Thunderball ★★★½

Annual 100 Watchlist (2020) - Film 5/100

And this is where the series starts to lose its bearings. To its credit, Thunderball has a lot of what makes the series great - thrilling action sequences including a relatively inventive tail-end underwater battle that just about saves the film from utter mediocrity, a confident Sean Connery performance, some instances of beautiful photography and a so-so villain.

However, what makes Thunderball ultimately one of the lower-end Bond offerings is that it not only suffers from the worst sequel problems - an overlong runtime, simple premise stretched out to nothing, uneven pacing, and capitalizing on everything without developing anything so it has substance - and the film, unfortunately, leans way too heavily - more than its predecessors - in the angle of Bond's sexism which here feels there just to be there.

Thankfully, sharks come to save the day and as odd as it sounds, it goes to show how misguided at times this film can be that sharks are one of the very best things about it. I never thought I would be saying that about a James Bond film. It's still serviceable and it's still enjoyable but it's not anything more than that.

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