The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
I kiew you.

Everyone gather around and watch in awe as my hope in the 007 series continually plummets down Mount Disappointment. I hadn’t known who Roger Moore was before watching the series, and I think I finally know why now…Roger Moore wasn’t the best actor for James Bond, so I’m guessing after his departure, no one wanted him. Okay, fine that may be judging early, seeing how Moore is one of the longest-running Bonds in film history…but that could also be because of a solid contract before he even began work…sooo. The Man with the Golden Gun continues on with pristine examples of why Moore isn’t a good fit for the Bond role.

The plot to this film is actually pretty simple when you think about it. There’s this evil Bond villain that’s apparently gunning for the secret agent. He is the man with the golden gun, a famous assassin that uses a golden gun that can fire a single golden bullet, and his shot is dead accurate. The thing is, the man wasn’t really after Bond, he was after a scientist and a device known as a Solex. Bond’s new mission had something to do with retrieving the Solex and stopping Scaramanga, the man with the golden gun. However, as the beginning showed us, Scaramanga had a plan set in motion, a fail-proof plan of killing James Bond in that exact predicament. Will Bond escape? Does an elephant poop?

Hmm. With one famous and one infamous scene, this film isn’t that much better than the last…but I would say that by a hair this film is better. The famous scene has to do with a car stunt – basically, the car drives off a crooked ramp and does a corkscrew, landing safely on the other side. Again, a real stunt, and actually really cool…for 1974. How many 2 Fast 2 Furious movies do we have again that make this look like nothing? I know, it’s an unfair comparison, but I rate for a modern audience which may not feel so impressed by the stunt. I just try to remember that nowadays, stunts aren’t real, but that was very real…which in some ways makes it better. What was the infamous scene? The frickin’ midget saying “I kill you”, sounding more like “I kiew you” with his tiny French accent. I’ve heard it before, and I had no idea it came from this film, but it’s dumb when taking James Bond into consideration.

Most of the scenes in this film just lessen James Bond’s character in general. Bond is supposed to be almost a superhero. Invulnerable, powerful, smart, calculating…but having the series turn into this cartoon mockery of how it began is really a disappointment. Plus, James Bond making puns about everything he sees isn’t helping much. It was funny when he first did it, but now it’s turned into the funny comic section of the newspaper. The man with the golden gun? More like the man with the golden pun. I’m aware that I just said a pun after dissing Bond for doing the same thing, but my excuse is that I’m not James Bond. Anyways, Bond can pull off a pun, just not every five minutes, please. Thanks.

As far as scene progressions go, there was one thing that I wanted to mention. How it began was also the way it ended. The film came full circle with itself, which is a really good idea for movies like this. In this sense, it created urgency…danger. The enemy played by Christopher Lee was a pretty darn good Bond villain, I just wish the fight was a bit more challenging. But you want to know the major disappointment? The props…more specifically, the spy gear. First, a golden gun. The thing that the entire film is based around, and the thing meant to incite fear into us as well as Bond. It looked stupid. You hear the words golden gun, and you expect to see the coolest weapon ever made. Instead what you get is a disproportionate thing that doesn’t even look like a gun. It was ugly, quite honestly. The only other spy gear? A fake flippin’ nipple. You heard me right. Q made a fake nipple for James Bond, which he wore. NO.

The Man with the Golden Gun had a pretty decent villain, but Moore’s looney toon version of James Bond is really making me lose hope in the rest of the 007 franchise.

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