The Good, The Bad and The Critic

Established on March 19th, 2012 and pioneered by film fanatic Michael J. Carlisle. The Good, The Bad and The Critic will analyze classic and contemporary films from all corners of the globe. This title references Sergei Leone's influential spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review #963: Dr. No (1962)

Title: Dr. No
Year: 1962
Director: Terence Young

Country: UK
Language: English

Ian Fleming created the character James Bond in 1952, featuring him in twelve novels. The character was later adapted for radio, comic strips, video games and, most notably, film. The series is the longest running of all time, grossing over 7 billion since the first film Dr.No hit theatres in 1962. As of 2017 there have been twenty-four Bond pictures, the latest being Spectre in 2015. 

In this film Bond (Sean Connery) seeks answers in a case involving the disappearance of a colleague and the disruption of the American space program. 

The plot of Dr.No is very familiar, as it becomes the formula for a Bond film. 007 uncovers a scheme, meets a femme fatale, nearly gets killed by the baddie, meets another hot blonde etc. It's not essential to start with the "first" of the Bond series as they rarely follow continuity. Dr.No isn't even the first  of Ian Fleming's bond novels, as that would be Casino Royale.  

Filmed on a low budget, I'm quite surprised at what Director Terence Young was able to accomplish. The cinematography is quite breathtaking, as the picture was filmed on location in Jamaica. The editing is lean and quick, like Bond himself. The main actor, Sean Connery, embodies the suave and seductive 007. Ursula Andress is glorious in her bikini. The villain himself, played by Joseph Wiseman, is unfortunately unmemorable. 

Dr.No is a decent start to this long franchise, but it does fail in comparison to the true masterpieces that would later be produced. Even the campy 90's Pierce Brosnan films (Goldeneye) are more entertaining. I'd only recommend if you're a Bond completionist. 

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