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2013-06-22: Transfered all of my 2011 "My Year in Music" posts from Facebook.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Superficial Bond Reviews --- #09: The Man with the Golden Gun

* I'm trying to make this review short, for several reasons.
1) Short is sweet. 2) Many of my previous reviews have been long and thus... unsweet. 3) The Man with the Golden Gun is too bland to spend much time on.

* So tMwtGG starts off with something that looks similar to Enter the Dragon (at least it's borrowing the mirror scene), perhaps in an attempt to draw from Bruce Lee's immortal coolness. It will fail, and it's not only because of the horribly dated funky intro.

* The first part of the movie translates like this:
Blah blah blah Scaramanga, blah blah. Scaramanga? Blah blah blah blah Scaramanga, blah. Scaramanga, Scaramanga, blah blah blah.
Then all of a sudden, it's - AAAARRRGGGHHH! - a close-up of Scaramanga's third nipple! For God's sake, why?
Not only does the titular (pun intended) bad guy walk around in an outfit that suggests he's either about to barbecue something, fondle a school boy in gym class, or both - but he has to have a physical attribute that's... just kinda bizarre, without even being freakish enough to be interesting. That's no way to treat Christopher Lee - the mighty Saruman.
I guess I'll just have to be glad that the physical attribute wasn't a third testicle.

* Roger Moore is still good-looking, and carries his substantial age well. The filmmakers don't let him take as many clothes off now, and that is a relief.
They even manage to produce an excellent and brutal (albeit over the top) fight in there, too. Most impressive, when working with a stiff.

* Gradually, the weird focus on fighting loses all sense of direction. There's a lot of dwarf fighting, which makes me feel like I'm watching Tom & Jerry or something, and a strange sequence in a martial arts school that has no impact whatsoever on anything else that happens in the rest of the movie.
The one-kick fight is great, though.

* One good thing about tMwtGG: it uses its locations expertly.
Often, you get no sense of the country that the Bond movie is supposed to take place in, but this feels like it's trying to fix that. (It's Thailand, isn't it?).
The communications center inside the half-sunken ship is good as well, but the best example is the meeting scene inside the Thai boxing arena. It's a great, tense scene, and one of the times in the entire series that I feel the most like I'm watching a spy movie, and not something that's written by a fifteen-year-old.

* By the way, the filmmakers are trying to make me believe that Maud Adams is an attractive woman. It wouldn't have worked, even if they put her next to a burn victim - and putting her next to Britt Ekland is like some sick joke.
Don't know who Britt Ekland is? Well, google her, and spend the next hour thinking about your taxes before you're able to stand up again.

* Of course, no Bond movie without a half-assed chase scene.
This time, it's... boats? Wait a minute... didn't that happen in the last movie? And, as if the lack of an imagination isn't obvious enough, there's even a cameo by the redneck cop who chased Bond in the last movie! As if anyone even liked that horribly misplaced joke of a character in the first place.

- "God, what's that smell?"
- "That, my friend, is the rotting carcass of the James Bond franchise."

* Later, this Bond movie (?) turns into an episode of Dukes of Hazzard, as Bond's borrowed car takes a flying, spinning leap off a broken bridge - to a "humorous" flute sound!
The only thing that keeps me from vomiting with insane rage, is daydreaming about setting my own foot on fire and stomping it out on the director's head. Thankfully, Saruman's flying car is so damn ludicrous, it totally derails my anger and lets me keep on watching.

* Finally, I get to the climactic showdown between 007 and the dangerous Saruman, and it's so insanely exciting that I can't remember anything about it.
I remember that there's a huge laser thing in there somewhere, some horrible special effects and some shit about solar cells that I don't give a rat's ass about. Yawn.

* All in all: The Man with the Golden Gun is not a completely useless movie, although it gets close. There are some shiny pearls in there, but they're few and far between, and floating in a sea of feces.
Not worth the dip, then.

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