Classic Intel: The Man With The Golden Gun - Online Review

'the promise of Bond on his own, cut off officially from MI6, holds enough titillation, for the most part, to see this particular outing survive intact'

Whilst nowhere near on the same level as predecessor Live And Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun once again brings a certain level of xenophobia towards all non-Brits, a fact exacerbated by the decision to bring back the former film's J. W. Pepper (Clifton James), one of the worst character inventions in a franchise rife with them. As Pepper spits out his, by now, established brand of stereotyped hick-racism, his presence ill-advisedly extends beyond being a sight-gag and a Bond film once again falters under the weight of prejudice.

Thankfully, The Man With The Golden Gun has more going for it than Roger Moore's previous stab at Ian Fleming's super-spy. Its star may already be creaking from old-age (the kung-fu fight scene is hilariously stiff), but the promise of Bond on his own, cut off officially from MI6, holds enough titillation, for the most part, to see this particular outing survive intact.

Of significant benefit are the cast, who put in at least a passionate shout for being amongst the better Bond ensembles, certainly of the Roger Moore era. Christopher Lee is forced into some silly dialogue late on but his thespian take on Scaramanga is delightful and Bond-esque one-liners roll of his tongue with minimum effort. Maude Adams is spectacularly more comfortable as the femme fatale here than as the super-smuggler in Octopussy and Britt Ekland, although marginalised for laughs later (she's blonde and female; what else is she useful for in Bond's world) does well as a kind of Moneypenny replacement. Hervé Villechaize, as Nick Nack, has a ball.

Those on Bond plot hole watch by now may question two significant problems, starting with Scaramanga and Hai Fat's (Richard Loo) decision to lure Bond back for an evening meal, when they have already solved his disguise and surely could have 'offed' him there and then any way. Secondly, there is Hip (Soon-Tek Oh), who incomprehensibly decides to drive off and leave Bond to fend for himself, moments after rescuing him. It's all right though, director Guy Hamilton gets at least a nice river chase out of it.

Less ponderous and less offensive than Moore's first Bond outing, this at least remembers the series should be fun, whilst continuing to establish Roger's individual, erm, 'style'.




The Man With The Golden Gun was playing on Sky Anytime+ and Sky Go.

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