We open on a gorgeous beach enclave where a dude with a third nipple and his ladyfriend are being served by a little person in a tuxedo, so this is already the weirdest opening scene for a Bond movie I’ve ever seen. Hey! The little person is Hervé Villechaize of Fantasy Island fame. Some morose-looking motherfucker is brought into the house, which is also amazing looking, and he gets an envelope full of money and is told to wait in one of the wildest looking man caves I’ve ever seen. The dude with the third nipple is Mr. Scaramanga (what the hell kind of name is that, movie?), and he goes to meet this morose dude inside.
Morose Man pulls a gun on him and Hervé looks on through a peephole. Scaramanga dives towards his gun collection, but Hervé says too bad, fucko, I locked those guns up. So this man cave turns into a funhouse(?), and I’m not sure what Villechaize is trying to accomplish here. This is a really weird beginning to a Bond film. There’s also a nod to Westworld here (the old movie, not the new TV show), and this house is straight-up coo-coo crazy.
Scaramanga looks for his golden gun, and Morose Man seeks it, as well. Hervé is having a great time toying with these two dudes via intercom. Morose Man and Scaramanga are keeping their eyes on the golden prize here, but Scaramanga gets to the golden gun first and blows Morose Man away. This all turns out to be a weird training exercise, complete with a dummy of Roger Moore’s James Bond, of which Scaramanga blows all of the fingers off. Then opening credits? Seriously, that was an odd beginning.
There’s something off here, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
This theme song stinks and sounds really cheap. It’s a hell of a decline in quality from Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” theme song. At least it was short. The opening credits images also suck. This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the movie. There’s a silhouette of a naked woman dancing, but even she doesn’t look too into it, just kind of lazily swinging her hips around. Ooof. Can we start the movie now?
Bond goes right into M’s office (no hat toss or Moneypenny flirting? Uh oh, shades of Thunderball here), where M and some Old British Dudes are hanging out. M asks if Bond has ever heard of Scaramanga, and he says, “Oh yes, the man with the golden gun” (hey! The title of this thing!). He rattles off some exposition of who this dude is and mentions the third nipple. He also says Scaramanga always uses a golden bullet, and M hands Bond said golden bullet, with his number on it (007).
It’s either a threat to Bond or it’s being held upside-down and Loo should watch out!
Bond asks who would pay a million dollars to have him killed, and M zings him with, “Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors, the list is endless.” Take that, Bond, you cheating, finicky, awful bastard man! Jesus, M has gin blossoms for days. Anyway, Bond has an assassin on his tail, and M relieves him of his present assignment (which is finding a man named Gibson, who’s developing solar technology). M says tough shit, take a sabbatical or whatever because this Scaramanga’s not to be trifled with. Bond says hey, lemme find this dickless monster first, OK? M says do whatever, who cares? Bond goes to talk with Moneypenny, and Lois Maxwell—the actress who played Moneypenny from Dr. No to A View to a Kill—got a perm since the last movie and it looks awful. She’s salty with James in this interaction, and that’s that.
CUT TO a belly button! Which belongs to a belly dancer that Bond is watching with a mixture of confusion and delight on his face. He’s in Beirut now, tracking Scaramanga on his own time and dime. Some thugs give him the evil eye, and Bond gets up to sexually harass that belly dancer backstage. He gives the old “My name is…” line, and she calls him handsome, so his ego’s stroked. Bond mentions their mutual friend Fairbanks, who was assassinated by Scaramanga, and she was apparently literally doing it with him when he was shot. She seems rather happy about all of this, and took the golden bullet that killed him as her belly button plug. This lady immediately goes for it with Bond, and he tries to steal the bullet from her belly button. He starts kissing her tummy, but swallows the belly bullet as those thugs break into the room and start using Bond as a tackling dummy. Bond fights off all these dudes single-handed, of course, using hairspray as mace and his fists as fists.
But there are a ton of dudes trying to get in to punch his face in, so he slips out the back and jumps into a taxi. Then we JUMP CUT to Q’s lab, and they’re all looking at this belly bullet to figure out where it was made. Wait, didn’t they already have a golden bullet for analysis? You know, the one they were looking at just two scenes ago? Whatever. Mustache Scientist says it probably came from India, based on the nickel content, and it’s off to Macau for Bond!
I’ve got the world on a string, sittin’ on a rainbow / Got the string around my finger…
Bond takes a pedi-taxi and looks for a man named Lazar. Lazar knows who Bond is already, which is something in these movies I don’t like; he’s supposed to be a secret agent, not a goddamn movie star. Anyway, Lazar shows off some nifty guns he’s assembled and disses Bond’s Walter PPK. Bond just lazily points a gun at him for the information he’s seeking about Scaramanga and fires a warning shot. Lazar gives up his information pretty quickly, and it’s off to the casino to find out who his contact for Scaramanga is. They’re playing some game I will never understand, and Bond spots Scaramanga’s mistress.
But enough of that scene because CUT TO a crazy-looking boat that’s fucking booking it across the water. Bond’s on his way to Hong Kong and tailing this lady. Well, at least this is a real globe-trotting adventure and not taking place in a dive casino like Diamonds Are Forever. Back on land, Bond follows this woman in a taxi but is blocked by his supposed assistant, Mary Goodnight (oh jeez, again with the names). However, she’s got the info already and tells James how wonderful it is to see him, and he just faces her and gets out of the car all huffy like she just told him he was literal human garbage. What’s with this guy? If Britt Ekland told me how wonderful it was to see me, I’d be ecstatic.
Bond tells Goodnight that he’ll buy her dinner later, but first he has to chase down this woman for information/sex. He goes up to her room with champagne in hand and has some stereotype unlock the door for him. James sneaks in, probably hoping to get a glimpse of her in the shower, and draws his gun like a goddamn burglar. Indeed, he gets a peak of her in the shower (as do we; this is a lot of skin for a James Bond movie) and just stands there like a creep. He says good afternoon, and she has a pistol on her in the shower because creepy shit like this is probably happening to her all of the time.
“What the hell are you doing in my room?” “I could ask you the same thing.” “What does that even mean?” “…”
She tells him to put his hands up and get the fuck out of her room, but Bond is unsurprisingly adamant. She rings the front desk and we find out her name is Anders. But Bond finds the golden bullets and knocks the gun out of her hand. Then he…oh goddammit…then he physically assaults her for information. I thought we turned a corner with this shit, Bond, I really did. I’ll never get used to seeing Bond smacking women around. It’s really awful. Then he pours some champagne for them because he’s a radically fucked-up guy. His aggression towards this woman is just the worst. So he hands her a drink and is probably going to Cosby her.
ANYWAY, to the strip club we go, which is called Bottoms Up because it’s a James Bond movie and no sexual pun will be ignored! He’s smoking another one of those ridiculous cigars (where did his cigarettes go?) while we see Scaramanga get down with Anders. Bond is stuck staking out the Bottoms Up club when Hervé Villechaize comes up next to him. Bond realizes he was probably just distracted on purpose while Scaramanga aims at him from the second floor. He shoots and kills a dude standing next to Bond (I thought this guy was a world-class assassin?), while Bond is placed under arrest. Hervé Villechaize tries to get the golden bullet out of this poor bastard’s head, but he’s shooed away by the police.
Bond is taken into custody, but nope, he’s led into a boat instead. Meanwhile, Scaramanga is hanging out by the docks like all warped personalities do, and it turns out this is his pad with Anders on-board. He strokes her with the barrel of the golden gun, so he needs therapy. Oh, Scaramanga is played by one of the best creeps in the business, Christopher Lee, so there’s a real intensity to his performance.
Creepy + Intensity = Christopher Lee
Bond is being taken for a literal ride by these police officers on this boat, and he’s slowly realizing that they’re probably going to kill him. They pull up to a half-sunken ship, and Bond hops onto it. A voice over an intercom on this wreck says, “Welcome aboard, Commander Bond,” and it turns out to be a secret British Navy lair.
Into an office he goes, and look, M is here! And there’s that police officer he just escaped. I guess he really was a police officer. The officer says that he had to get Bond away from the Hong Kong police. Bond says that he realizes the hit wasn’t on him, but on that solar energy expert Gibson they’ve been looking for, who is now dead. Jesus Christ, Bond, you’re just fucking this mission up left and right, aren’t you?
Bad secret agent! Bad! Stay off the furniture!
M actually says that he wishes Scaramanga had a contract out on Bond because he’s fucking up so much, so that’s a sick burn. The police officer is being called Leftenant, so I’ll call him that from now. They’re looking for a thing called a solar agitator, which Gibson had on him but has suddenly vanished. Oh, I guess that’s what Herve was looking for. Bond says he has a lead: High Fat. (High Fat? That’s what I’m hearing.) Bond writes down a list of things for Q to get him, and M orders Bond work with Leftenant.
We cut to a pretty awesome looking Chinese garden, and Leftenant and Bond are spying on the place. Bond just walks right into the place because he has no fear of death, and then spies on a naked woman swimming and WHOA! Full frontal nudity! In a Bond film! That’s fucking crazy. The naked lady is (oh Jesus) Chiu Mi. He’s about to strip down for a swim, but High Fat rushes over telling him to get the hell out of here. However, Bond takes his shirt off to reveal a superfluous third nipple (I’m guessing that’s what he asked Q to get for him) so he can trick High Fat into thinking he’s Scaramanga.
This makes High Fat change his tune right quick, and High Fat’s like, it’s nice to see you and all, but why the hell are you here? Bond talks himself up (as usual) and says that James Bond is so fucking awesome and famous and cool and High Fat should eliminate him. High Fat gives Bond a dinner invitation, and Bond strolls up to Leftenant’s car, tossing the nipple away. Why the fuck would he do that? Won’t he need that again? Anyway, Scaramanga’s hanging out in High Fat’s place, so Bond just gave himself away thanks to his smugness and will probably be killed that evening. Is this like a prequel or something, where James Bond has never spied before? Because he’s doing a terrible job at it in this movie.
“How did such an idiot become a secret agent?”
Bond is dressed in a white tux jacket and ditches Goodnight for dinner that evening, and she’s like, that’s cool, I’ll just be waiting for you to treat me like an object later. Leftenant gives James a lift, along with his nieces, who he’s dropping off. So now we’ve seen a carpool scene in a James Bond film. What a weird flick.
Bond arrives to High Fat’s place for dinner, and High Fat has a very strange collection of statues that he quips, “Grisly Land,” as he passes them. For fuck’s sake, Bond, if you put as much time in spying as you do your quips, we’d be done with this already. Some sumo wrestlers pop up to smash Bond, and he gets squeezed, so he literally gives the sumo wrestler a wedgie. No matter: Hervé Villechaize just knocks him out with a pitchfork. He’s about to stab Bond, but High Fat says not at my house, you idiots.
Bond wakes up being treated by some women, which he finds fantastic, but it turns out he’s at a kung fu school and is probably going to be used as a practice dummy. But he just lounges there, taking in the scene like he’s not in immanent danger. This is a really laid-back Bond who doesn’t seem to feel like fighting unless his target’s a woman, apparently. He watches two students fight each other with actual knives, and I’m guessing this is in here because kung fu movies were popular at the time. Anyway, one student stabs the other one to death, and this school has a really sharp grading curve. Also: pun not intended. We have enough of those already in this movie.
Bond just hangs out, sipping tea, and wondering when they’re going to serve dinner. But guess what, buttercup? You have to fight one of these dudes. So he gets up for this, but when his opponent bows, he just kicks him in the face. Man, Bond, that is not good sportsmanship. So they get their top student to kick Bond’s ass for this insolence. So if you’ve ever seen a no-holds barred kung fu match in a movie, this one is like that, but halfway through Bond just jumps out of the window to escape.
Leftenant and his nieces are driving by, but there’s like a million kung fu students coming after him. The nieces then kick all of these guys’ asses, which is yet another thing I wasn’t expecting to see in this film. Bond just stands there like a fucking chump. Then they get the fuck outta this crazy place while being chased by a bunch of kung fu dudes.
Hey movie? Can we just follow these two around for the rest of the running time?
Ha ha! Leftenant fucking ditches Bond because his nieces are way more important to him than this lazy British agent. So Bond grabs a boat and zooms out of there. Are power boats going to be another reoccurring motif in Bond films from now on, like helicopters have become since You Only Live Twice?
Bond acquires his own Short Round at this point: a kid trying to hock a wooden elephant statue. This kid’s pretty funny, but Bond’s a jerk that just pushes him overboard after he helps Bond by unclogging the motor’s fuel line. Meanwhile, we get a cameo from that piece of shit Sheriff Pepper, who’s vacationing(?). Sheriff Pepper’s just as ugly an American as he was a Sheriff and he hurls a bunch of racial epithets to the indigenous people whose country he’s visiting. Meanwhile, an elephant picks his pocket while he spots Bond on the river, cruising along like he’s also on vacation. Sheriff Pepper gets pushed into the water by the elephant, and then his little cameo is over. Were people just demanding more Adventures of Sheriff Pepper after the last movie? Again: weird.
Just what everyone’s looking for in a James Bond movie: A fat, gross, dumb American redneck.
High Fat and Scaramanga bitch and moan about how Bond keeps escaping them, and High Fat gives Scaramanga some computer chip. Meanwhile, Scaramanga loads his golden gun while High Fat talks shit about how he regrets ever helping Scaramanga. So Scaramanga shoots him, then names himself the new CEO. This isn’t how business works. Well, maybe in this country, it does; I’m not as well-traveled as Sheriff Pepper, after all.
Bond has dinner with Goodnight and she mentions that her dress has a homing device in it because dropping exposition and foreshadowing in Bond films is never subtle. He macks it to Goodnight because it’s been a few days since his last sexual encounter, but she’s like, I’m not really into you like that and splits. Bond looks like he could murder every single person on the planet after her politely declining to his offer/demand for sex.
Bond returns to his room all pissed off, but instead Goodnight shows up for sex because, enh, it’ll kill some time and besides, nothing’s on TV anyway. But just as they’re about to get somewhere, his hotel door opens and it’s Anders. She came to warn Bond that he’s in danger. Also, she’s scared for her own life, so she needs 007. You know, the guy who assaulted her earlier in this movie. Meanwhile, Goodnight looks rightly pissed as she hides under the covers.
Well, she did want to do undercover work. (::sets self on fire::)
So she asks Bond to kill Scaramanga, and she’ll pay for it, too. And, what the hell, she throws herself in with the deal, as well. Bond says yeah yeah, I need the solex agitator McGuffin, so if you have that, we could do business. Bond throws Goodnight into the closet while Anders goes in the next room to get naked. She comes back in a bathrobe and they get right to it. and poor Goodnight is shunted to the side yet again.
Anders returns back to Scaramanga’s pad later that night and goes right to his safe to put her jewelry away (and we see that’s where the solar agitator is). Back at Bond’s pad, he wakes Goodnight up and says are we going to have sex now? But she’s rightly pissed at him, and Bond says, “Your turn will come,” because he’s just God’s goddamn gift to women.
We cut to a mixed martial arts fight, where Bond is apparently meeting Anders. Goodnight is also there, presumably to watch as Bond gets murdered. Leftenant is also there, and he calls Bond “charm boy.” However, Anders is sitting there dead and stiff as a statue somehow. He rifles through her handbag, and Scaramanga sits down next to him. Hervé Villachez has a gun to him, and he and Bond have a little chit-chat. Meanwhile, Bond finds the solar agitator on the ground, where he grabs it and tosses it into the Leftenant’s peanut vendor box (He’s undercover. Or this is his side gig, I don’t know). He hands off the solar agitator to Goodnight and says whatever you do, do not under any circumstances lose this thing, so I’m guessing she’s going to lose it.
Scaramanga splits but hey, at least the Good Guys have the solar thingermajigger! But goddammit, Goodnight goes to follow Hervé Villachez, even though she has the fucking thing that they’re doing all of this for. She tries to put a homing device on Scaramanga’s car but is tossed into the trunk by him instead. Jesus H. Christ, what the hell? Did any of them even receive any spy training, or was M just drunk one night and handing out licenses to kill? Bond contacts her on her walkie-talkie, and they’re about to follow Scaramanga’s car, but they don’t have the keys. When they call her to ask where the keys are, she blankly and happily exclaims that she has both the keys and the solar agitator! Like, “Hey! I’m completely fucking up everything and am thrilled about it!”
So Bond goes to just up and steal a car from a dealership, and we run into Sheriff Pepper again, who’s….looking at cars in a foreign country. Why? Is he going to have one shipped from China to Louisiana? They are just shoehorning this guy into the movie. Bond jumps into the car that Pepper is sitting in and drives it through the display window. So we’re treated to Sheriff Pepper being a drooling idiot next to Bond during this car chase. This movie just keeps on giving.
Pepper thinks he’s a part of this thing with Bond because he has the mind of a child, and we watch Bond drive recklessly through the streets of Hong Kong. Sheriff Pepper helps by hurling racial epithets out the window. Because Bond hates Goodnight, he hands the walkie-talkie to Pepper to slobber into her ear for a while. The car chase goes on for a while and why bother describing it? It’s two cars driving fast, with one in pursuit of the other.
Pepper & Bond Ride Again!
Bond gets on the wrong road, so he jumps the river over a twisted, broken bridge, and while the car flips around in the air, a slide whistle accompanies the action. Ugh. I don’t like the Bond franchise’s idea of “comic relief,” mostly because it’s very stupid and not funny. Scaramanga gets his car to a hideout, but Bond is right behind him. Unfortunately, Scaramanga also has one of those cars that turns into a plane. You know, those cars that are very popular and are used often and look totally like cars when in car mode and not like a plane with wheels. The Hong Kong police show up, and Sheriff Pepper talks to them like he’s not the worst while Scaramanga takes off in his car-plane.
Sherrif Pepper’s arrested and he just continues to shout in these police officers’ faces. Jesus, he keeps calling all of them “pointy-heads,” which is insanely racist. Also, Goodnight continues to be a terrible spy, as she finally pops open the trunk but finds herself in the sky instead.
Bond lets M know that he totally screwed the pooch on this one, and they found the car-plane abandoned and also Goodnight is missing. Some Navy dude comes in saying that they found Goodnight’s homing signal, and she’s somewhere in Chinese waters. Oh, that’s right: this is before Hong Kong was given back to the Chinese government in 1999, so it was still technically a British territory. Hey, there’s a little history lesson for you! So Bond flies over “red Chinese waters” as M so delicately puts it, in the stupidest looking plane I’ve ever seen. Seriously, look at this goofy thing:
It’s like this movie’s having a stupid-off with itself.
That’s just dumb. So the “red Chinese” see Bond coming from miles away because he’s flying an abomination, and they contact Scaramanga about the incoming seaplane. Christopher Lee is one menacing looking dude, like he’s seconds away from snapping the cameraman’s neck for looking at him for too long. Some nice areal shots of this cluster of islands is shown, along with some fakey blue screen Bond “flying” the plane. He lands and opens the seaplane’s door, which also looks stupid. That’s right: a door opening on this thing is as goofy-looking as everything else on it.
Hervé Villechaize greets Bond with champagne, and we find out his name is Nick-Nack, but he’s Hervé Villechaize for the rest of this because it’s too late for introductions, Herve! Scaramanga shoots the cork off the champagne and says hey Bond, now that you’re all the way out here, let’s hang out for a few hours before trying to kill each other, eh? Bond asks where Goodnight is, and Scaramanga’s says oh, she’s around here somewhere, acting like they’re couples vacationing at a resort instead of enemies locked in combat. This guy must be off his meds.
Scaramanga looks like he’s having a terrific time now that Bond’s here and shows off his incredibly awesome pad. Scaramanga does the whole “I’m going to reveal everything about my plan and how my operations work because I’m so confident that you’ll be dead soon” thing that every Bond villain does. Scaramanga has a huge electric generator in this house, and he plans on monopolizing the solar market in 1974 (*snickers*). Considering that it’s 2016 and we are just barely making inroads to solar power, this is a very silly plan.
But also it’s about having a laser cannon, which he demonstrates by destroying Bond’s goofy seaplane. Take that, stupid flying machine! Christopher Lee is really sinking his teeth into the scenery in this section, and it’s pretty enjoyable to watch his performance as the bad guy. Hervé serves lunch and Britt Ekland shows back up in a bikini, so I’m not complaining at this point.
“Hi, James! I’m having so much fun being a hostage! How’s the mission going?”
Scaramanga tries to equate himself to Bond, but Bond calls bullshit on that line of thinking. So Scaramanga pulls out his golden gun and says what now, dickless? He proposes a duel between his golden gun and Bond’s Walter PPK. Bond throws some shade but accepts. So they’re on the beach, back-to-back, ready for a nice afternoon duel. Hervé surveys the duel and counts the paces. Bond turns to shoot, but Scaramanga ran to hide. Bond searches for the man with the golden gun, and Hervé pulls him aside and says hey man, if you kill Scaramanga, I get this whole swanky pad, so let’s find him and kill him, yes?
Meanwhile, Scaramanga goes into his wacky man cave to wait for Bond, and Herve’s a double-crossing little bastard. I don’t mean “little” pejoratively because he’s a little person; he’s just a little bastard of a person. Now Bond’s stuck in the same wacky funhouse the Morose Man was trapped in earlier, and it’s this dance once again as Bond wastes his bullets on Westworld cowboys.
Speaking of which, isn’t this all a little too close to The Lady from Shanghai’s “Hall of Mirrors” climax? I guess because it’s in color it’s not a rip-off, right? Anyway, Bond climbs the scaffolding so he’s not observed by the closed circuit cameras, and Scaramanga darts his eyes back and forth, villain-style. The music starts crescendo-ing, so something must happen soon, and Scaramanga sneaky-sneaks around with his golden gun. Then ka-blammo! Bond shoots Scaramanga, as he was pretending to be the weirdo statue that the guy had of him.
“D’oh! I shouldn’t have installed a lifelike statue of my mortal enemy in the same place where I was eventually planning to lure him to his death!”
Goodnight knocks her guard into the super-cold water and reunites with Bond. She’s still in a bikini, and hopefully she’ll stay in that bikini for the rest of the movie. She tells Bond that she killed that dude, and he gives her a condescending “good job” before scolding her for knocking him into the superconductor, since that will make this place explode. Dammit, Goodnight!
Bond goes for the solar somethingorother while Goodnight continues to be in a bikini. But while she observes what Bond’s doing, her butt pushes the Master Override button for Scaramanga’s laser dealy. This almost takes Bond’s head off, and he’s shouting at her to turn the goddamn thing off. How did this lady get into the secret service? Is there a bikini portion on the entrance exam?
She got an ‘A’ on the butt portion of the exam.
The laser turns off because the sun is obscured by a cloud, but he thinks that Goodnight actually turned it off. While he tries to jimmy the damn solar thing out from its place, the cloud moves (damn Commie clouds!) and the laser turns back on just as Bond gets the solar thing out of there.
An awooga siren goes off and the whole place starts exploding. They run out of the awesome exploding pad and towards Scaramanga’s equally nice junk that’s docked just outside. They start sailing away while leaving the island to explode. Bond goes down to the galley, where Goodnight is just waiting for him to start sexing her. Then we CUT TO just after the sex, where they kiss…and that fucking creep Hervé spies on them from above. Hervé goes to stab Bond, but Goodnight sees him and they duck out of the way, leaving Hervé to fall on the bed. Then we’re treated to Bond fighting a little person. Man, this movie’s weird.
Is this the final fight? Between Hervé Villechaize and Roger Moore, with Britt Ekland hiding in bed? If so, then I’ve already had this dream before. Bond captures Hervé and locks him into a large suitcase, which he then tosses off the side of the boat. He goes back to Goodnight and they start making out again. A phone pops up next to the bed and James picks up the receiver. It’s M, who somehow knows where he is and how to contact him. But he tosses the receiver to the side and gets back to Kiss City, population His Lips. M asks if Goodnight is coming to the phone, to which James replies, “She’s just coming, sir,” which is gross. The final shot is of Herve, not drowned in the ocean but tied to the mast of the ship. The awful theme song starts up AND TH-TH-TH-TH-TH-TH-THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!
Well that was weird. There was so much weird stuff in this movie—the car-plane, Hervé Villachez, the kung fu, the third nipple, Sheriff Pepper—that I’m having a hard time putting this movie together in my mind as a James Bond film. It also doesn’t help that James Bond is one of the worst spies I’ve ever seen in this entry; he just screws up at every turn and doesn’t seem to either realize it or care. Is this what people were warning me about? Because it was campy, but not the good kind, like John Waters’ work. It was campy in the way where a movie thinks it’s being clever and funny but instead it’s just stupid.
The “Bond girl” in this movie was hard to suss out, as well; initially, I thought it was going to be Anders, but she dies halfway through the movie, so almost by default Goodnight becomes the Bond girl. Speaking of which: while Britt Ekland is a lovely lady, her character is incredibly stupid, especially since she’s also supposed to be a special agent. The entire final third of the movie wouldn’t have happened if she just didn’t do the dumbest thing possible and get caught by Scaramanga.
Even the stakes were subpar for a Bond film: the world wasn’t in jeopardy, but some guy just wanted to corner the energy market…through solar power. Are you kidding me? In 1974? That’s just silly. A lot of this movie was silly.
What was good? Christopher Lee was great as Scaramanga and deserved a better Bond film than this to be the villain in. Britt Ekland in a bikini was nice. The set design for Scaramanga’s lair was really cool. And that great car jump Bond pulled off during the chase was excellent, though marred by being accompanied by a fucking slide whistle. Because this film was just filled with stupidity.
Also: Bond’s back to being a woman-beater, a trait that I thought they were over with at this point but came roaring back to life in this film. He was also much more callous and cruel in this film, particularly with his treatment of Goodnight. It was a Bond movie that made me think of the villain as a better person than our “hero.” Not a good sign.
Eesh, after such a strong start with Live and Let Die, Moore’s Bond era’s quality dropped precipitously. If this is the kind of “camp” that people say the series devolves into, than I have a long, hard road ahead of me with Moore’s Bond. This wasn’t atrocious like Thunderball or boring like On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but it also wasn’t very good. They threw everything and the kitchen sink into this movie, leaving the film both overstuffed and shallow. One and ¾ out of four Bonds.