I dearly love the first IM film, and despite some shallowness and obsession with explosions enjoyed the second film.
The third IM flick is a much more thoughtful, considered film, delving in more subtle ways into the mess that is Tony Stark, and the whole issue of (as another Marvel hero would put it) great power meaning great responsibility, but also the need to take care of yourself. Also, stress kills.
Despite that, I just didn't enjoy this rendition as…
The second Timothy Dalton outing is less effective and entertaining, in my mind, than the first. In part that's because the violence meter is kicked up a few ticks. In part that's because shifting from international espionage to "James Bond Does Miami Vice" drug lord storyline bits just feels like a downgrade.
Within that, though, there are some fine bits here. The personal vengeance line, complete with Bond going rogue (but, apparently, all being forgiven offscreen at the end), is…
The first of the Bond films, it suffers a bit in lacking some of the series trademarks (even as it establishes others), but Connery makes a nicely brutal 007, the giant sets are giant, Andress is the classic prototype Bond Girl, and there are plenty of shootings and flirtings and blowings-up of stuff.
The only significant misstep is the casting of Joseph Wiseman as the Chinese titular character; Wiseman does a fine job, for the limited opportunities he gets, but even for the period it's surprising to see a "yellow-face" cross-racial cast like this.
Considered by many to be the quintessential Bond movie, and it's not hard to see why. Q's gadgets (in the form of an Aston Martin) come to the fore, the deaths (by gold paint, by laser, by plane decompression) are spectacular, the plotline roughly parallels the original book, the Bond Girl is hot (if more, um, conventional than in the book), the music iconic. Certainly, if you're building a short list of Bond films (or action films from the 60s), this would have to be on it.