"Dr. No" by Yojimbo
Yojimbo - wrote on 09/19/12
James Bond is sent to the Caribbean to investigate the disappearance of an operative following his investigation of a reclusive scientist operating out of a nearby island. From the moment Sean Connery appears on screen it is immediately obvious that he had a special kind of charisma and the early scenes of Dr. No establish his character and appeal perfectly. The 60s styling will also appeal to nostalgia buffs and despite some rather workmanlike plotting, the first half of the film is really rather enjoyable. Unfortunately once the "action" shifts to Dr. No's island things take a turn for the worse. Terence Young's deliberate pacing slows to a snail's pace and No himself (who looks slightly less Chinese than Connery does) with his ridiculous mechanical hands, incompetent assassins and nuclear reactor by Fisher Price contain all of the silliness of later Bonds but without the sense of humour. I've also encountered public lavatories that are harder to escape from than Bond's prison cell which makes it all seem like a very boring Austin Powers film. It's definitely interesting to see the origins of Connery's Bond and there's enough sixties totty to make Leslie Phillips' moustache curl, but the dreary plotting and dated characterisation (apparently all Jamaicans are superstitious rummies who sing songs about mangoes all the time) mean the film has been surpassed in every way since, particularly by the next two outings From Russia With Love and Goldfinger.