Dr. No on Prime Video — Trench, Sylvia Trench
How many movies that were made almost 60 years ago, can still get your heart racing, blood pumping, keep your curiosity and still manage to surprise you?
Dr. No does all that and more.
A lot of things that happen in this movie, have since been done way better, and in even better fashion. Yet, as I watched Dr. No unfold on my Macbook Air, remastered and all that, it is still, such an amazing spy movie.
The James Bond Tropes
At this point of time in my life, I have been exposed to pretty much every major movie that Hollywood has made in the last 60 years. I consume entertainment at a ferocious rate. You name a movie that is even remotely popular, I have probably watched it. If it was popular, then, I have definitely watched, and in most cases, multiple times.
I suppose, that is one of the perks of being a at home remote freelancer worker for the last 9 years. There is simply no supervision and lots of time to watch movies.
When Honey Rider steps out of the water into the beach in her white bikini, it’s no longer as exciting to me, as it was, say 20 years ago. These days, even in India, it’s not that hard to find photos or videos or women in bikini. Just open instagram and watch any number of models and actresses strip down. Yet, there is something fascinating about watching Honey Rider, heaving heavily in her bosom, step outside, looking hot and wet.
It is clear that the movie makes out Bond to be the ultimate alpha. Women want to be with him, and men want to be him. This might seem outdated but, we still have such scenes here in India, in plenty of movies where the hero is always the ultimate alpha male. At various times, I felt it was a bit too much, when the secretary is fawning over James Bond, but, then again, I have actually seen this happen in real life.
I suppose that’s okay.
The James Bond theme kicks in at crucial times. Having heard it a million times, I am surprised that I am still not bored with it. There is something effortless and infinite about the james bond theme. As the first movie in the series, they do over use it. Yet, it is awesome. We get to meet M, we get to meet money penny and his favourite gun, Walther PPK. We get a obligatory mention of SPECTRE.
Also, I am pleasantly surprised that Sean Connery is topless as much as the female characters. Also, Sean Connery is built like an Olympian! He is a good looking guy too. He neither looks too silly nor too old. He looks like a guy who can actually survive the dangers he is finds himself in.
Thanks to my over exposure to Moore and Brosnan, who were honestly not built for hardcore fights, I assumed Daniel Craig is the only Bond who can survive a real fight. Sean Connery was always a hardcore bond.
Chase Scenes and Ludicrous Villainy
I was surprised at how little action this movie really has. The chase scenes are complementary at best. However, at no point was I bored with the lack of action. Everything is so serious and tightly edited. Every scene has some meaning behind it. Every dialogue has an effect to it.
Connery has an imposing presence throughout the movie. At one point, Sean Connery decides to a fake sleeping act, at a temporary lover’s home. He hides behind the door and plays Solitaire (my favorite game!) and the assassin shows up. Of course, Bond catches him in the act and starts interrogating him.
Then, just like that, Bond kills him, as the assassin goes for his gun. Again, I could never imagine Brosnan or Moore doing something so cold. Craig would do it. That is when I realized, Craig was essentially channeling the old school bond after decades of funny business from Moore/Brosnan.
I was really taken aback by that assasin’s death.
One of the best scenes in the movie.
Then, comes the truly impressive part of the movie — Dr. No. That cold calculating voice. The ‘hotel’ experience offered to his guests. Those metallic hands. The serious motivation and pride of his work. The giant lair and the impressive nuclear missile something something satellite plan.
Wow, this Dr. No guy is the most amazing thing about this movie. No wonder, his is the title on the movie and not James Bond. Dr. No has an ominous presence in the entire story. He is sort of like Voldemort in the Harry Potter stories. Although Voldemort drives the entire 7 books and 8 movies, he is barely present in the narrative. Dr. No is like that.
Such a fantastic villain. Such an amazing villain lair. I cannot believe that Dr. No and the last 30 minutes kept me so captivated. I was constantly reminded that this movie came 60 years ago. This is just an amazing feat of movie making.
I am marathon watching the James Bond movies and I wish to rank them at the end. So, I came up with a numbering system. The scores for this one are here.
- Action and Stunts 9/9
- Coolness Cool 9/9
- Double Entendre and One Liners 9/9
- Hot Women 9/9
- Ludicrous Villainy, Cool Deaths and Traps 9/9
- Gadgets Man! 0/9
- General Awesomeness 9/9
- Boredom Factor 0/-9
Total : 54.
I have watched all the James Bond movies at various times in my life. Now, I watched it, with the full intention to write about it, I have come off very impressed.
Dr. No is truly one of the greatest spy movies every made. I wont be surprised if this ends up being in the top five, when I tally all the James Bond movies at the end of my marathon bond movie watching.