Dr. No was the very first Bond film to be produced, way back in 1962. Dr. No is actually the 6th novel by Ian Fleming, but this was Bond’s first dive onto the big screen. This was also my first introduction to Sean Connery as Bond.
We start off with the iconic theme song, a fantastic and famous riff that once in your head, never leaves. The Bond franchise is all about its amazing title sequences, and this one is very…odd. It’s colored dots, almost like a disco dancefloor, followed by silhouettes of people dancing, which has no connection to the plot. It does, of course, use the first 'bullet through the barrel' shot, which is an iconic visual from the series.
The story is very straight-forward for what I am used to in Bond films. Dr. No controls a remote island off of Jamaica, and wants to launch some rockets to take over the world, blah blah blah. There are very little twists and turns here. It honestly doesn’t feel like a spy movie, it feels more like a detective movie. An hour into Dr. No, I was…bored. The age of the movie is definitely felt during night scenes (clearly filmed during the day using filters) and driving screens, using video screens. The director doesn’t add much to the film, most camera shots are static and boring.
There are some important ‘Bond-isms’ that are introduced for the first time in Dr. No. Bond’s skirt chasing proclivities, his martini, and his gun, to name a few. The ‘Bond Girl’ with a ridiculous name (Honey Ryder) is played by Ursula Andress, who looks fantastic in her role. The scene where she emerges from the water in her white bikini is iconic, and was the yard stick by which all other Bond girls were measured. Connery was smooth as hell as Bond, and it’s easy to see why he was so successful in the role. He oozes sexuality and just looks powerful. The titular villain isn’t very interesting. One thing that wasn’t here that I missed were the gadgets I’m so used to seeing in 007 movies. Not one to be found.