Movie Review: Man with the Golden Gun

The Goon from Diamonds are Forever shows up to an island and is met by Nick Nack- or Tattoo from Fantasy Island, a show that I am in the age range of seeing, but never watched- but of course I have heard “The Plane! The Plane!” a zillion times. The gangster is given an envelope of money to kill Christopher Lee. The gangster misses several shots at Lee, who apparently lives in a funhouse controlled by Nick Nack who reminds me of Arcade in the comic books. Finally Christopher Lee is able to get a shot off and kills the man with a headshot. Lee and Nick Nack have a fun little exchange about how Nick Nack has to work harder to kill Lee, but Nick Nack says “He will get him yet” as he takes the money back. Christopher Lee finishes off by shooting the fingers off a Roger Moore figure. Given that this is a Bond movie, this has to come back, right?

Roll Credits.Man with Golden Gun Lee

In the world of Mi6, a Golden Bullet with 007 engraved on it has been sent to London. This is the calling card of an assassin named Francisco Scaramanga who Bond gives a complete rundown of his bio in a perfectly British way. M is scared for Bond’s well-being is a stupid move, and pulls Bond off his current field assignment, some gibberish about a solar power scientist. I’m sure these two plot-lines wont be crazy-glued together in the next five minutes, right?

Right.

Man with the Golden Gun should be one of my favorites.

This movie has it all. A fun little fight scene, a car stunt that still holds up, a fun sidekick, an awesome villain, one of the best villain sidekicks in Bond history, and even a serious payoff.

But . . .

The Fight Scene is poorly acted. You can’t have a British Agent look worse than Austin Powers doing Judo against Black Belts. The Westerner should use his bigger size and boxing skills to beat a Karate guy in the 1960s. Yes it’s a movie, but if you can’t pull it off, then find another way.

Man with the Golden Gun PennywhistleThe Car Stunt is KILLED with a penny whistle. Just AWFUL.

The fun sidekick is Hip who should be in more, but we end up with Sheriff J.W. Pepper. Again. Holy Cripe. He’s awful. Pepper just kills any enjoyment in this movie.
The payoff is killed by fellow agent Mary Goodnight, the ultimate dumb blonde. She’s dumb as a rock, and I saw her in the Wicker Man, and she’s nude in that one, so if you want to go see her- well, google image it, that movie was awful as well.

The bad thing about this movie is there is SO much good here, or so much that could be good.
Let’s run it down.

We have Scaramanga, and his awesome sidekick Nick-Nack, he’s on the level of Bond, and played by the awesome Christopher Lee. He’s the only one pulling his weight in this one, and I have no problem with him at all, one of my favorite Bond Villains.

Man with Golden Gun pepperThen we get to discount Bruce Lee, and his twin girls, Fuk Yu and Fuk Mi, both are awesome and while not given much to do, show a Western Bond just how crappy he looks. Sean Connery would have stuck Discount Bruce Lee on the boat and took the girls home.

That’s it. Everyone else is bad- including Roger Moore, who I’m ready to get rid of. I’ll go a 6 here and that should tell you just how awesome Scaramanga is. There is just too much crap here. I’d love to see this one redone, without Pepper and that damn pennywhistle. So I can’t really give it the 6 it deserves.

This is one of the harder movies to rate that I have ever done. There is just so much good here, that a better director, a better rewrite and a better, hate to say it, Bond, and this could be an easy 10. Put Dalton in here, drop Pepper and the Pennywhistle, and this is a great, great movie. I honestly do think if you like 70s movies you should watch this one. If you can deal with a film that is the product of its time and the racism that comes with it, then this is a good film. But if you are not a Bond fan, or want to introduce a person to Bond this is not the right movie by a long shot. You don’t have Lee in this movie and this is one of the worst. You lost Tattoo and this movie drops 25%

I gotta go 3 here. I have to look at this movie as if you are part of the target audience, you will enjoy it. But would I dare show this one to a person without knowing their tastes? Heck no. Would I pick this up for 99 cents at a pawn ship to get a commentary track? Absolutely, then I’ll never watch it again.

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