Dr. No (Bond review)

So I’ve started watching the Bond films

What a weird little movie. Everyone blunders about. Bond sorta just thuggery’s his way to the end. (Which is fine, No, calls him a hooligan.)

The entire thing grinds to a fricken halt when Honey…Ryder…comes out of the ocean.

Dr. No, himself is barely in the film.

The Evil Lair seems to spend 80% of its budget on hotel-like accomodations and staff, while the ‘EVIL’ part is the size a small yard.

And the end? Bond just saunnnnters over to an unguarded atomic-pile control, everyone runs, and No and Bond wrestle for about 20 seconds of action.

I think its hilarious how the usual beats are just so understated.

Don’t forget the deadly battle to the death of Bond and a tarantula. I wasn’t sure he’s make it! Whew! It was so dangerous, Bond was rear-projected under the spider.

Maybe it’s a case of Citizen Kane-itis, but I can’t see from this movie why everyone was so taken by Bond. It’s really kind of a weak film.

I mean, I’m glad they were, so I can enjoy all the good ones, but Dr No isn’t a Bond movie that gets rerun a lot in our house.

It’s often fun to read the original reviews for these…their takes are so informed by the times. Even then, though, the reviewer finds the film as much amusing as entertaining, though in the end he recommends it.

Guardian Film: Photo (tumblr.com)

IMHO, the weakest element of Dr. No is Monty Norman’s anemic score. The only time the film seems to have any energy is when John Barry’s arrangement of the theme kicks in.

I will, however, note that the tarantula scene traumatized five-year-old me. I credit Dr. No for my lifelong arachnophobia.

The books were popular first, so presumably there was pre-existing hype when the movie came out.

I can imagine there’ll probably be someone 50 years from now scratching their head about the first Harry Potter movie.

That score or lack of contributes to the weird energy of the ending. A lot of it also has to do with our expectations of big booming scores laying out the beats of a ‘fight in the villains lair’…and its so not there.

Also Bond is more like Austin Powers in his doofy escape from his cell.