Monday, 7 March 2016
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
It says a lot for the recent high standards of Bond films that, while The Man with the Golden Gun is a splendidly enjoyable film in which both Roger Moore and Christopher Lee are excellent, it is in comparison not as good as many of its predecessors, merely very good rather than superb. Still, the run of good Bond films continues.
Lulu's stab at theme tune is a perfectly good one even if it's no one's favourite and she's so Shirley Bassey. And those lyrics... "Who will he bang?" Oo er!
Q is back, this time paired with a ballistics expert played by the superb James Cossins, who I will always remember fondly from a certain episode of Some Mothers do 'Ave 'Em. But it's an unusual Bond film, the villain being an assassin whose grand scheme to monopolise solar power seems almost an afterthought. But seeing solar power as a panacea? And one has to raise an eyebrow, given the current price of oil, that supplies of oil and gas were thought to be exhausted back in 1974, even if the central point is true.
The film is a splendid series of entertaining set pieces, this time in various parts of the Far East. I was a little perturbed to find Sumo wrestlers in Thailand, though: it's almost as though all eastern Asian countries and cultures are considered interchangeable. Our agent in Hong Kong even has convenient relatives in Thailand. Still, schoolgirls kicking ass with martial arts are cool.
I'm not sure about including that annoying sheriff from the last film as comic relief, but the film is another triumph. We get the first of the formulaic endings, too, with M phoning Bond while he's otherwise occupied with Goodnight ("She's just cumming, Sir"). The Roger Moore era is in full swing already.