Bond

Countdown to Spectre: Live and Let Die (1973)

This is the next installment in my look back to the James Bond 007 series in anticipation for the new installment, Spectre coming out on November 6th. If you are interested in any of my earlier installments, click here.

When Agent 007, James Bond (Roger Moore) investigates the murders of three fellow agents, he then becomes a target himself, having to dodge attempts from various assassins as he closes in on the powerful Kananga (Yaphet Kotto). Using his alter ego Mr. Big, Kananga is trying to coordinate a global threat using tons of his self-produced heroin. As Bond tries to uncover his plan, he runs across the beautiful Solitaire (Jane Seymour), a tarot-card reader whose power is important to Kananga.

Oh no Sean Connery is gone (technically), but that song at the beginning is pretty good. I don’t know who sings it but I think he has a future.

paul

I knew it was Paul McCartney. I knew of the song before I ever saw the film. I think it’s the best Bond theme. I don’t normally post photos within my reviews but I thought that one was worth sharing just for the stupid people in it, So Roger Moore is in this one now. He does look different from Sean Connery but not too different. His version of the character is just a younger, cleaner version than Connery’s and there is nothing wrong with that. His Bond is more calm and relaxed and a little self-deprecating which is a welcome change of pace. I feel like the film tried to continue the comedic elements in attempted to introduce in the previous film Diamonds are Forever which was also directed by the director of this film and many other Bond films, Guy Hamilton. Most of the humor comes from him looking out of place as a well-dressed British person strolling around in the middle of Harlem. I thought it worked solely because of Moore’s performance. He played it cool and he didn’t let what he was seeing faze him. Now to the plot itself.  I found the story started a little slow because I presume that they were trying to reintroduce Roger Moore as the new James Bond which was okay to me. Because of that, I wasn’t completely sure what was happening until at least half-way through the film. Once I learned what was happening, I found it to be quite underwhelming. The film does spend a lot of time in the Harlem part of New York but I prefered the scenes in New Orleans and on the fictional Caribbean island of San Monique. I thought the film did a good job at depicting the culture of those areas. This set the tone for most of the second half of the film as Bond’s investigation brought him to New Orleans and San Monique which were both overflowing in voodoo stuff. Yaphet Kotto was okay as Kananga but he was not very menacing as a villain. You never really got to see him do anything evil as he mostly hid behind all of the voodoo stuff and the stories people told about the things he did offscreen as Mr. Big. Jane Seymour was also okay as Solitaire but I found she looked out of place within the story and I did not find her character to be necessary. I also liked that the film had a decent amount of action with a few scenes in particular standing out such as a boat chase and to not give anything away, something with alligators and crocodiles. There was one part I didn’t like about the boat chase and it was a certain sheriff character who just came off as a hillbilly caricature who I just found annoying and unnecessary. Also I liked the whole theme and all but I think that they used it a little too much here. Overall, the film is a decent entry in the Bond series and it is the furthest I’ve gone into my Bond blu ray collection. I’ve mostly enjoyed Sean Connery’s Bond films but I am willing to give Roger Moore a chance.

Score: 7.5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.

Next: The Man with the Golden Gun

Advertisements
Advertisements

3 replies »