Wednesday, August 4, 2010

From Russia with Love. A

Even though Dr. No was the first Bond film, I'm sort of surprised at how mediocre it was. I say this because the two Bond pictures that followed are the best in the series. They are From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. No other Bond film is comparable to these two great adventures. I still say that Goldfinger is the very best, but Russia comes very close to equalling it. From Russia with Love makes a pretty substantial leap forward from the average Dr. No. The story is much better and Sean Connery fits much better into the movie than he did in the first one. I guess it didn't take him very long to get comfortable with the role. Anyone who knows about Bond is aware that he's always trying to stop a villain from either taking over the world, or destroying it (As Richard Roeper once wisely pointed out, if they bad guy destroys the world, then where will he live?). But From Russia with Love is an exception. It's actually a really simple story. The basic idea is that a chess master has designed a strategy that will ensure both the downfall of James Bond and the retrieval of a decoding device. Bond, unaware he's being set up, is assigned to get the device, after which he'll become the victim of a double-crossing (not a spoiler, as we find all this out right away). The movie doesn't feature the usual outlandish chase or fight sequences Bond aficionados are accustomed to. There's one small boat scene, a fantastic helicopter sequence straight from North by Northwest, and a fight on a train. But that's about it. This is really one of the quietest Bond movies, and not surprisingly one of the best.

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