I've never been a big fan of James Bond. As much of an film lover as I am, nothing about him really appealed to me. Mostly due to him being such a staple of pop-culture that you don't really need to watch any of the films to truly understand how his character works. Basically, he is displayed as being every teenage boy's dream idea of how a man should be: suave, powerful, seductive, and able to travel the world and take down pure evil mad men. While he serves that dream, he also serves as a reminder to older men of a simpler time when they would believe that that is what they would be when they grow up (yeah... not so much). But for me, none of the was really the case. I just viewed him as an icon that makes crap loads of money, feature beautiful women, and usually a wonderful opening song. So, at the age of 16 - edge of 17 - I decided to give a few of the Bond films a chance. Well, I decided to start with the original and my reaction is: it's okay.
Okay, I am not a fan of spy films unless they are beyond intelligent, have an original plot, and is able to keep my attention. Dr. No, for what it was when it came out, must have been. But, looking at it now, this film seems more like a celebration of all the cliches in cinema with spy films that we have all come to enjoy. Now, this is not a bad thing. Just, seems a bit tedious to me. But what makes me love how these cliches are done is how well it is all executed. So, yeah. This film is silly, kind of idiotic, and the dialogue, to me, is a little bit to be desired, but eh. It is what it is and it is entertaining, though the pacing is slow.
Now I need to talk about Sean Connery. With the idea of how Bond should be, he gets this nailed down. He is everything we look for, plus he is something I never really expected: a tad bit vulnerable. Mostly dealing with one scene with a spider. I mean, this is a guy that is almost killed on a daily basis, has beautiful women turn their backs on him, and yet he is afraid of a spider that is crawling on him. I am not trying to bash that part, but I just find it a bit funny that they show that Bond is afraid of a spider. But back to the acting wise, Connery did set the standard for Bond, and he does so with wonder. He is entertaining to watch, plus I do like how he is able to make any woman fall for him in a heart beat. Must be the martinis.
For Ursula Andress, I will admit that I am disappointed with her. Yes, I am aware of her first appearance in the film being her walking out of the ocean in her white bikini, but I felt like they underplayed her. Her character, while she was thrown into a situation she never wanted to be a part of, had some potential of being strong and powerful. But, they kind of play her off as being a damsel in distress. I don't know. Maybe it is due to my love of seeing strong women that makes me kind of not like her character.
Finally for Joseph Wiseman as the title character. The film buffs him up to be the giant, powerhouse villain. We see the damage he causes, hear his plans, see his dragon and underground layer, and he just appears and steals the show. In some aspects, his performance rivals Connery's in terms of him being the main actor. Only problem: he appears in the last thirty minutes of the film. I know that they spend about eighty minutes buffing him up, but I would of liked to see him a bit more, get to know him a bit more. A villain is only as good as the dimensions, and he only has one dimension. But for the dimension, it works
Back to what I have said, this film is the stereotypical spy thriller through and through: one dimensional characters, action here and there, beautiful women, and entertaining as hell. My only last complaint would have to be the pacing for the first hour. It just seemed slow to me. But, in the end, for what it is, it is not bad.