Friday, November 16, 2012

Dr. No

(This is the first post in my James Bond marathon.  It is in a fairly rudimentary form because I was not sure how these posts would work, exactly.  At some point I'd like to re-visit it, but it'll have to do for now.)

Ursula Andress is terrible. Terrible. She has exactly one scene in which she brings anything to the film, and unfortunately it's iconic enough that people mistake her for a decent Bond girl. Wrong.

It manages to be more sexist than racist, but it gives it the old college try to flip the ratio (best moment of both - Bond has to convince both a black man and a woman that dragons aren't real.)

The way the plot resolves is immeasurably stupid - Bond does very little except luck into the world's stupidest villain.

All that being said, it's a surprisingly robust spy movie for at least about half of its running time, which is more than I would have guessed. Connery does a lot of heavy lifting, and the production design (especially of the villain's lair) shades in the rest. After the opening scene plus Bond's introduction it slows down quite a bit as the production travels to Jamaica and has very little idea of what to do in order to delay the reveal of the Big Bad, but it picks back up.

James Bond beds three women. A rando, a villain, and the Bond girl. A solid opening pitch.

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