Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

James Bond Brings Back Lots of Violence, Villains

Cleveland Press December 18, 1971

"Diamonds Are Forever" is another in the continuing adventures of James Bond—super spy, super lover and connoisseur of fine wines.

All the ingredients are there—the fights, the chases, the scantily clad girls who adore him, the super villain who is about to destroy the world.

But something else is missing—call it style, call it flair—whatever it is, "Diamonds" doesn't have the punch of its predecessors.

This will matter little for the fan of Bond films who measures the success of the movie on the basis of murder, mayhem and romantic conquests.

For one thing, Sean Connery is back as 007, and he carries a certain elegance that the other chap who replaced him for one movie lacked.

The movie starts with the problem of stopping the smuggling of diamonds out of South Africa and ends with Bond thwarting the attempts of the villainous Blofeld (Charles Gray) from destroying Washington, D.C., by way of a super laser mounted on his own private earth satellite.

In between, the story gets lost and so does the suspense. Why do all the people along the smuggling route get bumped off? Who are all these people working for?

Most of the action is in Las Vegas. There Blofeld has taken over the organization of a mysterious tycoon who—Howard Hughes fashion—hasn't been seen in several years.

Among the new gimmicks in this Bond adventure is a lunar buggy that Bond drives across the desert pursued, naturally, by a flock of the enemy.

What starts out as an action sequence turns into a comedy moment as Bond flees through the streets of Las Vegas closely pursued by a bunch of police cars that all end up piling into each other. I know that doesn't sound funny, but it sure brought laughs from the audience. Shows where people's sympathies are.

Bond gets stuffed into a coffin and almost cremated, is buried in a large pipe, is beat up by a couple of bikini-clad females and gets shot at a few times. They all come out as unrelated incidents rather than parts of a whole.

"Diamonds" also offers some f-g assassins, a couple of guys who walk off hand in hand after wiping out a couple of people.

Oh well, the picture is fast, explosive and has its moments and Jill St. John, as Connery's current leading lady, is about as decorative as any he has had.