James Bond 007 is Britain's top agent, and is on an exciting mission, to solve the mysterious murder of a fellow agent. The task sends him to Jamaica, where he joins forces with Quarrel and a loyal C.I.A. Agent, Felix Leiter. While dodging tarantulas, "fire breathing dragons", and a trio of assassins, known as "the three blind mice". Bond meets up with the beautiful Honey Ryder and goes face to face with the evil Dr. No.Written by
"Dr. No" is not my favorite James Bond film. But I'm glad it succeeded, because it led to subsequent 007 films that were really very entertaining, especially "Goldfinger". Everything about "Dr. No": the story, the music, the special effects, the dialogue, even the acting is so ... tentative. The film lacks the self-confident flair and cinematic flamboyance that characterize later 007 films from the 1960s. That is not a criticism, given that "Dr. No" was the first Bond film, and was low-budget. No one knew how the film would be received.
Through the years Sean Connery is the only actor who has done justice to the James Bond character, in my opinion. Although his acting in "Dr. No" is probative at best, he still manages to convey an aura of intelligent charisma. And that charisma would become less restrained in later films.
The visuals in "Dr. No" are very dated. What seemed futuristic in 1962 seems stodgy now. All that engineering design, those clunky computers, and that modernistic interior decor, all included to wow viewers then, seem, half a century later, quaint, obsolete, even archaic. The film's story, about an evil genius out to scuttle the U.S. missile program and dominate the world, likewise seems dated. I must admit, however, that Joseph Wiseman, as the villain, is well cast, with his passive face and those eyes that seldom blink.
That the James Bond character and his adventures have survived all these years demonstrates the enduring appeal of cinematic heroes who, like superman, embody all that is good and strong, in their successful efforts to conquer evil. I just wish that contemporary 007 films had the cinematic credibility of those 1960's Bond films: "You Only Live Twice", "From Russia With Love", "Thunderball", and of course "Goldfinger", all of which owe their existence to the success of "Dr. No".
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