Thursday, October 11, 1973

From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love is a nicely-done story of mistrust, double identities, and loyalty—all done with an overdramatic flair for sex and assassination.

In this new adventure, Bond is tasked with bringing in a supposed Soviet defector and her decoding device, unaware that the entire mission is a SPECTRE trap!

This is a definite improvement over Dr. No, and a nice step forward for the Bond series. It's interesting that instead of another over-the-top megalomaniacal villain like Dr. No, here we mostly get Cold War-era spy adventure, complete with the usual Soviets vs. Western Allies setup. Of course, the twist is that SPECTRE, the same organization behind Dr. No, have completely orchestrated the entire thing.

The new primary Bond girl, Tatiana Romanova, is interesting. She's in the femme fatale role, yet plays it perhaps a bit more on the damsel in distress side. She is, after all, there to essentially be nothing more than Bond's princess, seducing him with her sexual openness and vulnerability. However, she's not written entirely as a one- or two-dimensional character, which is nice. There are moments where one can glimpse her inner thoughts and see the conflict within her as the true nature of events start to unfold. She's definitely more than eye candy—though eye candy she is, nonetheless.

Bond himself is largely the same character we knew before, though we get to see more of him. It's especially nice that his attitude reflects the audience in respect to how he reacts to Romanova's appearance. He doesn't necessarily trust her, and at times rolls his eyes at her attempts to lie to him.

The action in this film is significantly improved from Dr. No. We actually get multiple full-on action scenes, complete with Bond fighting a helicopter. YEAH.

While this might not be the best Bond film of all time, it's certainly decent fun as a Cold War spy action film.