Gilbert is not the guy to be invited in such a party, just focus on Connery and who knows you might end up having a good time.
Gilbert is a guest. He is new to it. But that isn’t an excuse. It shouldn’t be. He has a rough idea on what or how should Bond be, and it is not only wrong but also is commercially motivated. And yes, there is also the script to be blamed, but also Lewis Gilbert, the director, whose agenda apparently is to go for a kiss or a punch or an explosion whenever you feel the viewers getting disenchanted from the screen. What could have been a gripping gritty adventure of half an hour is stretched to an entire two hours of labor that we, as an audience are told to work upon.
They are definitely pushing it, especially if the actual plot starts after the clock ticks to a forty five minute of bell, after which too, they dare to take detours. Shorter than the previous chapter, it still feels like a much longer one. I would presume that time has not been nice to it, but it has lost the flamboyant nature in its narration that made its predecessor what it is now. The antagonist that is kept behind the curtains, lacks a face to be feared upon and is why for the huge chunk of the film, you feel like Sean Connery is shooting in the dark and not in a good way.
Also, there is no empathy in the characters for us to connect with them. The rituals and traditions that our sung hero follows and adapts while visiting new places and people is also left blank in here; it’s like they are not even trying to be better, somehow they have found peace in the everworking formulaic structure. But that didn’t make its book famous, You Only Live Twice and you only film once, so let’s make it count.