The fifth James Bond movie follows the same formula as the previous ones, but there's something about it that is hard to tire of.
After an American spaceship disappears, Russia is blamed for bombing it. Russian officials emphatically deny this charge and are backed up by England who believes that the source of the interference is coming from somewhere in Japan. Of course, they send Bond (Sean Connery) to investigate. Information is not easy to find, even with his Japanese convey, Tanaka aka Tiger (Tetsuro Tamba). Bond suspects that the culprits are SPECTRE the terrorist organization that's been long at war with Agent 007. As one might expect, this suspicion is correct, as the villains are stealing spacecrafts to create a new world superpower.
The plot to "You Only Live Twice" is similar to that of "Dr. No". Fortunately, that's well hidden as the two come off differently. As usual, the story is energetic and fun to watch.
Since the second Bond film there was little development of SPECTRE's number one man, Blofeld. Here, we finally get to know the character a bit more, though not to the degree I wished for. I think explanation is needed to answer some simple questions about him. Why is he so power hungry? How did he come to be leader? What happened to his face? All we get to know is that he is evil and does not accept failure.
Perhaps my main problem with Blofeld are his cohorts. They never seem remotely close to defeating Bond who has been written almost to heroically. Here he knock bad guys out with one punch, escapes perilous situations a little too easily, and even comes back from the dead, so to speak.
Of the first five Bond flicks, this is my second favorite, so I don't want to sound too negative about it. I just really wish there was some better villains. In this series it's the bad guys who make the action necessary, but they don't follow through looking lazy and, at times, quite stupid. Forgiving this disappointment, the lively "You Only Live Twice" is well worth checking out. After all, how many other movies can mix ninjas with sumo wrestlers and deadly piranha.