Published on November 12th, 2015 | by Thompson
The Gonzo Bond Movie Reviews: Dr. No (1962)
Instead of ripping on the new James Bond film, Spectre, I’ll instead piggyback on its short-lived popularity by reviewing every Bond film in a Gonzo fashion. I’ll be under the influence for each review, so by the end of the series readers will know which Bond films are best to watch while high and a little drunk.
The Gonzo Bond Rating, or GBR, is based on 007 ingredients that make a good Bond film: 001) The First Five, or first five minutes of the film including the credits, 002) The Game, or plot, 003) Bond’s Game, or Bond’s performance, 004) Bond’s Villain, or the villain’s performance and general evilness, 005) Bond’s Gear, or cars, guns, and gadgets, 006) Graphics, or explosions, stunts, and the like, and, of course, 007) Bond Girls, which is not necessarily performance driven, as is the case with Dr. No.
Dr. No (1962)
I was already drunk and had been awake for 16 hours, so I took a few puffs off my vapor pen loaded with an uplifting, sativa blend. Even with a dip of Copenhagen Long Cut I had trouble staying awake, which I didn’t consider in my rating. It wasn’t Dr. No’s fault. It was Ursula Andress’ fault.
I decided to turn it off after the shower scene, where Andress is uncovered momentarily but is discovered to be wearing a flesh-colored bra. This also did not factor into my decision, but I was ready to sleep. I finished it the next evening after smoking some Purple Aliens, a hybrid cannabis blend.
The First Five
The first five minutes of Dr. No gets a plus for implementing the awesome introduction sequence featuring the Bond theme song and trippy graphics. The first intro features neon lights blinking to the beat of the theme song until the theme is suddenly taken over by bongo drums (-) and silhouettes of women dancing (+), then a version of “Three Blind Mice” plays as three “blind” men kill SIS agent Strangways (-). Cut to a female radio operator with very nice wrists who is shot and killed in her office in a rather fake fashion over a folder (-).
James Bond (Sean Connery) goes to Kingston, Jamaica looking for Strangways. Locals say there’s a dragon on Crab Key island, where SPECTRE’s Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) intends to disrupt a space launch at Cape Canaveral with a radio weapon. M. (Bernard Lee) asks 007 to investigate and see if Strangway’s disappearance is linked to a CIA case he was working regarding recent radio disruptions of rocket launches at Cape Canaveral.
The location is cool, so that’s a plus, but the plot leaves a lot to be desired. It’s not an action-packed film, nor is it fast-moving. 007 gets some help from a couple of interesting characters, but mostly beautiful women. He spends more time in the bedroom than in the field.
It’s the best intro to Bond ever because it’s the first intro to Bond ever. You don’t see Bond’s face until he gives his name. “Bond, James Bond.” He beats a woman at cards and then asks her out for golf and dinner. He’s a fast, strong, smooth talker. You can tell he’s Scottish.
He keeps cool with a giant spider crawling all over him, then rolls out of bed and smacks it five times with a shoe. In the first fight after the first chase he tells his opponent to get up before punching him in the face. “Now talk,” he says as the dude poisons himself.
He asks another woman out in a matter of seconds – an evil Chinese flower. He’s chased by assassins on the way there on a gravel road. He arrives with her not expecting him to make it alive. She’s in a towel looking very fine. Bond fucks her twice and then double-crosses her.
“I’ll just put on some clothes,” she says.
“Don’t bother,” Bond replies.
“Please,” she requests.
“Thought I was invited here to enjoy the view,” Bond comments.
Dr. No is evil, sure, but nothing about him is especially scary except his metal hands, which end up killing him (-). He also never puts Bond in a position where we fear for his life (-). Bond takes care of his assassin from a chair playing solitaire.
“That’s a Smith and Wesson, and you’ve had your six,” Bond says before he shoots the assassin.
Dr. No never made me nervous (-), his plan isn’t particularly scary (-), and neither is he in those ridiculous, radioactivity suits (-).
M. takes his Beretta and makes him use a Walther “PPK” because his Bond’s Beretta jammed on his last job and landed him in the hospital for six months. Being in Kingston, 1950s Chevys are mostly driven, and the first car Bond drives is actually a Chevy Bel Air convertible. But the Sunbeam Alpine convertible is also driven, and is considered to be the “Bond Car” of Dr. No. It’s no Aston Martin to say the least.
There are plenty of boats, too, but nothing like Thunderball. Q. does not make an appearance, so Bond ends up being more resourceful, using a hair over the closet to see if anyone breaks into his hotel and fingerprint dust on his briefcase. He uses bamboo shoots for breathing under water.
During a chase, Bond sneaks under equipment in the road and his enemies go down the cliff on fire (+). But tires screeching on gravel? Come on (-). The explosion of Dr. No’s atomic energy plant and base isn’t overwhelmingly enjoyable (-), but the inside of the base was well designed (+). The fire-breathing Dragon machine is pretty cool (+), but everybody who ends up shot looks like someone just splattered red paint on their clothes, with no bulletholes of which to speak (-).
The Bond Girls
Every woman in this film is a 10, especially the blonde Andress playing Honey Ryder. Our introduction to her is in that famous scene where she emerges from the sea in a white, two-piece bathing suit with a belt carrying a knife looking for seashells.
She gives a terrible performance, but that doesn’t matter. She can’t even fake being distressed when Bond sneaks up on a guy and stabs him to death, but cheap, stoney laughs are worth nearly as much as an impeccable performance when you’re stoned, and when you look like that you don’t need to act. You just stand there and look pretty.
LEGS! The gambling, brunette, Sylvia Trench, has legs for days. She’s played by Eunice Gayson. She looks right into Bond’s eyes as they kiss.
“I must leave immediately…Almost immediately,” Bond says.
DAMN! The Asian flower who eavesdrops on Bond’s conversation from behind the door is played by Zena Marshall, of French and Irish descent.
“Collect me at my apartment,” on the bed in a white robe. Mmm.
Total GBR: 053/070
If a few chuckles and some nice looking girls are what you’re after, Dr. No fits the bill. Otherwise, it’s underwhelming as far as Bond films go.