A series of space shuttles are being stolen from outer space – both American and Russian and both sides blame each other. James Bond (Sean Connery) teams up with the Japanese secret service led by Tiger Tanaka (Tetsurô Tanba) in order to find out who the real culprit is before nuclear war breaks out.
Mysteries abound in You Only Live Twice as Bond must figure out who he can trust and which agent is the one he is supposed to meet in Tokyo. Tiger is the head of the Japanese secret service and is very smooth and a great ally for Bond. Not only is he the head of the Japanese secret service, but he also trains people to become ninjas.
There wasn’t as many gadgets in this Bond film compared to previous ones, instead Bond learns how to become a ninja and goes undercover as a Japanese fisherman – this is one of the most ridiculous plans I’ve seen in the Bond films so far.
You Only Live Twice is the first time you see Blofeld’s face (Donald Pleasance) and he really seems like a formidable villain for Bond – especially with his tank of piranhas. The scenes with him against Bond are great to watch and one of the highlights of the film.
The thing I like about going back and watching all the Bond films in order is that you see how one differs from the next. For You Only Live Twice it is the fact the majority of the film is set in Japan (which does lead to some slightly dubious if not racist comments that have not stood the test of time) and also there is a brilliant aerial chase/shoot out sequence.
The plot is quite implausible (even by James Bond standards) but it is still an interesting film, with a great sidekick, and some decent action sequences. 4/5.