James Bond Reviews: #11: Dr. No.

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     You never forget your first time. So, here it is; the very first cinematic James Bond film. You can see the movie now, and take note of its crudeness, even though there is still a shit load of charm to the whole thing. It most certainly is a low key affair, and its fair to even find yourself unimpressed; there is still a lot of joy to be had. Aren’t you just a little curious to see how it all began?
     007 (Sean Connery) has hit a bit of a dry patch. After almost fumbling his last mission, Bond is sent by M (Bernard Lee) to investigate transmissions being sent from Jamaica. There Bond meets Felix Lieter (Jack Lord) and a local girl named Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress). There he meets the man behind it all Dr. No, and his first encounter with a nefarious organization.
     Oh, how far this series has come. Dr. No has such humble beginnings; the scope of the story is kept to one location, the action is ample but low key, and it feels like a trial run for what’s to surely follow. Connery doesn’t have full grasp of the character, but there is a lot of foundation for what the character will become known for (The suave nature, the infamous one liners, the cold blooded killings). Even Bond’s introduction has that smooth kind of editing that makes you feel like you just watched history. The formula started off here, and its a joy to behold.
     You can’t go wrong with this installment as your first Bond movie, since it is the first Bond movie. The series has evolved beyond these humble beginnings so do keep that in mind. My favorite element of the movie is that it even feels like a detective hard boiled crime drama, something that the franchise has strayed from. It’s fun to see the seeds of the whole thing being planted, and see what elements work and don’t work. Highly recommended.

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