Monday, November 9, 2020

The Man With The Golden Gun

I know this is one of the lesser good James Bond movies but I still like it a bit.

I will admit the movie has problems, some making absolutely no sense whatsoever but it is more smaller things. The story is told well with Bond having to face off against the world's deadliest assassin for a solar device which could end the energy crisis which was a very real thing for Britian at that time. It's a decent movie in the series, it has issues yes but the good stuff still stands strong. I somewhat pin the issues of plot and character on the straining relationship between Albert "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman the producers of every single James Bond film up to that point, and the fact that a lot of the elements of the production were rushed, this movie released just one year after Live And Let Die. Now granted the first four Bond movies were released one year after the other but it had adverse effects on the main star, and now the producers of this empire were falling on hard times. For better information than I could ever give I absolutely recommend the documentary Everything Or Nothing released in 2012, it is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen and a heartfelt telling of the history of the series. Yet through all the issues, they still gave us a decent story with a damn good cast. Roger Moore still delivers his own style of James Bond but takes on a bit of a rougher edge, more akin to how Sean Connery would act the scene in some circumstances and it just doesn't work for Roger. I certainly don't blame him for it but it was a misstep regardless. Christopher Lee is practically god-tier Bond villain for me as Francisco Scaramanga, able to play both the ice blooded killer and yet shows great levity and joy in certain scenes, giving us something of a window into how Lee really was in life, a charismatic, lovely, full of life gentleman known the world over. He is the reason I hold this film highly, and damn it I really want that golden gun. Not only is it geniusly crafted but I've been familiar with that weapon years and years before I saw the film, so thanks Goldeneye for the N64 you still rock today. Anyway, Britt Eckland is more of a bubbleheaded Bond girl as Mary Goodnight and was obviously showcased more for her looks than acting talent, but I still appreciate her for being a part of this series. And whatever faults I take with Goodnight are almost washed away by the character of Andrea played by the stunning Maud Adams who brings such a tragic light to a character and while not in the film for long still left a big impression on me, and I was thrilled to know she is in another Bond film but all in good time. Herve Villechaize is yet another memorable henchman and has some good personality that adds just that bit more to the screen. The action is more subdued in this one, with yet another instance of throwing their hat into the ring and having some martial arts fighting which was growing popular at that time, but it really is all about the final duel between Bond and Scaramanga and it does incredibly well! The pacing, editing, and setting are practically flawless and really was the best scene in the movie for me. All in all, I enjoy this movie and while I can acknowledge the faults it has it never detracts from my enjoyment. 3 stars, solid 7/10, and we'll be back for what could be Roger Moore's best movie of the series, The Spy Who Loved Me.

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