Anthony's Film Review
The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
The Man With the Golden Gun is a definite low point in the Bond series...
At one end of the spectrum is the James Bond movie that delivers the excitement that we all want to see. At the other end of the spectrum is the James Bond movie that does not deliver too much excitement and, at the same time, delivers too much of an unnecessary element: humor. The first three Bond films of the 1970s - Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, and The Man With the Golden Gun - are my least favorites for this reason. However, if I had to pick just one Bond film that I would most likely consider the worst, it would no doubt be The Man With the Golden Gun, the second Bond film starring Roger Moore as 007.
First off, the plot is too weak. Some of it has potential, though. The plot about the bullet of Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) sent to 007 as a warning could work if executed correctly, but what Scaramanga is after and what he plans to do just doesn't cut it as an impressive grandiose scheme. Scaramanga is an average villain and not one of the most memorable. Nick Nack could work as a henchman if he were more serious and not on screen for laughs. The other character I did not like was Mary Goodnight. The last thing I need to see in a Bond movie is a bumbling inept agent. I do like, however, Maud Adams as Andrea Anders. At least her role is not a comical one.
But it doesn't end there, I'm afraid. It was bad enough seeing Sheriff J.W. Pepper in Live and Let Die since his character was not essential at all. He's back in this film as a tourist who happens to run into Bond coincidentally. The humor in the scenes with J.W. ruin the film, so by the time the film gets to Scaramanga's headquarters, I lost interest. Even the final scenes with Scaramanga appear uninspired.
It does sound like I am bashing the film, but I can still identify a few good points. I enjoyed the fight scene in the belly dancer's dressing room and wished that similar scenes would appear throughout the movie. Bond's initial encounter with Andrea Anders is also a plus, because it is racy and involves one of the few moments where Roger Moore as James Bond has a fierce attitude. Basically, it's the beginning of the film that seems to work. It unfortunately goes downhill the rest of the way.
As I've already said, The Man With the Golden Gun is perhaps the worst Bond film of the series. It doesn't mean that it's one of the worst films in general. I have seen it enough times to appreciate it a little more than the first viewing. The elements of a Bond film are there, from the women to the action and even the gun barrel sequence and title credits. The song by Lulu is all right. Just not a Shirley Bassey equivalent. While Goldfinger shines the most, The Man With the Golden Gun is greatly tarnished.
For more information about The Man With the Golden Gun, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of the following:
Official James Bond Films
Unofficial James Bond Films