The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
Reviewed on 2010 September 10
Roger Moore’s second foray as James Bond, and probably the corniest Bond movie in the bunch, takes 007 to an assassin’s resort off the Thai coast.
MI6 has a new menace in this entry, a former circus entertainer named Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) who went rogue and became a fabulously paid hit man. You can take the boy out of the circus, but you can’t take the circus out out of the boy: for $1,000,000 a shot he’ll track your enemy and dispatch him with a 23K gold bullet. Scaramanga and his cohort Nick Nack (Herve Villechaize) apparently accepted his fee for 007’s pelt, and the team knows Scaramanga already killed another MI6 agent but they lack the physical evidence to prove it. Bond needs to keep his neck out of the noose and find the evidence to avenge his colleague, and he recruits Scaramanga’s unwitting yum-yum Andrea (Maud Adams) to catch his prey.
Some of the cheese in this made me think of those lame ’70s era Saturday morning cartoons. Come on, Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight? Nothing against her; it’s just that after seeing previous Bond Girls like Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg, she and Maud Adams are kind of a let down. Oh well, the cool part is this also has the distinction of being the only Bond film with Christopher Lee (who’s actually a cousin of Ian Fleming). Despite his one physical anomaly, at least in this film we get a bad guy with some charisma. Here we have a smiling villain showing off his lair like someone on HGTV. Before you roll your eyes at that, look at the bad guys from Goldfinger and Thunderball. I don’t care how broke your moral compass is; there ain’t enough money in the world.
Three chocolate morsels. Not my favorite Bond but still a campy good time.