Diamonds Are Forever Review

Diamonds are Forever

Diamonds Are Forever is one of my least favourite Bond films, it has to be said. It has a lot of the silly humour that would later define the Roger Moore era of the franchise, but given it has (an admittedly older, tubbier and un-arsed) Sean Connery it just doesn’t seem to work. It also has a really unsatisfactory ending and two of the most annoying “henchmen” ever… So yeah, this isn’t going to be a pretty review!

Synopsis:

After seemingly killing his nemesis Blofeld, 007 Agent James Bond impersonates a diamond smuggler to infiltrate a smuggling ring, and soon uncovers a plot to use the diamonds to build a space-based laser weapon…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

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That look on Connery’s face says it all, really… Just a sigh of regret.

James Bond (Sean Connery) – 007 Agent who has a grudge against Blofeld and his SPECTRE organisation. When he’s not pursuing this he still does act like a secret agent, now and again…

Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Charles Gray) – Once bald and scarred, Blofeld has gotten into plastic surgery and is now a perfectly normal looking grey-haired man… with a white cat… and several exact duplicate stand-ins of himself. Okay, not so normal…

Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) – A diamond smuggler who ends up getting caught in the crosshairs of Blofeld, and in the bed of James Bond…

Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd (Bruce Glover and Putter Smith) – A strange tag team of henchmen working for Blofeld. They’re very good at their jobs… unless they’re up against James Bond, then they suck, for some reason…

Willard Whyte (Jimmy Dean) – A famous entrepreneur who has been held up in his apartment for some time now…

Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood) – A gold digger hanging out at casinos. Her role is small, but her name is hilarious, so I made sure to put her in.

Q (Desmond Llewelyn) – The gadget man in MI6… who once again doesn’t really do anything in the film…

Plus many more!

The Good:

Diamonds are Forever 4

My look when someone asks me to talk about the Good in Diamonds are Forever…

There are a couple of scenes I enjoy, plus the idea of Bond undercover in a diamond smuggling ring is at least different and a bit more spy-y, even if it comes down to SPECTRE and Blofeld again. The first part of the undercover op has some of these highlights, particularly Tiffany being a bit more intelligent and interesting than most Bond girls, actually standing up to Bond’s advances (boy, that changes fast!) and the fight between Bond and the actual diamond smuggler he was pretending to be in the lift, which is still an exciting sequence.

I’ll also mention the car chase around the streets of Las Vegas is still fun, even if it has some repetition and continuity issues (Bond hits his car onto two wheels, then the next shot he’s on the other set of wheels…) and the scene where Plenty O’Toole (yep…) gets thrown out of a window into a pool down below and Bond says “Nice shot” and the guard replies “I didn’t know there was a pool down there…” That still makes me chuckle.

The Bad:

Diamonds are Forever 1

“We’re quite annoying, aren’t we Mr. Kidd?”  “That’s right, we are Mr. Wint.”

Pretty much everything else. The sillier tone, again, is fine for a Roger Moore film (although even if this was it would still have serious problems, especially the ending…) but it just doesn’t work here. A car chase scene with Bond in a moon buggy, two somersaulting women flying around the place and attacking Bond only to be humiliated in a pool, Blofeld pretending to be a crass rich Texan and having exact duplicates of himself “through plastic surgery”, the actual rich Texan he was pretending to be being a parody, and last but not least, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, who are almost so bad they’re funny, with their dry quips to each other after killing and general comic buffoonery that happens around them.

Seriously though, they kill effectively, apart from with Bond. Admittedly when they shoved him in a coffin and sent it to be cremated, that would have worked, but later they knock him out and place him in a large pipe in the middle of a construction site that eventually gets lowered in place underground (I guess no one looked into the pipe at any point)… I mean, why not just shoot him? Or bury him alive yourself? Then the final scene of the film Mr. Kidd comes at him with a pair of flaming kebabs… Let’s not even mention the weird camp “oooo!” sounds Wint makes when Bond ties his hands and throws him off the boat by tumbling him over arse-first.

I mentioned Tiffany Case (jeez…) and how when she was introduced she actually had an air of control and maturity about her… well, that soon went out the window! By the final scenes in the film she was an airhead bimbo running around screaming and needing help and making silly mistakes. It really is like a different person took over the film and didn’t read the earlier part of the script.

Blofeld, who they couldn’t be bothered to make look like Blofeld any more, is also a disappointment. Having him act like a crass Texan is one thing, and but the exact duplicates were a bit too far for me. Then we get to my least favourite part of the film: the big end sequence! Set on an oil rig, Blofeld is feeding information to the killer laser satellite via a cassette, leading to “amusing” cassette swapping misadventures, and then when everything starts exploding for various reasons Blofeld tries to escape in a crappy looking one-man submarine thing which Bond takes control of the lowering crane for. Bond knocks him about a bit, and then throws it into the side of the rig as it and everything explodes, but we don’t see Blofeld at the end, no final angry shout or look of fear, it’s just all so… anticlimactic.

Overall Thoughts:

Diamonds are Forever 2

….. Yep, that happened.

While I’m still pretty sure The Man With the Golden Gun is still worse, this has to be a close second (because at least Die Another Day has a good first half before going to shit) The script is poor, the comedy ill-timed and the ending anticlimactic. What more can I say? I hope a big new format doesn’t come up again, as watching this film properly three times (VHS-DVD-Blu-ray) is three times more than I’d like to watch this film at all…

1 Star Watch

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