(Crossposted from Blurred Productions)
Bond Actor: Roger Moore (Age: 47)
Bond Country of Origin: England
Women Slept With: 2
Villain’s Evil Scheme: To kill JAMES BOND!!!! And some vague plot to use a revolutionary solar power technology for laser evil
Things that I like: badass assassins, car chases, karate, globetrotting spies, midgets pretending they are people. Given that The Man with the Golden Gun has all of these things, one would expect that I would find this movie delightful. This is not the case however, and I have to say this is my least favorite Bond film to date. Oh sure, you remember how much fun the Golden Gun was in Goldeneye as you mercilessly slaughtered the kid from up the street you lured over to be cannon fodder. And perhaps you recall Scaramanga (Christopher Lee!) as being pretty awesome as the world’s greatest assassin, complete with tiny henchman. But I am here to say this movie is lame; so, so lame. To sum up just how lame, I submit the film’s most striking soundtrack moment: the use of a honest to Christ slidewhistle.
“Hey!” say the makers of this film “That full loop in an AMC Gremlin is far too cool and exciting on its own, let’s find a musical cue that can really sell it! I know, that thing Sideshow Mel and my 3 year old love! We’ll win over both demographics!” And just in case you weren’t sold, they brought back everyone’s favorite character: Sherrif J. W. “I hate Zipperheads” Pepper!
The plot is your basic Bond silliness for the most part: The world’s greatest assassin (Scaramanga) decides to kill Bond and spruce up his island paradise estate with a death laser at the same time. Bond tracks him to exotic locations full of almost naked women and totally naked women while being completely incompetent and consistently playing right into Scaramanga’s hands. I suppose he is able to extract information from Scaramanga’s gunsmith, but tricking the gun maker who gets held up by his own gun isn’t really a testement of brilliance. He’s aided by Agent Goodnight, who is the kind of assertive modern woman who let’s 007 make out with her, chuck her into a closet so he can bone another girl, then still be willing to sleep with him. The only time she’s ever even remotely useful is when she takes a break from making sure she’s breathing and walking at the same time to knock Scaramanga’s henchmen off a catwalk with no safety rails into a dangerously unstable reactor.
My favorite part is the way M treats the man who is supposed to be his top agent: like a petulant child. M is completely disgusted with Bond’s antics and lack of any professional demeanor, and spends all his time either furious or patronizing towards 007. This perfectly encapsulates the Roger Moore Bond for me, as an immature goof that is an embarrassment to his superiors and only succeeds because of blind luck and villains that are at least as dumb as he is. Scaramanga certainly takes the cake for overly elaborate death traps: his idea of a challenging assassination is to put Bond into a massive fun house, complete with convenient statue of Bond, where they hunt each other. I’m not entirely clear as to how this makes his kills more sporting, or why he’s so surprised when it somehow backfires on him.
The movie is dumb, and largely memorable only because it is so dumb. Like many of the toy commercials disguised as children’s cartoons you remember so fondly, watching this movie again as an adult will likely be a very disappointing experience.
Bond Rating: Sp out of Spectre