Action Movie Fanatix Review: Dr. No

Dr No banner

Now…. Meet The Most Extraordinary Gentleman Spy In All Fiction………
James Bond!
Agent 007…

Starring: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman, Jack Lord, Bernard Lee

Director: Terence Young

1962  |  109 Minutes  |  PG

“East, West, just points of the compass, each as stupid as the other.” – Dr. No

I never grew up watching James Bond with my pops so there are a bunch of Bond movies that I have missed throughout the years and it has been a real joy to find this new appreciation for the character and all the movies I had and hadn’t seen.  Now, I’m finally sitting down to watch Dr. No, the first James Bond film, for the very first time.

On a mission in Jamaica, Agent 007, James Bond (Sean Connery), finds evil scientist Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) plotting to derail the U.S. space program.

Dr No poster 2

The first Bond film…  It’s really cool to reflect on Dr. No and realize that this is where so many of the Bond elements originated.

This is where we are first introduced to James Bond, his style, his weapon (Walther PPK), his humor, his charm – expertly played by Sean Connery.

This is the first time we hear “Bond… James Bond”

This is where we are introduced to the idea of the “Bond girl.”  Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder… such a Bond girl name… but, man, does she still look gorgeous, even by today’s standards.

Dr No poster German

The big problem with Dr. No is that after seeing so many sequels it just feels so, so slow.  It didn’t lose my interest but it was in danger of doing so in a few spots.  Later Bond films have become known for their huge action set pieces and cars and chases and gunfights and explosions and Dr. No just doesn’t have it.  We got a decent car chase and a great exploding car rolling down a cliff but that’s about it.

It served its purpose though… OBVIOUSLY.  Dr. No has spawned 22 sequels so far and the franchise shows no signs of slowing down.  Hopefully we have Bond movies for generations to come.

On the whole, Dr. No feels lacking after seeing so many great Bond movies.  You can completely see how this set the standard though and it really does have a great James Bond, great Bond girls and a great villain.  All it needed was some of the awesome action that we became so accustomed to in future installments.

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