classics. Whilst I managed to sit through the whole thing - 'Never Say Never Again' is certainly not one of them.

The DVD is very basic and the only special feature is the one trailer.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good remake and a welcome return for Connery, 30 Jun 2008
I know many fellow Bond fans disagree, but I always thought "Thunderball" was the weakest of Connery's Bond movies. So, it was the perfect candidate for a remake, and for copyright reasons, that's just what Never Say Never Again is. And it's a welcome return for Connery as Bond.

Being made by different producers, the movie doesn't have the classic gun barrel sequence or the Maurice Binder opening credits, but it still feels like a bona fide James Bond movie, much thanks to great locations, fun gadgets and Klaus Maria Brandauer's great villain.

My main problem with Thunderball is the sleep inducing underwater sequences. Even though this movie is just as long as Thunderball, the underwater sequences are shorter, and there's more excitement before the climactic scenes (I actually enjoyed the admittedly very dated video game scene).

So I'm going to be blasphemous and say I actually enjoy this movie more than Thunderball. It's a fun movie, and a must see for all Bond fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Never Say Never Again [Blu-ray] [1983] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I"m so glad. Great movie. Thanks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bond - but not his best, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: Never Say Never Again [Blu-ray] [1983] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
i had the James Bond bluray boxset which didn't include this film as it was the unofficial Bond at the time. So when the price came down I snapped it up to complete the set. While the story isn't original and the fact that it didn't have the same money behind it, it still has a good stab at re-creating the Connery Bond. It can still be viewed equally alongside the official James Bond films, however, as it's on a par with some of those. The bluray is a definite improvement quality-wise on the dvd release although it does tend to show up the budget limitations of the film more. And if you're a Sean Connery fan, you'll be happy to see him play Bond for one last time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Never say never again, 13 May 2014
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Not an official Bond film, but quite entertaining, and as I had the complete set of Bond films I thought I'd add in this one too. It didn't play too well on my standard DVD player (sound quality was bad) but it played fine on the Blu Ray. Was going to send it back but it was only a couple of pounds and if I watch it again I will play in on the BR. Might just be my player, but thought I'd mention it in case anyone else buys it.
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Never Say Never Again [Blu-ray] [1983] [Region Free]
Never Say Never Again [Blu-ray] [1983] [Region Free] by Irvin Kershner (Blu-ray - 2013)
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