From Russia With Love Review



Sean Connery

I have kind of this fascination with the second movie in a long running franchise. I mean certainly you have your Empire Strikes Backs and your T2s, but I mean the not so well remembered ones. Your Nightmare On Elm Street 2s, or even Temple of Doom. It’s like the first one does well, so they know they want to make a sequel, but they don’t quite know what it should be. They take a chance on the sequel, do something a little bit different. And then maybe it doesn’t quite work, and so they hammer out a more concrete formula for the rest of the sequels moving forward, and the second one kind of ends up standing out a little off-form from the rest of them. Well, James Bond is the longest running movie franchise I can think of, and I think the rule definitely applies for their first attempt at a follow up to the original. I mean Sean Connery James Bond is still Sean Connery James Bond, and there’s still plenty of cool spy action, but it’s sort of a smaller, more personal story, and the climax is really low-key. It’s basically about this Russian girl who’s selling Soviet secrets to MI6 via a relationship to Bond, but she’s actually working for the terrorist group SPECTRE to get close to him in order to gather information and just generally manipulate whatever she can. But then she falls in love with him for reals, and tells him the plan, and they end up on the run together from an assassin played by a young Robert Shaw from Jaws. The whole last act takes place on a train and not a lot goes down, other than Bond chokes a dude to death and then they get off between stops. The finale is Bond taking a down a helicopter from the ground, but it’s not like a big super villain flying it, he just kills a couple goons and then they escape on a boat. It seems like an unsatisfying ending, but what’s interesting is the cliffhanger that follows. We see the villainous organization SPECTRE, and we’re introduced to it’s leader, referred to simply as no. 1. We never see his face, just his hands stroking his white cat while he kills one of his subordinates and promises we haven’t see the last of him. Now, SPECTRE is actually a running plot throughout several of the Sean Connery movies. In the first movie, Dr. No actually reveals that he’s working for them, although we don’t get anything more than the name. It doesn’t fully pay off until the fifth movie, You Only Live Twice, when we finally meet the man behind the white cat. But now I’m getting ahead of myself. Like I said, this movie kind of feels atypical for a Bond movie, and is actually probably my least favourite of the Sean Connery ones, but it’s still worth checking out.

Overall Rating: Freddy’s Revenge/10


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