What The Film is a new weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.
If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email email@example.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.
I received an message recently, advising me to watch Speed 2: Cruise Control and write a What the Film?! on that. As it turns out, it was streaming on Netflix! There is a problem with the movie however: there is no one defining horrible moment that stands out. It’s consistently awful. It’s like Batman & Robin or Battlefield Earth, a movie that is so bad that you wish Comedy Central never canceled Mystery Science Theater 3000. The good news it that the 1990′s are filled with these types of movies and I can basically run my column off of 1990s action movies forever! This, however, is not one of those movies.
This week’s movie: 1969′s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Bond, James Bond. One of the most iconic characters of all time. The James Bond franchise is the longest running movie franchise in history, it being older than its current James Bond by six years. Why is he so popular? He drives fast cars, beds beautiful women, drinks expensive liquor, and saves the world more often than the average person wins at solitaire. Almost every man on the planet wants to be James Bond, there is nothing he can do wrong.
If you’re unfamiliar with James Bond, I don’t want to know you. For the past fifty years he has been a British Secret Agent, working for the fictional agency MI6, and has saved the world repeatedly. The character has given more to pop culture than any other franchise in memorable lines, scenes, characters, and music to the extent that any spy movie immediately gets compared to James Bond.
In the first James Bond movie, 1962′s Dr. No, it’s revealed that the villain Dr. No works for a terrorist organization called SPECTRE. Out of the first 7 James Bond movies, 6 of them share the plotline of “SPECTRE causes chaos but Bond stops it (and bones lots of women)”. Bond has been such a thorn in their side that part of the plotline of 1963′s From Russia With Love was SPECTRE hunting James Bond down. That same movie was the first one in the series to actually show the leader of SPECTRE, Ernst Stravo Blofeld, who ends up demanding James be killed by name. He is the Joker to James Bond’s Batman. In 1967′s You Only Live Twice, MI6 has to fake James Bond’s death so they can have him do operations without constantly being attacked by scorned SPECTRE terrorists. That’s how much of a fly in the ointment James is to these guys.
So What Is It About?
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the sixth James Bond movie, premiering Sean Connery’s replacement and successor, George Lazenby. The movie has James Bond going undercover as a genealogist to meet with Blofeld at a medical clinic in the Swiss Alps. James needs to somehow convince him to leave Switzerland so he can be arrested without breaking sovereignty. James Bond working undercover with his arch nemesis was tense and interesting twist to the typical Bond formula.
While attempting to gain Blofeld’s trust, James discovers that he is using the clinics to train/brainwash a group of women (the “Angels of Death”) to distribute biological warfare across the globe. Biological weapons have become increasingly common in media in the past 10 years, but remember this was in the 60s. This was a creative and scary way for Blofeld to attack the world without nuclear weapons.
This actually could have been the greatest James Bond movie ever made if it weren’t for two flaws. The first being the lack of Sean Connery, but this is forgivable. The second flaw involves James going undercover and meeting with Blofeld. While tense and interesting, the major problem is that James and Blofeld met in the previous movie, You Only Live Twice. Blofeld even trained assassins to hunt down James by having them try to kill people wearing James Bond masks. Blofeld knows his name, his face, his 00 number, and has even has had conversations with him in person.
Supposedly there was a scene written where James Bond gets plastic surgery to explain why he’s played by a different actor, but they decided to cut that scene because the producers felt audiences were smart enough to realize that it’s the same character, just a different actor. By cutting the scene, they made a massive plot hole that the producers must have felt audiences were dumb enough to not notice. Do you really expect us to believe that Blofeld couldn’t recognize someone that important to him?