The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) – 3/5

Golden

Goofy Bond film with an initially promising plot that’s quickly mired by silly sight gags and lame, borderline slapstick humor. What in god’s name were they thinking? To fuse such a potentially serious story with such ridiculous scenarios, especially the whole head-slappingly moronic bit with the **SPOILERS** overweight Southern police officer that just goes on and on and isn’t funny in the slightest. **END SPOILERS** Who’s bright idea was it to turn Bond into a buddy cop film? And a lame one at that. Granted it’s only for a few scenes, but man are they awful and inappropriate.

That aside, the film just isn’t all that interesting save a few bits here and there. The notion of Bond being tailed by **SPOILERS** the world’s greatest hit-man **END SPOILERS** is great, but what they end up doing with it feels really uninspired, especially given all the inappropriate humor they jam in there whenever they get a chance, which is often. What a waste of Christopher Lee, a great actor who’s pretty good here, but not given all that much to do most of the time. And I never quite understood what the deal with the golden gun was: is it that he charges one million dollars per hit, or that his bullets cost a million dollars, or both? I didn’t get it. Not that it matters all that much, but still, it was confusing. I did like his little henchman there, though, played by Hervé Villechaize; he’s silly and ridiculous and obviously just there to serve as yet another inappropriate pre-80s politically correct era sight gag, but the actor brings a certain much-needed charm to a film that is otherwise lacking in it.

Overall, not a great Bond by any means, probably one of the worst, actually. It’s silly and dumb and more of a goofy comedy than an action thriller type film. The action set pieces aren’t even all that great, come to think of it. Yeah, the **SPOILERS** car flipping and landing in the same shot **END SPOILERS** is kind of cool, but it only lasts like 3 seconds and is arguably the only memorable moment in the thing. Lame. It’s not a terrible film, just not very good by other Bond standards. I do like Roger Moore as Bond, though; he may just be my favorite Bond so far. Blasphemy, I know, but at least he both looks and speaks the part, unlike Sean Connery. Watch if you’re a fan of the series and don’t mind being disappointed. Otherwise, avoid.

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