Dr. No (1962)

Dr.No Movie Review

Dr.No Review

 Dr. No is a 1962 British action spy film directed by Terence Young and starring Sean Connery. It is the first James Bond film in the series and one of the best according to critics. As for me, it has many flaws, but it is an enjoyable movie with its moments and a great restrained approach.

The story is the biggest problem this movie never manages to overcome. It is very enjoyable and definitely entertaining, but it is way too convoluted to follow. The first half of the movie is also extremely inferior to the second one because it is incredibly rushed and difficult to follow. But it of course has the memorable appearance of Bond for the first time in an iconic scene and it is a nice introduction to the character. But the second half is much better with excellent use of exotic locations and thrilling and refreshing adventurous tone making it pleasing for the eye and very engaging to watch. And the finale is charming.

As for the characters, there is a plethora of interesting characters with the female characters being surprisingly well written for the time. And the actors did a fine job portraying them, elevating the material with a lot of charisma, charm, good looks and chemistry. But they are all very mediocre when their personalities are concerned owing to the weak characterization. That along with the rushed approach is the biggest reason why I thought this movie was very flawed indeed. But the character development is almost always weak in action films, so they could be forgiven for it.

The movie succeeds mostly thanks to its incredibly appealing tone which is very adventurous. It is literally an adventure more than action which was really refreshing and involving. It is also incredibly well filmed with superb locations. There is a lot to please the eyes here thanks to some beautiful sea imagery on display. Also the fashion is iconic and all the actors and actresses look fine bringing the necessary sexy appeal to it. What is the most unique and interesting aspect of the film is definitely its comic-book nature and sensibility which is achieved due to episodic nature, use of exotic locations and a plot that looks as literally taken from the pages of the comics. That I found very charming and definitely entertaining along with being visually appealing with some terrific choices made. And there are many memorable sequences, mainly the one with the tarantula, the scenes on the island and naturally the tense sequence in the vent near the end. All of these are beautifully executed and visually stunning.

The next choice from the filmmakers that was right up my valley is definitely the approach of more story driven narrative and adventure instead of high-octane action. That I found incredibly satisfying because I am not a big fan of action scenes. I have to mention the music too. It is fascinating. This is one of the most memorable and iconic soundtracks in movie history and although the title theme is sometimes used too often, it is expected as it is so good. On the other hand, some technicalities hurt the movie. The directing should have been better and editing is of course weak due to a lot of rushed as well as some dragged moments in the beginning. The humor is solid at times, but mostly leaving you wanting more. The dialogue is okay and the action sequences are solidly executed, if at times overloud.

Dr. No has a cast that has evident charm, good looks and charisma, the action is solid, the plot is engaging and the soundtrack is iconic. The characters are weakly developed, the story is difficult to follow mainly due to many rushed scenes and the first half is problematic and inferior to the second one, but what makes this film a pleasant surprise are some excellent choices from the filmmakers mainly the approach with more adventure instead of stupid action which is very appealing and an almost comic-book sensibility of the film with episodic nature of storytelling, many memorable moments, use of exotic locations and an adventurous and engaging story that is very entertaining and feels as if taken right from the pages of the comics. It is a flawed movie, but as entertainment goes, it definitely achieves that as it is very engaging and pleasing to the eye.

My Rating – 4

Posted in 1960s, 1962, Action, MOVIE REVIEWS, Spy and tagged , , , , , , , .

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