Since I have nearly all of the James Bond movies on DVD now (I used to have them on VHS. I haven't been using the VHS player for a while) I realized I could run about ten marathons while watching my way through the entire collection. And that's even skipping the truly crappy films. This last week I hit You Only Live Twice, mainly because it's one of those that I haven't seen for years. Keep in mind that Bond movies are LONG. This one clocks in at three minutes less than two hours, so I ended up watching it in four runs: 3 miles, 2 miles, 4 miles, 3 miles.
It's also one of the worst-written Bond movies. It's overly fantastic, even for a Bond film. Yeah, normally James gets a metric crap ton of the old willing suspension of disbelief, but this one defies all boundaries. Worse, though (and what relegates this to the ranks of lesser Bond films) is that the believable parts of the script just don't make sense.
Ignore the fact that SPECTRE has perfected a VTOL spaceship that can capture other spaceships and bring them back to Earth, without either the Americans or Soviets able to track it. We'll just let that go via "it's a bond film." More annoying is that to "infiltrate" this small Japanese fishing island, Bond must a) be made up to pass as a Japanese fisherman, b) marry a local villager to establish bona fides and c) train to be a ninja. All in three days, no less.
You know who the least Japanese-looking man on the planet is? Sean Connery-san.
Of course, none of this subterfuge is really necessary because SPECTRE apparently knows where Bond is all along. He's attacked twice at Tiger Tanaka's secret home and ninja training ground, so why he needs to marry a local woman to gain access to the volcanic island base is beyond me. Not to mention that Tiger manages to infiltrate a hundred commando ninjas onto the island without marrying them off to the locals. Apparently SPECTRE will be alerted by a Single White Male setting foot on the island, but 100 strangers in a village of 50 people doesn't raise an alarm.
Here's the one thing I really like about You Only Live Twice: it was written by Roald Dahl. That's right, the same Roald Dahl who wrote Matilda and The BFG. I looked up Roald after watching and found his story far more entertaining than the movie. He was also a World War II fighting ace in the Royal Air Force, but this came after he'd already crashed one plane in the African desert and severely injured himself. Guess there's always a chance to rekindle your career.