Thursday, 18 August 2011
I should have told you never go in there without a mongoose
My main memories of From Russia With Love stem not from watching the film on bank holidays, or whatever the accepted cliche is associated with the consumption of Bond films from one's youth, but from playing the PS2 game that came out roughly 40 years after the film did, a development period that surely puts Duke Nukem Forever to shame. Anyhoo, I didn't think much of the film, but it did at least have the absence of Natasha Bedingfield in the cast in its favor. It suffers from the same kind of problems as Dr No in that it's more the travelog of a dapper thug as he stumbles from one fight to another in exotic locales than it is the depiction of an espionage agent, with the better setpieces like the gypsy camp attack and embassy robbery up front leaving the film to end with oddly unsatisfying action sequences like Bond throttling a man on a train or having a fistfight with an elderly woman. The pacing is very stop/start and I'm pretty sure they meant to make a bit more of Bond's signposting that he'd "never turn my back on a woman again", but I guess it were simpler times back then and they'd only just invented colour and that and Chekov's Gun was a bit much of an ask.
I did like a lot of it, though, especially the gypsy riot where Bond is just running about killing the hell out of people and then gets given two women to shag, as one does. I also found the line "she should have kept her mouth shut" unintentionally amusing as I remembered that behind Charlie Sheen and Stone Cold, Sean Connery is easily my third favorite drunken spouse-batterer.