Last week, I discussed several times how the character of Jack Ryan, from Tom Clancy's most popular works, is a bit of a parody and critique of the 1960s spy archetype best exemplified by the likes of James Bond.
Following that review, I figured that it might be rather interesting to take a closer look at the titular spy's movie franchise to see whether or not this groundbreaking franchise still holds up.
Now I want to be fully transparent and admit that I grew up watching the James Bond series with my mother, so this has always been a franchise that has possessed something of a soft spot with me. I absolutely recognize that, especially among the older movies, the series has some very questionable and dated narrative and character decisions. And I will not hesitate to judge the film with that in mind.
All this being said, I feel like we obviously should begin our look into the James Bond franchise with the first film in the series. Released in 1962 and based of the 1958 Ian Fleming novel of the same name, Dr. No created nearly every precedent that the series would become infamous for. But even if it began the formula, does it do that formula as well as the rest of the series?
Let's find out.
- Directed by Terrence Young
- Produced by Eon Productions
- MPAA Rating: PG
- Running Time: 109 Minutes
VISUALS - 7/10
SOUNDTRACK - 9/10
CHARACTERS - 8/10
STORY - 8/10
FINAL THOUGHTSIf Dr. No has any real failing, it is that it has no previous James Bond film to learn from. The film was the framework by which the entire series is built, the prototype. As such, the film possesses many of the qualities that would propel future films to their iconic status, whilst also being weighed down by potential ideas that just didn't go forward nearly as well as the creators would've hoped.