Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Dr No Movie Review

Welcome to 007 Movie Reviews! My buddy Dave and I are both 007 fans and we decided to watch all the films chronologically. We will separately write reviews of each movie, simultaneously exchange the reviews with each other, and respond to the other person’s review. Finally, we are going to give each movie an A through F grade.

First up, the first Bond film. Dr No (1962):

Dave’s review:

Grading the inaugural edition of James Bond is always tough, as Sean Connery is just settling into his role and figuring out who the character is. What helps is a stellar cast of memorable characters, including the strong willed Honey Ryder, one of the best Bond girls of all time, and the nefarious Dr. No, who you don't see for the first time until near the climax of the film. What's great about Dr. No is that Bond is ruthless, shooting an unarmed man and proving that he's willing to do anything for the job. The film, however, feels old and moves slowly. 1962 is a long time ago! A few more action sequences, or longer ones, would have livened things up considerably.

TT’s review:

Growing up in the 1980s, Roger Moore was my Bond. I always considered Connery movies as old fashioned and stale. Today, as a middle aged man living in a pandemic, and having just watched The Hunt for Red October for the first time as a tribute to Sir Sean’s life, I have newfound respect for the actor and the early Bond films.

The movie is old. 58 years old. I now see it as a bridge between pre-war and modern movies. It was made in the 1960s, yet it still had the stereotypical bug-eyed scared Black man, white actors playing Asian characters, and a lot of men wearing hats. At the same time, it was groundbreaking and forward looking in that it was an action thriller that had car chases and high tech gadgets. Dr No had an outsized influence on hundreds of films, from The Bourne Identity to Austin Powers.

My grade is as much based on the importance of the film in cinematic history as its actual merits.

I want to add that we praised Daniel Craig’s Bond because he showed emotions and exhibited pain. But in the very first Bond film, Connery was scared out of his gourd by a tarantula and had sweaty palms when he was about to meet Dr No. Connery was vulnerable too!

Dave’s response:

Great analysis. I completely agree that it was a ground-breaking film. And Roger Moore played Bond whereas Sean Connery WAS Bond. 

TT’s response: 

I agree with Dave that Dr No is a bit crude and underdeveloped. But it was 1962!

TT’s grade: A-

Dave’s grade: B


augie said...

awesome little project! i'm a fellow 007 fan (bought the boxed set probably two decades ago and have been adding to it). if you haven't seen it, you should watch Top Gear's 50 years of Bond cars. it's pretty good fun and tells great stories about the various cars (as you may know, in the books, the original bond car is a 4.5l blower bentley - ian fleming had great taste).

Maxichamp said...

@augie: I used to have the DVD set, but I threw everything away when we got rid of the DVD player!