Thursday, 11 June 2015
The Man with the Golden Gun (4½ Stars)
Following the death of Christopher Lee, which I reported earlier today, I've decided to watch a few of his films. He made so many, more than 200 films in his career that spanned from 1948 up to his death in 2015. This is the first film in my list. It's one of the James Bond films that starred Roger Moore as James Bond. In my opinion it's the best of the Roger Moore Bond films, but it seems like public opinion is against me. Maybe I'm just biased because it stars Christopher Lee? His performance lifts the film and makes it something memorable, a film that deserves to be watched and rewatched many times over.
The film is about a professional hitman, Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), who charges one million dollars for each job. He uses a custom made golden gun, and he shoots golden bullets. He's so confident of his skill that he only takes one bullet with him on each job. Apart from this he likes to have fun. He pays other hitmen to come to his house and attempt to kill him. This is more of a challenge. Scaramanga also has a great respect for James Bond, since he considers him to be the world's second best hitman; second after himself, of course.
The film borrows ideas from many other films. For instance, in the opening scene Christopher Lee emerges from the water wearing white swimming trunks looking like Ursula Andress in "Dr. No", the first James Bond film. The effect is spoilt by the camera not showing him from the front as he walks onto the beach, but there's a reason for this, obvious to all who have seen the film. The final scene in Scaramanga's fun fair looks like it comes from an episode of the Avengers TV series. The martial arts scene in a dojo is reminiscent of "Fist of Fury", and the showdown among the mirrors looks very much like the final scene from "Enter the Dragon".
Apart from that, we have the typical motifs that we know from the James Bond films. Whenever Bond walks into a woman's hotel room she's in the shower. There are the car chases, which were at their craziest during Roger Moore's time as Bond. There are sexy women with suggestive names, in this case the naked girl in the swimming pool called Choo Mi. There's the scene where the villain explains his evil plans to Bond in great detail as if they were old friends. And there's the big explosion at the end.
Someone should tell Christopher Lee that you can't impress a girl by pointing your gun in her face. However big it is.
I'll choo yu if you choo mi.
Roger Moore has kung fu kicking schoolgirls to help him out. They may be young, but they know the best place to kick a man.
Isn't it nice to catch a ball game with your enemy before you fight to the death?
Much too generous. Mr. Lee, you are the best!