News:
Section: Allies
Name: Leiter, Felix [Beach Bum Felix] (Van Nutter, Rik)

Background:
Still Bond's CIA contact, Felix loses the hat and wrinkles and brings back the shades.

Employer:
CIA.

How He Helped Bond:
Leiter and Bond work together to find the missing hijacked NATO plane. Again, Bond does most of the physical field work, while Leiter stays behind making sure everything goes according to plan. Felix also locates and picks up Bond once Bond's task is completed.

What Happened To Him:
Flies away, again completely unharmed and without breaking a sweat.

Comments:
Van Nutter's Felix is satisfactory. The actor doesn't necessarily do anything wrong, but he's too much a carbon copy of Jack Lord's CIA agent (and like any carbon copy, he's just not as good as the original). Felix wears the sunglasses again and helps Bond plan his operations, but there's just nothing special about the performance or his role in the film.

What's most troubling is how the film introduces us to Felix. Since he's a different actor, the audience doesn't recognize him when he enters the frame, but the camera routinely focuses in on him, so we know he's important. But the filmmakers mimic Jack Lord's initial scenes just too much. We see Felix but don't yet know who he is, and we know that he's following Bond, so we're suspicious of him. What worked so well with Lord's Leiter is entirely unnecessary here. Both Bond and the audience know Leiter's identity. Covering it up because there's a different actor doesn't make the movie thrilling.

Verdict:
2.5/4.0

Also in the Thunderball dossier:   Allies | Gadgets | Girls | Pictures | Reviews | Villains
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