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a far-from vintage outing, and the only modestly-mounted 70s BOND.,
This review is from: James Bond - The Man With The Golden Gun (Ultimate Edition 2 Disc Set) [DVD]  (DVD)late summer, 1973: 'CUBBY' BROCCOLLI dines eloquently in London's WEST END, enjoying an exquisite menu; in his full-dinner jacket tuxedo, he resembles a LATINO, aging BOND. CUBBY is satisfied as he tots up the worldwide box-office reciepts to 'LIVE AND LET DIE'; it has been a deserved hit with global cinema audiences, and 'CUBBERS' [along with 'partner-in-crime' HARRY SALTZMAN] have successfully steered the once-ailing BOND series back to world-beating status, securing further cinematic mayhem in the same profitable mould.......
------it's a total mystery, then, exactly why BROCCERS and SALTZMAN made a concious decision to scale back the epic scope of the previous winner, and to pare back production values in this next, more modestly-mounted entry. Gone are the extended, exhillerating chase sequences of 'LIVE and let DIE', the elaborate setpieces with large casting, and put in place are less-than-impressive adequate scenarios, representing a definate step backwards from the impressive hyperdynamics of MOORE'S debut opener.
MOORES' BOND is, at this early stage, a reserved, restrained cut-out character, given only to outlandish, absurdist quips, perfectly in keeping in what was required from the character in the sour-edged mid-70s, and an improvement on the ridiculous, preening cypher his character was to regress to come the 'gilt-edged' 1980s.
CHRISTOPHER LEE cuts a suitably sinister dash as the ludicrously 3-nippled SCARAMANGA, with LEE breezingly strolling through the modest [by BOND standards] events in the way only he can. The central GUN in question is assembled from various cosmetic elements, and is no more impressive than a routine 'MAN from U.N.C.L.E.'episode from 1968: however, the exotic location scenes on LEE'S private island [as he demonstrates the power of his solar laser-like destruction blaster] are enjoyable in their tropical eloquence.
BRITT EKLAND decorates the later reels in obligatory bikini [perfectly acceptable in 1974] and one 'genuinely' sci-fi element [a flying car] works well in the take-off scenes, but loses credibility in the mismatched process shots featuring BRITT viewing her sky-high status as she views her whereabouts from the car boot.
All in all, there is not nearly enough spectacle or gripping diversion to satisfy the casual cinema-goer, let alone the die-hard BOND fan, who had cheered the dynamic direction the series had aspired to in the previous outing. WHY BROCCOLLI failed to pull out all stops, and deliver a movie that equalled -----or even better, had topped-----the thrilling escapades of 'DIE' is uncharacteristic of his knowing, hard-nosed business acumen, and it is no co-incidence that the next BOND outing would be more carefully, lavishly executed: ------emerging a full 3 YEARS later.
Also contains an interminably appalling cameo appearance from the squealing redneck 'SGT PEPPER', and a less-than-memorable theme tune belted out at high octave from larynx-busting LULU, which is no better or worse than typical contemporary pop fluff that featured in the UK music charts of 1974.
------hopefully, the series would improve, immeasurably: see later, chronological review.