Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bond targeted for death by world's top assassin

The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
Starring: Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Herve Villechaize, Maud Adams, and Clifton James
Director: Guy Hamilton
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

When British spy James Bond (Moore) learns someone has hired the world's most expensive assassin to kill him, he decides to take the fight to the shadowy killer. However, Bond soon discovers that Francisco Scaramanga (Lee), his midget partner in murder (Villechaize) and his exotic girlfriend Andrea Anders (Adams) actually have their sights set on a target more lucrative than even Britain's top Code-00 agent.

"The Man With the Golden Gun" is a beautfilly shot film that takes full advantage of the exotic China Sea islands, and in which Christopher Lee gives one of his career's best performances as the megalomaniacal assassin with a game room that matches both his ego and occupation. It's also got a pair of very beautiful women on prominant display in the film (Adams and Ekland), and it's got a story that's closer to being real-world in nature than any Bond since "From Russia With Love" (with the exception of certain elements). It's also got another fabulous score by John Barry.

However, the film is also strangely slow-moving and lethargic-feeling. I can't quite put my finger on why, but "Golden Gun" never seems to quite build up the steam that just about all the other James Bond films do. Even the awful Timothy Dalton entries had more fire in them. And with a great cast like this, and with the director that helmed "Live and Let Die", "Diamonds Are Forever" and the very best Bond movie "Goldfinger", this should have been a great entry in the series.

I suspect it might be a problem with the script. The sense of urgency and danger surrounding Bond's mission seems downplayed throughout the film, not really manifesting itself until the last 45 minutes or so, where in other Bond movies there interlocking mission arcs where each new one is more deadly and expansive than the one that went before.

Whatever the flaw here--and I really can't quite put my finger on it--this is a decent entry in the series, and it's worth seeing if you enjoyed "From Russia With Love". I think this is probably the other Bond movie in the series to which this "Golden Gun" can most closely be compared.

No comments:

Post a Comment