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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.91%
Worth A Look: 20.45%
Average: 22.73%
Pretty Bad34.09%
Total Crap: 6.82%

1 review, 38 user ratings

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Man with the Golden Gun, The
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by MP Bartley

"The One With The Third Nipple"
2 stars

You could criticise Bond films for many things and you would probably be right within reason. You could argue that they're sexist, racist, misogynistic, homophobic...but any Bond fan would argue against you. One thing a Bond film should never be criticised for however, is being boring. And that's the cardinal sin that 'The Man With The Golden Gun' commits.

After a surreal pre-credit sequence including a midget servant and a shoot-out themed funfair, we are hit by Lulu's disco-tastic theme song before hitting the plot proper.

Bond is taken off duty after a golden bullet with his number on is sent to SIS headquarters. It's a warning from Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) the world's deadliest assassin, that Bond is next on his hit list. Scaramanga is so deadly that no-one knows where he lives and no photo of him exists (although in a huge logical error, by the end of the film M has the private number for Scaramanga's boat. Would have been handy at the start of the film methinks). Bond however, instead of keeping his head down decides to track Scaramanga down himself.

The plot instantly seperates 'The Man With The Golden Gun' from the rest of the Bond films because it's so small scale. It's one man after Bond and that's it. This however is part of the reason that it's so damn boring. Sure, there's a plot about a stolen laser stuck in awkwardly in the middle of the film, but there's only there so there's the obligatory explosion at the end.

Otherwise, we get a very dull meander through some nice locations. And ultimately 'The Man With The Golden Gun' feels like an assortment of all the other films best bits. A plot to kill Bond? That's 'From Russia With Love'. A stolen laser? That's 'Diamonds Are Forever'. An Asian servant/bodyguard? That's 'Goldfinger'. Far East setting? That's 'You Only Live Twice'. Even a riverboat chase was seen in the film before.

So there's very little to seperate it out as anything memorable. Instead we get a clutch of half-hearted action sequences (the riverboat chase is pedestrian in the extreme) and an overload of terrible humour. For instance the one truly great thing about 'The Man With The Golden Gun' is a 360 degree car jump over a broken bridge, in one take with no cuts. It's a dazzling stunt but completely undermined by two things: 1) it's accompanied with a ridiculous pop-whistle sound effect, and 2) Bond has the annoying sheriff JW Pepper along for company. Pepper was an amusing moment in 'Live And Let Die' but is terrible here. Instead of being amusing, he's just a screeching, racist annoyance that completely demeans the class of Bond.

It's essentially a cheap production. By the time we get to Scaramanga's island lair, we're introduced to his technicians...all one of them. It looks and plays like a made for tv movie with little interest.

Strangely then, it's one of Moore's better performances as Bond, as he invests him with a little steel and menace. He's acted off the screen by the god-like Christopher Lee however. Has Lee ever given a bad performance? No, and he's superb as the lethal hitman, fully conveying his psychosis and danger. For a villain he's a well-written part coming across as Bond's darker alter-ego. It's just a shame that Lee and Scaramanga both deserve to be in a better film.

The Bond girls are a mixture. Maud Adams is great as Scaramanga's conflicted mistress Andrea Anders but the less said about Britt Ekland's agent Mary Goodnight, the better. It beggars belief that a dumb bimbo constantly getting captured, dropping things or bumping into things would be an intelligent secret agent. It's supposed to be endearing, but it's not. Awful character, awful performance.

As the diminutive henchman, Nick Nack, Herve Villechaize sums up the films problem. Henchmen are now chosen because they look funny, rather than looking tough, so Nick Nack's final fight with Bond is played purely for laughs instead of thrills or thrills with a bit of humour. It's the completely wrong tone for the film.

The regulars fare well however, particularly Bernard Lee, but if the best thing about a Bond film are the secnes with M, Q and Moneypenny, you know you're watching the wrong one.

'The Man With The Golden Gun' is like seeing your favourite band reform for a tired greatest hits tour. You know all the great bits, you know why they're supposed to be great, but you also know they were much better first time round on the original albums.

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originally posted: 07/27/04 00:23:25
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User Comments

9/17/14 Jeff WIlder The dullest Bond movie. 2 stars
10/16/12 Dr.Lao And you thought "Moonraker" was bad 2 stars
4/21/12 keith miron Britt Ekland is my favorite bond babe 3 stars
12/13/08 Ravenwest Pretty Bad 2 stars
10/07/08 Mark Gibson I love it, the hitman angle is great, the music is wonderful i often watch it u should 2. 4 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White classic Bond 4 stars
1/28/08 JV35 Beautiful landscapes in a so-so Bond adventure 3 stars
7/14/07 Vincent Ebriega Moore tries to be more like Connery, and fails every expectations. 2.5/5. 2 stars
1/07/07 JM Synth A lesser "classic" Bond, but still worth seeing. Lee is fantastic and so are the sets 4 stars
9/16/06 ProSneakyD Only Scaramanga and nicknack are the highlights but the rest is boring and unsatisfying. 2 stars
7/13/06 MC160 Thoroughly entertaining 5 stars
6/11/06 TBuck Amazin movie- the greatest 5 stars
1/03/06 Anthony Feor Meh, nothing to new 2 stars
12/27/05 Yorkee It was a shocker!! 2 stars
11/24/05 chris not my favourite bond movie 3 stars
10/26/05 Nick one of my least favorite of the Bond movies 3 stars
5/27/05 tony A sharp tale of mystery but not as action packed as the ones before. WHAT HAPPEND? 3 stars
4/13/05 Indrid Cold Very odd and boring Bond movie, good candidate for the worst one. 2 stars
1/08/05 keithers.. A very underrated Bond moview 5 stars
11/17/04 C Vega The One They Always Show On TV and its probably Roger Moores Worst Bond Movie 3 stars
9/24/04 RJ968 Bad Bond, Bad Bond girl, lousy script, boring, boring, boring. 1 stars
8/17/04 Herolder Average Bond movie 4 stars
6/01/04 Nobody ROGER MOORE SUCKS 1 stars
11/29/03 john it has its moments but it doesn't age well 3 stars
7/06/03 Paul S. Magic moments: Chris Lee, Nick Nack,broken bridge car stunt,funhouse,kung fu twins 4 stars
1/14/03 alien assassin Christopher Lee's presence enhances the movie 4 stars
11/25/02 Charles Tatum The weakest Bond, why isn't Moore listed in the above cast list? 2 stars
9/17/02 CVJ Good bond but not the best 4 stars
3/18/02 Zargo as good as bonds generally are,but again, where is rog in the cast listing here? so dumb... 4 stars
9/26/01 R.W. Welch One of Fleming's weaker Bond novels which the movie does not improve. 3 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Better than the average Bond movie. 4 stars
4/16/01 Andrew Carden The best James Bond movie ever! Roger Moore is excellent. 5 stars
4/08/00 Gremlin I just wish I was the one stuffing Nick Nack in that suitcase...the little prick... 5 stars
4/24/99 lucas jackson this movie was fucking awesome,especially when Bond fights the sumo wrestlers 5 stars
3/12/99 Claude Serralt Great 5 stars
10/27/98 Silent Rob They should have used the Alice Cooper theme song instead of Lulu!! 3 stars
10/25/98 Patrick888 Just fair. Not as bad as most say. You gotta love Herve! 3 stars
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  02-Jul-1974 (PG)


  02-Feb-1975 (PG)

Directed by
  Guy Hamilton

Written by
  Richard Maibaum

  Roger Moore
  Christopher Lee
  Britt Ekland
  Desmond Llewelyn

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