films seen
3
average score
2.16*
nationality
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Worthy but flawed

Dr. No

1962 / 110m - UK
Thriller, Mystery
2.5*/5.0*
Dr. No poster

I'd seen two James Bond films before, pretty much by accident (by tagging along with some friends to the movies). It's a rather long series though and it's the kind I prefer to watch from the start. Since I'm not big on classic cinema, it took me a while to get around to it. But today it finally happened. I was ready to sit down for Dr. No.

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Even though I'm hardly a Bond connoisseur, the series is so engrained into our pop culture that I instantly recognized many familiar elements. I was actually quite surprised to see so many trademark Bond things were already part of the first film. Of course, when this was filmed there were already some novels to fall back on.

While quite cheesy by modern standards, the film is nicely paced and pleasantly over-the-top. I actually expected a slightly more serious and boring film, but it's almost like watching a bigger budget IshirĂ´ Honda flick (only without the monsters). Not terrible and I'm sure it won't be long before I'll get around to the first couple of sequels.

Dubious filler

Thunderball

1965 / 130m - UK
Action, Thriller
2.0*/5.0*
Thunderball poster

A decent entry in the 007 franchise. Not quite as crazy as Goldfinger, but still daft and silly enough to be enjoyable. The main problem with Thunderball is that it crosses the 120-minute barrier, which is a bit excessive for a simple film like this. Some tighter editing would've done this film a lot of good.

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Connery is a decent Bond. Not too serious, but no goof either. The rest of the cast isn't quite up to par I'm afraid. The bad guy is pretty lame and the Bond girl clearly wasn't chosen for her acting skills. Add a low quality plot which is a little too prevalent and get you get a film that struggles where it shouldn't.

At least the action is fun and there's still plenty of silliness. The many scenes with the sharks stand out, but the finale is also pretty hilarious. It makes for decent entertainment, but it should've lost at least 30 minutes. Not good enough to be consistently fun, hopefully the next films manage to trim some of that excess fat.

From Russia with Love

1963 / 115m - UK
Thriller, Action
2.0*/5.0*
From Russia with Love poster

The second Bond film seems more in line with what the series represents nowadays, which is a shame. The first film was cheesy and goofy fun, this second one is a bit more serious. It's not without a wink and there's still some fun to be had, but no silly underground lairs in From Russia with Love.

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Sean Connery is a decent James Bond, though it does look like he's one of those actors whose best work came at a later age. He's suave enough for the part, but he's not a very convincing master spy. His adversaries aren't the most impressive either and the Bond girl lacks charisma.

The plot is simple, but amusing. The pacing is solid, there's enough action and the classy setting works in the film's favor. It's not bad, quite watchable even, at the same time it's also been superseded by hundreds of similar films. Based on the first two Bond films, it's obvious why this franchise became such a big success, but the films themselves feel a bit outdated.