The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
A Date With Inevitability
Warning: this review does contain a few vague spoilers.
After dispatching so many villains in his career, it was only inevitable that someone would finally just put the hit out on James Bond, and that day finally arrived... Or has it? The Man With the Golden Gun, the ninth in the series, stars Roger Moore as James Bond, Christopher Lee, and Britt Ekland.
That last movie put the Bond franchise down a more comical and unreal path with Roger Moore as 007, and this film only builds on that. When it includes henchmen like Nick Nack, a villain named Scaramanga, and a secret agent called Goodnight, it's a little hard to take it seriously.
But didn't we already have a villain with a golden gun? That is where so many people get confused. Goldfinger and The Man With the Golden Gun are so similar that it is so easy to get plot details crossed. At times it almost feels like they are actually the same story, only modified to make it feel new, yet, over all, the plot is very different.
Although, when Christopher Lee plays the main villain, the plot always feels special. By the time this movie came out, this legendary actor already had a massive reputation to uphold, and he didn't disappoint! Scaramanga was fantastically unpredictable, mysterious, and terrifying, yet he had this charm that made him an appealing character. You don't get that very often. At times, I can see a man who would be a great friend and ally, and other times a terrifying murderer to hide from. Pulling that off took real skill.
The idea of a showdown in a fun house was also a brilliant idea. Sure, it felt like they cut out a bit too much of it to quicken the pace, leaving a few plot holes, but it definitely made a for an amazing stage for a fight.
The returning characters were fun, too, especially the return of a certain law official. This character added so much comedy to Live and Let Die's chase scene, and he did so again this time. The two chases were far from boring without him, but his comments certainly made them even better.
The Man With the Golden Gun is a very fun movie, and just as good as Live and Let Die, maybe even a little better. The cheesiness bleeds through the screen at times, but the characters play with it so well that you don't really mind. I definitely would not recommend leaving this movie out of your Bond experience.
Buy From Amazon Canada
Buy from Amazon USA