1967's Deadlier Than the Male is the kind of film that Mike Meyers must have loved growing up, reinventing Sapper's Bulldog Drummond for the swinging Sixties as a James Bond-style insurance investigator-cum-superspy in a plot filled with killer cigars, giant chessmen, female assassins and delightfully fey villainy from Nigel Green and casting one-time Bond candidate Richard Johnson in the lead. Unfortunately he's saddled with an American nephew in a futile attempt to catch a slice of the US market, while Suzanna Leigh, badly dubbed and moving with all the grace of a docker, scowl permanently in place, is hardly anybody's idea of a Bond girl. But against that there's Elke Sommer's enthusiastic sadist and light fingered nympho Sylvia Koscina offing various oil executives, the film makes swinging 60s London look great and it's as stylish as a vintage Avengers episode, offering lots of fun without ever outstaying its welcome.
Sadly, the sequel, Some Girls Do, does just that, and surprisingly quickly. More a rehash than a sequel, simply swapping oil for planes in what desperately wants to be a British version of an Our Man Flint film but doesn't even come close to being a British In Like Flint. This time Drummond's ditched the nephew but is saddled with Ronnie Stevens' awfully nice embassy official-cum-bodyguard ("Call me Butch") and Sydne Rome's kooky ditz following him around like a lovesick puppydog. As if that weren't enough, the film constantly undermines him at every turn, be it a bad knee that makes him seem a bit of a codger or a wardrobe that makes him look too much like a knockoff of Connery's Bond without any of the ability. Nigel Green has been replaced by James Villiers as the would-be supervillain with Napoleonic delusions but who dresses like Wellington ("Never back a loser"), but despite a couple of bits of effective makeup there's not much he can bring to what's a surprisingly dull party. Even the visuals are uninspired, the decision not to shoot in the same 2.35:1 widescreen ratio as its predecessor making it feel at times like a busted TV pilot.
Network DVD's DVD set is a winner, though, boasting fine 2.35:1 transfer of Deadlier Than the Male with plentiful extras - vintage location reports, cast and crew interviews (with Nigel Green spending more time talking about Zulu and Tobruk than the film he's promoting), stills gallery and trailer - while Some Girls Do features stills gallery and trailer. Worth buying for the first film alone.