This is my first entry in the blogging craze that is set to sweep the nation - Blog-A-Long-A-Bond. It was set up by the huge Bond fan The Incredible Suit after he realised that there were 22 months until the release of the next Bond film and 22 OFFICIAL Bond films available to watch. The plan is to watch one film a month until the release of Bond 23: Red Sky At Night, Shepherd's Delight or whatever they call it, and review each one on our blogs.
Check out the Facebook page dedicated to the challenge and the chance to read all the contributing bloggers thoughts on the original Bond film.
For my reviews, rather than doing the standard type of review where it describes the plot, complements the acting, action, etc... I will be rating each film on a number of elements that have become synonomous with the Bond series. So here we go...
Relevance of pre-credits sequence to rest of film: No pre-credit sequence :(
Bond song: No Bong song but instead the credits are set to the classic Bond theme composed by Monty Norman... no wait, John Barry... no wait, Monty Norman... no, John Barry... and on and on and on... It also has a bizarre Calypso version of Three Blind Mice before the action starts up again with three blind assassins... very odd.
Time elapsed before we hear the line "Bond... James Bond": 7 minutes 42 seconds
Attractiveness of Bond girls: There is an attractive wealthy woman playing cards with Bond, a white woman who is supposed to be of Asian origin (?!), and then Honey Ryder, who has the iconic entrance of coming out of the sea in that bikini, has a great name, looks good and shows some steel to her in what otherwise is a damsal in distress role.
Best innuendo: Honey Ryder - "Are you looking for seashells too?" Bond - "No, just looking"
Best one-liner used when despatching an evil henchman:
[Professor Dent tries to kill Bond, but his gun is out of bullets]
James Bond: That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six.
[shoots Dent twice]
Best gadget: Q was not introduced in this film so Bond has to make do with a Geiger counter
Evilness of villain: Dr. No has no real physical presence in the film until 20 minutes from the end. Before that he is a shadowy figure that strikes fear into his minions and commuincates through elaborate methods and only by his voice. Having said that, physically he isn't a match for Bond and the end fight between them is over too quickly.
Feasability of villain's evil scheme: Only truly revealed too close to the end of the film to have any real threat or impact (and detailed to Bond in one of those now-cliched "I will tell you my entire plan over dinner before killing you" moments, Dr. No wants to interfere with a US space launch by using a radioactive radio signal. Feasibilty rating - slightly implausible and low on the death count
As you can tell from the examples provided, this was not a "classic" Bond in terms of the formula that we have come to know and love. Dr. No is more along the lines of the tricky first film where you have to spend time introducing us to the characters and the world that they inhabit. They do a fantastic job of building Bond's character who is cynical and sardonic, a no-nonsense killer when he needs to be, and isn't afraid to take the time to romance the ladies. And Connery is damn near perfect in the role.
James Bond will return in February in From Russia With Love.