Anthony's Film Review
Live and Let Die (1973)
Roger Moore's first Bond at least has decent characters...
At this point in the James Bond series, Bond fans had wondered again who would replace Sean Connery as 007. What they would soon discover is a James Bond with a somewhat different personality. Roger Moore is known as the more lighthearted Bond, putting humorous wit and charm into his role. It is understandably a deviation from the more cold Bond that Ian Fleming created. Still, he would later prove that he is capable of being more serious in the later Bond films.
The story of Live and Let Die involves a simple investigation of the murder of three MI6 agents. The trail leads Bond to Kananga's world of Voodoo and drugs in New York, New Orleans, and an island in the Caribbean. Its action scenes are mostly low key, but there were a few scenes I did enjoy. I mainly liked the long boat chase late in the film and the train fight. The fight at Kananga's lair wasn't bad either.
As for the characters, there is a mixture of forgettable and memorable characters. I think the film could definitely do without Sheriff J.W. Pepper and Rosie Carver. The former is annoying and even offensive while the latter just had no personality. Other than that, I do like many of the other characters. Jane Seymour is a delight in her theatrical debut as Solitaire, the fortune teller who would fall for James Bond during his mission. The character of Baron Samedi is a great henchman, very much like Oddjob from Goldfinger in his own way. Tee Hee and Whisper are also likable.
I will say, though, that Live and Let Die has an interesting soundtrack. The rendition of the James Bond theme, heard while Bond is traveling through New York City, is a rather nice tune. I also like the tune that Baron Samedi dances to when he is first seen on screen. Even the funeral music was memorable. It seems out of place for a Bond movie, but remember, James Bond encounters all sorts of people all over the world. This is true even for this Bond film, released during the blaxploitation era ushering in films by African-Americans.
Nevertheless, the film unfortunately is filled with a little too much humor and not enough suspense for what would be considered a really good Bond film. It's the same problem with Diamonds Are Forever, but like that previous Bond movie, it's not entirely bad. It does have decent action, some interesting characters, and a nice title song, which is also the first rock song to be performed for a Bond movie. Live and Let Die, overall, provides a mixed bag.
For more information about Live and Let Die, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of the following:
Official James Bond Films
Unofficial James Bond Films