#100 The Man With The Golden Gun
The British energy crisis requires a solution, and fast, but after receiving a golden bullet with 007 engraved on it, James Bond (Roger Moore) is informed that the million dollar assassin Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) has him in his sights. Can Bond recover the Solex Agitator to alleviate the crisis with the man who never misses hot on his trail?
This one is a little like Roger Moore’s Thunderball. It’s very safe and ticks all the right boxes so ultimately it can’t be considered a bad film however there is nothing really about it which elevates it above just an ok Bond film. Moore is still good in the role and isn’t afraid to show a little bit of the darker side to his Bond this time around when he interrogates Scaramanga’s mistress (Maud Adams) for information.
The leading ladies this time around are really dull. The aforementioned Adams works well enough as Scaramanga’s mistress but she doesn’t do a whole lot. On the other hand there is Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland) who is probably the 2nd most annoying of all the Bond girls. Her character does little to nothing in the film and it just there to be the eye candy in a bikini. She’s ditzy, she’s clumsy and because of her the mission is put in jeopardy several times. Oh, and I totally admit this is petty, she has the most irritating laugh.
Scaramanga is a good villain, but then it’s Christopher Lee, he can do a cool villain character in his sleep. His villain is a little different to all those who have come before however, in that he respects Bond as a fellow assassin. He sees Bond as an equal and actually tells him he would not kill him/track him if Bond would just stay out of his affairs. Bond can’t do this so it comes down to a duel in the end.
Ian Fleming, the author of the Bond novels, is actually Lee’s cousin and recommend Lee for the part of Dr No in the first film but by the time he did they had already cast Joesph Wiseman.
There isn’t a great deal to draw attention to in terms of action this time around but there are a few good scenes which stand out. The spiral loop with the car is a pretty cool stunt but they ruin it with the slide whistle going at the same time. Again, a martial arts training school is always cool (used here because of the popularity of Kung Fu movies at the time of release) and I especially like the way Bond takes out the first opponent. It’s like the Indiana Jones sword fighter/pistol scene of the Bond universe. Finally, the duel between Scaramanga and Bond is a good finale and the establishing scenes beforehand at dinner are good for building the tension and showing us each man feeling their opponent out.
As I say it’s a good enough film but nothing elevates it higher than just good. 3/5