An alternative synopsis for Never Say Never Again
Most of us in the Bond community agree that Never Say Never Again is far from a perfect Bond film (to say the very least). For a long time, I have wondered if an alternative approach to the story would have made Never Say Never Again a better film. I have written an alternative synopsis below. Tell me what you think.
The film opens with Bond on a mission to rescue an heiress who has spent several weeks as a hostage of the Nicaraguan Contras. In that time, she has been tortured, and brainwashed. Bond eliminates her guards and unties her. Unknown to Bond, however, the heiress is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. She stabs Bond in the right shoulder causing damage to the auxiliary nerve.
Following surgery, M sends Bond to Shrublands Health Clinic for rest, recuperation, and rehabilitation. During his time at Shrublands, Bond seduces a young female nurse and notices some strange behaviour regarding another male patient. He toys with the idea of reporting his suspicions to the authorities, but ultimately decides not to.
Meanwhile, at a nearby US Air Base, two hydrogen bombs are stolen. The culprits are revealed to be SPECTRE. They are demanding billions-of-dollars or they will detonate each bomb in a major city in Europe or the United States. M immediately recalls all 00 agents, including Bond.
During the group briefing, M informs the 00s that an American Air Force Lieutenant named Jack Petacci was found dead in a nearby motel room shortly after the theft, the victim of a heroin overdose. Bond informs M during their individual conference that he had encountered Petacci during his stay at Shrublands and argues that he [Petacci] was probably involved in the theft of the hydrogen bombs. Bond tells M that Petacci’s sister, Domino is in a relationship with the billionaire Maximilian Largo who, Bond points out, has the money and resources to steal two hydrogen bombs. M concurs and agrees to send Bond to Nice, France where Domino and Largo are currently residing.
In Nice, Bond is teamed up with CIA Agent Felix Leiter, Deuxième Bureau agent Mathis, and British agent Nicole Fearing. Bond has Mathis use his connections in France to compile as much information about Largo and his organisation as possible. Fearing is given the task of gathering information from British and American sources.
Whilst Felix Leiter is busy looking for the bombs (through helicopter searches and so forth), Bond devotes his time to ingratiating himself with Largo on a social basis. Bond plays baccarat with Largo at a Nice Casino and even has lunch with him and Domino at his estate.
At the same time, Bond has entered into a sexual relationship (which is as heartless as any other relationship Bond has with a woman) with Fearing. Unknown to Bond, however, Fearing is a double-agent working for SPECTRE. Under instructions from Largo, Fearing attempts to murder Bond after they make love. Bond avoids death and kills Fearing.
With all their intelligence compromised, Bond decides to focus his attention on seducing Domino. He attends a ball that Largo has organised. Bond dances with Domino during which time he sets up a date with her the following morning at a local café. Their date the following day goes well and the pair end up making love in Bond’s hotel room. Afterwards, Bond informs Domino that her brother was found dead of a drug overdose and that her boyfriend, Largo, may have been involved. Domino agrees to help Bond.
Domino returns to Largo’s estate. Largo questions her on where she’s been and what she’s been doing and becomes suspicious when Domino avoids the question. His suspicion is heightened when she responds coldly to his touch. Suspecting that she may have spent the better part of the day with Bond, Largo invites him lunch on his yacht – the Disco Volante.
At the lunch, Largo’s suspicions are confirmed (at least in his own mind). Under the guise of “going for a brief cruise”, Largo has the Disco Volante cast off. As soon as it becomes apparent that he is, for all intents and purposes, Largo’s prisoner, Bond finds a way to send a message to MI6 telling them to track Largo’s ship. Largo drops the charade once they have arrived in Palmyra. He has Domino taken back aboard the Disco Volante where he plans and locks Bond in a prison cell to starve to death. Before leaving, Largo explains that SPECTRE dismantled both bombs and re-assembled them, piece-by-piece in New York City and London. Both bombs can only be detonated via a coded message sent by one of the Disco Volante’s computers.
Soon after Largo has left, Felix Leiter and a combined squadron of Navy Seals and British SAS arrive disguised as locals. Once freed, Bond, Leiter and the Seals-SAS don diving gear and make their way towards the Disco Volante. The Seals and the SAS create a diversion by engaging Largo’s men in an underwater battle.
In the meantime, Bond and Leiter sneak aboard the Disco Volante. Whilst Felix Leiter focuses on planting plastic explosives in the Disco Volante’s fuel tank (thus creating an explosion that will destroy the ship), Bond focuses on disabling the ship and rescuing Domino.
Bond finds Domino tied to a bed in one of the cabins. He unties her and instructs her to come with him. She follows him to the bridge where Bond, Largo, and the senior crew of the Disco Volante become embroiled in a viscous fight. Domino kills Largo by shooting a harpoon through his belly. Leiter finds Bond and Domino and the trio leap off the ship. Mere moments later, the plastic explosive detonates – destroying the Disco Volante and her ability detonate the two atomic bombs.
The film ends with Bond and Domino aboard a US Aircraft Carrier. Leiter informs them that both bombs have been found and safely dismantled. After he has left, Bond and Domino “enjoy each other’s company.”