After too many occasions when I’ve missed the start of the Christmas Bond Marathon, or it’s been checked out at the video store, or I couldn’t remember the name, I have finally seen Dr. No. Thank you Ann Arbor Public Library.
Or more accurately, I’ve seen the first hour of Dr. No. But it’s getting late and I have morning class, so that will have to do for now. It’s instantly my favourite Bond film. It’s the first of them of course. I’ve read most of the books (it isn’t hard, they read just as fast as pulp should) and this is the truest to them. Screw Bruckheimer, that makes for a good movie. Somehow I missed the first reference to Bond as 007, but the first “Bond, James Bond” comes down like a tonne of bricks. And I didn’t have to see this film to know it, but Connery is (yes of course) the best of them. I’ll give Daniel Craig number 2.
(If you click on that earlier link, it will take you to the single highest Rotten Tomato rating I have ever seen.)
After Dr. No it’s inevitably one big, tedious arms race. The extraordinary thing about the Bond franchise is how long they’ve managed to milk actual pleasure out of that scenario. Racism, sexism, colonialism, judo, all the ingredients are there from the beginning, only more fresh. So two thumbs up, then one down to cock the barretta, and then M takes it away from you and gives you this newfangled Walther.