1/18/13

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN - REVIEW


Roger Moore's second outing as 007 is a weird one...

For one thing the film opens by zooming into Christopher Lee's nipples.

Of which he has three.

Lee plays Scaramanga, a wealthy entrepreneur with a secret desert island where he's not only building some kind of sun-powered death ray but also toying with a psychedelic fun-house-style room designed to discombobulate whoever enters it and get them killed. He's also extremely proud of his one-bullet golden gun made out of a cigarette case, a pen, a lighter and whatever else. He's one of the great Bond villains mostly because he is so darn happy with his absurd achievements and isn't afraid to show off a little. His henchman, Nick Nack, isn't quite as intimidating as the likes of Goldfinger's OddJob (his one weakness is luggage) but he is nevertheless just as memorable.

The plot involves 007 being sent some golden bullet which MI6 believes to have come from Scaramanga and Bond is sent on a new secret mission to find out what the hell that's all about. On the way he meets the villain's mistress (played by Maud Adams), Nick Nack, Britt Ekland's un-smart assistant Goodnight and, during the obligatory chase through an exotic location (in this case Bangkok), he finally unveils his car-plane. Though it's not quite clear why he didn't just get on a plane but that's besides the point.

Although The Man With The Golden Gun is one of Roger Moore's best Bond outings, it's nowhere near as memorable or as cool as its predecessor Live And Let Die. Both films are pretty much just as silly but somehow this sequel just never manages to stick in my mind. The film has terrific villains to offer and fun moments here and there but overall nothing too mind-blowing occurs during the course of it making it a bit of an underwhelming effort. That said, it is enjoyable enough with its kitsch designs, its bad jokes and that whole bizarre underlying nipple theme. Not to mention that terrific Lulu opening song and rockier score.

Certainly worth a watch I'd say, Bond fans should lap it up, others will forget most of it nearly instantly, though.

Hit-and-miss.

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