The second movie brings back Sean Connery. A more muted less brash spy from the first movie. It seems here that we do not have the same man we did in Dr. No. There is no gambling, no martini, and James Bond seems a bit inept here. Getting bested multiple times in craftiness, fighting or other things. He feels lost to me, and I think the direction of the movie leads to a loss of what to do with James Bond, have him be human or super human and it shows in this movie with the lack of focus. I am not terrible impressed with James Bond in this movie.
From Russia With love seems to dial back everything about James Bond films I have come to know, bringing in only 2 bond girls. First is Sylvia Trench, who appears in Dr. No. She is the minor girl in From Russia With Love and is cast away rather quickly in the beginning of the movie. This is the girl I liked most from Dr. No and was sad to see her leave so quickly here. The good girl in the movie, Tanya Romanova is a beautiful girl, blond and Russian. Sadly they did not like her voice and she was dubbed over for most of the movie, so I don't get the full package of what she was truly like. I found her to be beautiful, but clingy and a bit weak. Not my favorite choice for a good girl. There was an additional fight between two scantly clad gypsy women, which even for Bond movies seems a bit silly.
Villan and Threat:
The threat with From Russia With Love goes along with the theme of this movie, which is a more grounded James Bond. The threat is the possibility of a code breaking machine called the Lekter getting into the hands of SPECTRE. There is no head villain that is hands on in this movie. Only henchmen and the first showing of Ernst Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. His face is never shown, but he does have a cat on his lap and directs his men from a chair unseen. While the introduction of Blofeld will lead to many more villainous plots, the prevention of a few henchmen acquiring a code breaking machine while James Bond moves it across Europe isn't exactly the high level threat I was hoping for.
The first Bond gadget is finally here. A briefcase with a trick bomb, some knives and 50 hidden gold pieces inside. Overall not too fancy or sophisticated. It was accompanied by other items in the movie, a pager in the beginning for James to check it with the office, which he used a car phone to do so. A James Bond face mask disguise. And a wrist strangulate cord. In general not so great.
For the second release James Bond movie, I think there was a lot of decision making as what to do with the James Bond franchise and it shows. Everything about this movie feels lost and confused. It feels like a weaker movie compared to Dr. No and seems like something that those that loved the first James Bond would not like so much here. I have seen quite a few of the bond movies as of this writing and I find this one to be my least favorite so far.