James Bond Month – The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Director: Guy Hamilton

Writer: Richard Maibaum, Tom Mankiewicz (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Herve Villechaize, Clifton James

 

Plot: James Bond is led to believe that he is targeted by the world’s most expensive assassin while he attempts to recover sensitive solar cell technology that is being sold to the highest bidder.


Tagline – He never misses his target, and now his target is 007.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mostly Forgettable

 

Story: The Man with the Golden Gun starts when James Bond (Moore) is assigned to locate known assassin Francisco Scaramanga (Lee) who has personally set James a bullet with his name on. His investigation takes him to a bullet making who makes the golden bullets he is known for using.

James works with Mary Goodnight (Ekland) for the connection which takes him to his hideout on a mysterious island with Andrea Anders (Adams) leading him to the answers and a showdown with the deadly assassin.

 

Thoughts on The Man with the Golden Gun

 

Characters – James Bond is the secret service agent we know from the previous film, he continues to be the womaniser and prefers to work solo as he is trying to locate an assassin that has been paid to kill him, away from this we don’t learn much more about James. Francisco Scaramanga is the assassin that is assigned to kill Bond, he will only normally kill the people he has been hired to kill playing along with the honour of the kills, he is a man of myth who sees Bond as a great challenge. Mary Goodnight is the Bond girl that has been working on assignment in Thailand, she becomes the connection that helps with the case. Andrea Anders is the mistress that gets caught up in the middle of the twos battle.

PerformancesRoger Moore leads what is a very average set of performances who don’t get enough to do to make them standout, Moore tries to play this more serious and it doesn’t work. Christopher Lee is the highlight of the performances that makes us want to see more of his stories.

StoryThe story brings Bond on his latest mission where he must investigate an assassin that has been assigned to kill him. Now this does make the story feel more forgettable because it is just a villain who is searching for a challenge, rather than any criminal mastermind that wants to change the world. there is a weak subplot which focuses on the use of renewable energy which could have been a lot more important. Even though Scaramanga is an interesting villain the story just lacks pace to make us truly believe the world is in danger which is what we have gotten the chance to see in the previous film.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film does have a couple of good chase sequences which include car and boat ones, only the fights fall slightly flat. The adventure side of things does take Bond to a new country though it never feels like any of the previous life and death moments he has faced.

SettingsThe settings for the film bought to light one of the most beautiful location in the world, a prefect location for a hideout at the time.


Scene of the Movie –
Nik Nack’s bloody lust.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The American tourist that is racist towards the Thai will on holiday. Or that sound effect for the bridge jump.

Final ThoughtsWhile not bad or good, this is by far the first forgettable Bond movie to date.

 

Overall: Drags along too slowly.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

James Bond Month – Live and Let Die (1973)

Director: Guy Hamilton

Writer: Tom Makiewicz (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour, Clifton James, Julius Harris, Geoffrey Holder, David Hedison

 

Plot: 007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Bond Movie

 

Story: Live and Let Die starts when three secret agencies are killed, James Bond (Moore) is set to investigation the three locations, Harlem, a Caribbean island and New Orleans. His investigations lead him to tarot card psychic Solitaire (Seymour) who is being controlled by heroin magnate Kananga (Kotto).

We watch how Bond must take on a fresh villain with his own plans to bring chaos to the world, this time lives are at risk and he must do everything he can to stop the plan from taking over America and the world.

 

Thoughts on Live and Let Die

 

Characters – James Bond is back with a slightly different look and swagger, he goes undercover in a location you wouldn’t expect to see Bond, dealing with a heroin dealing company, he still gets his girls along the way and manages to escape each person trying to kill him. Kananga is the heroin magnet with a masterplan which has involved killing undercover agents that have gotten to close to his operation, he however is obsessed with tarot cards that will help him make the right decisions. Solitaire is the tarot card reader that can see the future unless she make love, so until she meets Bond, she sees him as a way out of the control of Kananga.

PerformancesRoger Moore steps into the shoes of Bond and while he does bring a different dimension to the character, he doesn’t hit the full quality levels Connery did. Yaphet Kotto in the villainous role is good in the role without ever feeling like a complete threat. Jane Seymour is good in her role even if the character never seems to fit the complete story going on.

StoryThe story here takes James into battle against a drug lord trying to reshape the drug world, James must go through the black neighbourhoods while dealing with his voodoo beliefs and a tarot card worshiping mad man. For a Bond movie this is one of the weaker stories, not because of the performances, but because the case just seems very basic with no peril, it’s a drug lord over any mastermind world dominance plan. It does feel like a bi of a reboot with the new actor, showing him complete an easier case rather than continuing the battles against the bigger enemies, we do try to get a henchman which should bring peril, though he is more comic relief and the whole boat chase feels like something out of a comedy.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is good for the basic moments, the airplane moment is great fun, though the boat race is comical for the most part.

SettingsThe film does use more recognizable location which is nice, the Harlem and New Orleans settings stand out for this discussion because they make us feel like James is just a police detective.


Scene of the Movie –
The airport sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The villain, while interesting, he never feels like a threat.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun Bond movie, not good one, but one you can easily watch without feeling completely out of the previous world created.

 

Overall: Simple to watch Bond.

Rating