The Man With the Golden Gun

release year: 1975
genre: James Bond
viewing setting: home Bluray, 1/20/19 and 6/30/16 and 12/15/12 and home laserdisc 12/11/99

synopsis: The world's best assassin has his sights set on James Bond.

impressions: This one had some good and bad elements. It seemed like they threw in a plot (related to solar energy) to make the movie more exciting, but I see this as pandering to the issues of the day in 1975 (namely the energy crisis, but also the karate craze.) The movie simply would have been better if the sub-plot with Lo Fat and the solar power converter had been left out. All in all, though, this wasn't the worst of the Bond movies. Notable: belly dancer, the solex agitator, midget henchman Knickknack, the karate school, the utterly unnecessary appearance of redneck sheriff J.W. Pepper, sometimes-stupid agent Goodnight, a cool car-flip-over-broken-bridge that was ruined by a stupid circus whistle sound some idiot put in, Scaramanga's funhouse of death.

acting: Roger Moore was actually better this time - ruthless, with good wit and good lines. The real star of the show was Christopher Lee as Scaramanga - he was suave, confident, and deadly at the same time. Britt Ekland's agent Goodnight was completely incompetent - she got kidnapped, she unwittingly caused the whole island to detonate, she activated the laser by backing her butt into it...ech. I've said enough about the J.W. Pepper character, but at least we didn't have to see him again after this.

chase scenes: 1 boat chase, 1 car chase

mass fight at end: none, but there was a 1-on-1 roving duel between Bond and Scaramanga

neat gadgets: none for Bond; Scaramanga had a car that turned into a boat and a pistol that assembled from pieces that looked like pens, cigarettes, etc.

confirmed Bond kills: just 1

confirmed Scaramanga kills: 4

confirmed Bond seductions: 2, and he would have gotten the belly dancer too if not for goons attacking

obnoxious female names: Mary Goodnight, Chu Me

defining Bond moments: 

Bond: "Who would pay a million dollars to have _me_ killed?"
M: "Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors...the list is endless."

Lo Fat: "There are some cults where it is considered a sign of invulnerability and great sexual prowess."
Bond: "I've learned to live with it."

Bond: "Well, we all get our jollies one way or another."
Scaramanga: "Mine have always been guns, Mr. Bond."

Scaramanga: (after destroying Bond's plane with a laser) "Now _that's_ what I call solar power!"
Bond: "That's what _I_ call trouble."

final word: While far from the best, it's not the worst of the Bond movies.

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