The Man with the Golden Gun Reviews
as Sheriff J.W. Pepper returns for some unnecessary comic relief but is involved in the most memorable stunt in the movie.
Still, an entertaining action movie that will keep fans happy...and things would get worse for Moore!
Gadgets3/5 again, more silly over the top stunts but the golden gun is cool.
Girls 2.5/5 disposable Bond girls this time round
as Scaramanga and Herve Villechaize
as Nick Nack are the highlights of the movie. The showdown at the end is great but we just needed more of these 2
Bond Theme 4/5 Lulu screams her heart out in this one and delivers a funky 70s theme
The Man with the Golden Gun met with mixed reviews upon its release. Derek Malcolm in The Guardian savaged the film, saying that "the script is the limpest of the lot and ... Roger Moore as 007 is the last man on earth to make it sound better than it is." There was some praise from Malcolm, although it was muted, saying that "Christopher Lee ... makes a goodish villain and Britt Ekland a passable Mary Goodnight ... Up to scratch in production values ... the film is otherwise merely a potboiler. Maybe enough's enough." Tom Milne, writing in The Observer, was even more caustic, writing that "This series, which has been scraping the bottom of the barrel for some time, is now through the bottom ... with depressing borrowings from Hong Kong kung fu movies, not to mention even more depressing echoes of the 'Carry On' smut." He summed up the film by saying it was "sadly lacking in wit or imagination." David Robinson, the film critic at The Times, dismissed the film and Moore's performance, saying that Moore was "substituting non-acting for Connery's throwaway", while Britt Ekland was "his beautiful, idiot side-kick ... the least appealing of the Bond heroines." Robinson was equally damning of the changes in the production crew, observing that Ken Adam, an "attraction of the early Bond films," had been "replaced by decorators of competence but little of his flair." The writers "get progressively more naive in their creation of a suburban dream of epicureanism and adventure." Writing for The New York Times, Nora Sayre considered the film to suffer from "poverty of invention and excitement", criticising the writing and Moore's performance and finding Villechaize and Lee as the only positive points for their "sinister vitality that cuts through the narrative dough." The Sunday Mirror critic observed that The Man with the Golden Gun "isn't the best Bond ever" but found it "remarkable that Messrs. Saltzman and Broccoli can still produce such slick and inventive entertainment". Arthur Thirkwell, writing in the Sunday Mirror's sister paper, the Daily Mirror concentrated more on lead actor Roger Moore than the film itself: "What Sean Connery used to achieve with a touch of sardonic sadism, Roger Moore conveys with roguish schoolboy charm and the odd, dry quip." Thirkwell also said that Moore "manages to make even this reduced-voltage Bond a character with plenty of sparkle." Judith Crist of New York Magazine gave a positive review, saying "the scenery's grand, the lines nice and the gadgetry entertaining", also describing the production as a film that "capture[s] the free-wheeling, whooshing non-sense of early Fleming's fairy tale for grown-ups orientation". Jay Cocks, writing in Time, focused on gadgets such as Scaramanga's flying car, as what is wrong with both The Man with the Golden Gun and the more recent films in the Bond series, calling them "Overtricky, uninspired, these exercises show the strain of stretching fantasy well past wit." Cocks also criticised the actors, saying that Moore "lacks all Connery's strengths and has several deep deficiencies", while Lee was "an unusually unimpressive villain".
This was Roger Moore´s second appearance as James Bond and it has a similar look, feel and vibe as "Live And Let Die" did. Even some characters are returning from "Live And Let Die" like Sheriff J.W. Pepper. I have never red the novel, but the film deviates a lot from the novel from what is said, however I do think that there´s an interesting storyline in the film. Francisco Scaramanga is an intriguing villain and his henchman Nick Nack is equally intriguing. As the female counterparts we see two lovely Swedes, Maud Adams and the ever so stunning Britt Ekland, playing two different characters. Adams has the more sharp and suave character while Ekland has the ditzy blonde one. The film has a solid mix of action and humour, but stays within an ok zone as in "Live And Let Die". It´s a slow paced, a bit different and slightly sombre 007 film, but I don´t have an issue with that. I think that "The Man With The Golden Gun" is amongst Roger Moore´s good ones. However, "The Man With The Golden Gun" is one of the lowest grossing Bond films. That fact, combined with behind-the-scenes problems, nearly made this the final Bond film, and delayed production of the next entry in the franchise, "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977).
Trivia: This film bears virtually no relation to the book, other than the name of Scaramanga, his third nipple, his golden gun, his occupation as an assassin, and a brief monologue about the shooting of an elephant when he was younger. Even the locale was shifted from Jamaica, as that location had already been used for Dr. No (1962) and Live and Let Die (1973). Scaramanga was changed from an American hood, into a more urbane methodical assassin, more akin to Bond.