Matt Maddock’s review published on Letterboxd:
So after the success of Goldfinger, Saltzman and Broccoli decided to make Thunderball their next movie. I'm not going to speak on the feud that went on behind the scenes between EON and Kevin McClory. Go look it up if you don't know about it. In the end, EON ended up with the better adaptation of Fleming's novel, even if it is a step down from the previous two films.
In the film, Bond goes to the Bahamas to retrieve two atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE. There he meets Emilio Largo, SPECTRE's #2, and his mistress, Domino Derval.
So let me state the main problem with this movie outright. It's what everyone complains about: The underwater scenes. When your movie is 2 hours and 10 minutes long and 33 minutes of that running time takes place underwater where you can barely see what is going on, that's a problem.When I was a kid, I thought it was cool, but watching it now, it's a huge, glaring problem. I would love for them to remake Thunderball in the Craig era because it would look beautiful and do the underwater scenes justice.
Connery is still really good as Bond. He has some likable scenes in the spa he stays in, although that whole time in the spa does take a while to end. Once Bond gets to the Bahamas, it does get pretty good. The scenes in the city streets during the festival/party are fun as are the scenes at Largo's home.
It's a fun movie, but because of the many intermittent underwater scenes, it just doesn't work well, especially since it followed such an amazing Bond film.