Starring: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Bernard Lee
Director: Terence Young
Running Time: 110 mins
Dr. No is a British film and the first in the James Bond series, following the story of the famous British secret agent travelling to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of a colleague, however he soon discovers that there is much more danger and evil on the island.
This is a fantastic start to one of the most iconic movie sagas of all time. It’s a fast-paced, action-packed thrill ride, featuring a great first outing for Agent 007, thanks to a fantastic performance by Sean Connery, making it not only one of the most iconic Bond films of all time, but also one of the most fun.
What I was most impressed by in this film was how fast and action-packed it was. Of course, in recent years, we’ve got used to huge explosions at every second, but this is perfectly comparable to the modern Bond films, full of action, gunfights and all sorts of mayhem happening all of the time, which is just so much fun to watch.
But it’s not only an entertaining action film. This movie does brilliantly in creating a very powerful and consistent air of suspense and tension, for two main reasons. Firstly, we see weaknesses in Sean Connery’s portrayal of James Bond, and that makes it all the more unpredictable as you watch, because, unlike it the modern films, you just don’t know whether he’s going to survive the various elaborate assassination attempts by his enemies.
Secondly, this film does an excellent job at making its villain so mysterious that it plays with your mind into making you fear the worst. Upon his reveal, Dr. No is a classic Bond villain, but the build-up to that is so exciting, because you are given almost nothing to form an idea of what the bad guy is going to be like, and, coupled with Bond’s evident weaknesses and near-paranoia of the enemy, the whole film suddenly becomes hugely suspenseful.
Of course, being the first outing of James Bond, this film is as iconic as it is brilliant. It introduces the famous super spy in style, giving Bond that classically suave image while also making him a great action hero. Meanwhile, all of the other best bits of Bond stem from here (apart from the gadgets), including classic Bond girls, brilliant espionage and mystery and a scary, but oddly charming villain.
Overall, this gets an 8.1, because it’s a thrillingly tense and hugely entertaining action film, which sets up an iconic movie saga with perfection.