Bond

Countdown to Spectre: Dr. No (1962)

With the newest installment in the James Bond 007 series Spectre coming on November 6th, I thought I’d look back through all of the 23 previous installments. Whenever I have the time, I will watch each movie and then review it. I hope I can get them all done by the time Spectre comes out.

In the film that began the James Bond series, Agent 007 (Sean Connery) must battle the mysterious Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman), an evil scientific genius focused on destroying the U.S. space program. With disaster imminent, Bond must go to Jamaica, where he encounters the beautiful Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), to confront the megalomaniacal villain in his mysterious massive island headquarters.

So this is the first one. It was 1962 and that fact was quite obvious while watching it now in 2015. That’s not a bad thing, however. There are still a few technical things that don’t quite hold up like sound and editing but I am not sure if that’s because of time or the blu-ray conversion since that is how I watched the film. I currently own all of the Bond films as the 50th anniversary Bond collection on blu-ray and I love it very much. The technical things don’t bother me so much because I am sympathetic to how old the movie is. Now I will say that I may be a little biased here since my favorite Bond was played by Sean Connery so I’ll just throw that out there. With that said, Connery did not disappoint here. He had all the charm that I remembered and I found he took control of all the scenes he was in. His “fake fighting” was exciting to watch with him just missing people and with them embellishing to make it all look worse. I did not mind this either because again it’s about when the film was made. Now with the story, to be honest I did not exactly know what was going on during the first third of the film because I found that it started a little slowly. I believed that time was used to introduce James Bond as a character, albeit not fully (I haven’t read all of the Ian Fleming books), and the setting but I found this all to be a little boring since not much was happening in that time. I found that things got better during the final two thirds of the film as it did the best at advancing the plot forward. The main villain of the film, Dr. No, was merely hinted at during the first third of the film so we never really got an idea of how evil he is as we never got to see much so when we finally got to see him and his lair during the last part of the film, I found him to be quite underwhelming. This may also have been because of the time the film was made but his plan wasn’t too sinister and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that Dr. No is Chinese but I assure you that Joseph Wiseman is not Chinese. Overall, this film is a good start but a little better pacing and more action would have made it better.

Score: 7/10

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Next: From Russia With Love!

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