Film Review: The Man With The Golden Gun

I have always have a slight problem with Roger Moore as bond. He’s just too pretentious, too ostentatious for me. Unlike some actors to have taken on the role, you believe in Moore as Bond but I certainly, can never fully accept him. People say they have “Their” Bond and if you ignore the modern day, and look purely at the earlier film, Moore, will never be mine.

Having said that though, when you cast Christopher Lee to play Scaramanga, bring Britt Ekland in as the Bond girl, and actually it feels like, tone Roger Moore’s playboy exuberance down you create a film which will divide and conquer in equal measures. If you’ve read my blog you will know that I am watching every Bond film starting at the beginning and to me “The Man With The Golden Gun” is by far the most enjoyable Bond film so far. Even if critically, I may be alone in that opinion.

Once again it’s verging on a serious story, Q branch haven’t been busy, we’re not taking plot twists of unfeasible stupidly and, as previously mentioned, Bond doesn’t descend into a Benny Hill routine everything a women merely looks his way. Although Brit Ekland, does have a tendency to act like she’s just stepped out of a “Carry On” film.

And she isn’t the only instance, or rather character, that tests your resolve and tries your patience. I challenge anyone to argue that the comic relief provided by Clifton James reprising his role as Sheriff J.W. Pepper adds absolutely anything to the film, but thankfully, his role and participation is kept to just enough to not leave a real lasting legacy of shame. Or really spoil the film.

The Man With The Golden Gun also suffers slightly from never really looking too deeply into its characters; you never get much more than fleeting mentions as to why they act like they do, what’s made them into the people they are. It feels slightly as a result of the film’s pacing and slightly as a result of a wishy-washy script. As such, dropping back, in any way other than fleeting moments of spoken dialogue, would break up the flow of the story and the rhythm it creates.

The story moves along, encapsulating you, drawing you in and entertaining while it goes, it just never really stops for breath, or tries to look too deep. Thankfully, the underlying story is good and engrossing that you don’t mind that it never really answers the questions it unconsciously creates. It’s not trying to be a thriller, it’s not trying to be a deep and meaningful film.

It is simply trying to entertain.

Don’t expect a real classic, because you’re not going to get one. In it’s absolute simplest form, it’s a Bond film with a “big name” cast, a famous title, and I, for one enjoyed it; I would even go as far as saying I’d happily watch it again.

8 out of 10 stars (8 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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