Bond Wars: Episode II

Image from bond-girl.net.
So I suck balls as blogalongabonding. Or bondalongablog...you know what, I suck. That's the important part. In a desperate attempt to plug on no matter what, I'm continuing with next one on the list: The Man With The Golden Gun. And I will say this: this movie made me actually glad that I took a couple month break from Roger Moore.

We start off with a sideshow of freaks. A man with a third nipple, a midget servant, and attractive woman who dotes on them all. A nefarious man walks in with rotten intent...and finds himself lost in a circus nightmare. I thought two men fighting for their lives was excellent. But that was before The Man With The Golden Gun introduced me to two men fighting for their lives while being trolled by a sadsitic midget. In short, this is everything I want from an opening sequence. Followed by a rocking theme song and a simple but sensual little title sequence. 

Characters: "Good morning, sir" is Bond's first line. I feel like that more or less sums up Roger Moore for me. He's just...such a good boy. Put a collar on him and give him a Scooby Snack. I like the fact that he's got this very inquisitive thing going on. You get the feeling he's really trying hard to figure things out. Solving the case. The kind of British espionage everyone either loved or hated in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. It makes him seem always in control of the case. Always in control of the situation. Which is very good for him. But I can't help but wish he was a little more impulsive. A little less methodical and a little more instinctual. After all, that is the bad boy Bond we all know and love. What makes James Bond different from every other spy? It's that he works with his gut, his dick, and his trigger finger. But his brain? That's a part of the body reserved only for coming up with sharp quips and making everyone else look like an ass. 

I will, however, give Roger Moore this. His cool and calm attitude definitely pays off multiple times throughout the movie. Mainly during his interrogation scenes. When Bond has the gun seller at gun point and is grilling him...Bond is ruthless, but collected, which somehow makes him all the more terrifying. I would be whimpering too. Same goes for when he has the lovely half-naked Andrea Anders (Maud Adams) pinned underneath him with her arm taut behind her back, ready to break. Imagining Sean Connery in this scenario, I think of the scene in which he plays with Bambi and Thumper. He more or less waterboards them to get information out of them, but he does it all with a charming smile and a lighthearted pat on the ass. Moore is a little less witty and a little more mechanically trained. Really, the argument could be made that we shouldn't have been so surprised when Daniel Craig come out and started popping bitches with a black man's smile, because Roger Moore already had the strains of a darker Bond. Which would be cool, except then Roger Moore goes and ruins his image by doing something "comedic" and stupid. So he's either forcing you to talk, or he's giving a man a wedgy and giggling about it afterwards. It makes for an uneven and just plain confusing Bond.

Goodnight and her ass of doom.
Bond Girls: Andrea Anders. Blows everyone out of the park. She's your classic Bond girl...in trouble, the bad guy's mistress, yet ready to drop her clothes for Bond at the drop of a hat. But the best part about her? She's not a ditz. Every one of her moves is calculated. She doesn't want to get into Bond's bed, but she'll do it to get what she wants...the death of the man who's enslaved her, Count Dooku. While Goodnight flat out admits that she's weak, Anders gives us something more...a strong Bond woman. Did I actually say those words? I think I did. A strong fucking Bond woman, who will do what she has to in order to get what she wants. Nothing she does is out of "weakness", instead she bides her time, waiting in the shadows to make it out alive when the gun smoke clears. Or, you know. Not. 

Goodnight is irritating. But Bond does majorly shaft her by forcing her into a closest so she can listen to him fuck another woman for two hours, so I can't really blame her. Oh, and then of course what every woman wants to hear: "Forgive me, darling, you turn will come." Roger Moore's charmingness plummeted through the floor. I can't really tell whether or not Goodnight is a heroine or a villain yet, though. Even though she's one of the good guys, she makes so many lethal mistakes she might as well be working for Count Dooku. But we forgive her, because...you know. She's hot as shit. 

Epic face-off.
Villains: Speaking of the devil. Count Dooku is terrifying. Any man who gets his rocks off by caressing his lover with his gun...yeah. Phallic metaphors aside, he's just a creepy fuck. And he has those intense evil eyebrows. He doesn't even need to say anything, he just stares at you, and you know. Coupled with a cheery smile before he kills you and a badass gun, he's brilliant. Rock on, Christopher Lee, rock on. 

As for henchmen, since he was a lonely bastard he had all of two henchmen. One never said a word and instead molested Goodnight briefly, just so we know he's a "bad guy". The other was Nick Nack. Nick Nack is at times amusing, at times over the top. I would've liked it if they just went all out and made him a little evil fuck. He clearly had a sadistic streak and used it well. But then to have that all undermined at the end when he got shoved into a suitcase like the odd little midget he is...well. It left me feeling not so crazy about Nick Nack. 

Most badass moment: An extremely cool car flip. Which just happened to be ruined by the Looney Toons noise it made when it flipped and J.W.'s subsequent flipping out with his ass in the air. WHY? This is only tied with the fact that the headquarters are on the half sunken Queen Elizabeth. Brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant. Not only does it look cool, but it adds to the whole circus ambiance of the thing with its sideways doors and slanted staircases. 

Most ridiculous moment: Return of the J.W...no. For one, you can't repeat that. For two, a racist white trash all-American Louisiana sherif isn't going to vacation ins Hong Kong. He's truly the Jar Jar Binks of Bond films. 

"The bridge is that way!!!"

Bond: "There's really not very much for us to do tonight...or is there?" He's like the narrator for a horror movie trailer. Worst Bond pick up line. EVER. And he's surprised when it doesn't work? No...no. The audience is surprised when it does.

Count Dooku: "You seem, Mr. Bond, I thought I always liked animals. Then I discovered I liked killing people even more."

Mission report: I honestly couldn't tell you how I feel about this movie if I tried. On one hand, the pacing is good, it's entertaining, Andrea Anders is the shit. On the other hand, it's too gimmicky, Goodnight is ridiculous, and J.W. is just too much. There was a lot of awesome, but a lot of shit as well. I'm just going to have to say it was a pretty good Bond movie and leave it at that. 


  1. Well, then, let's have a new solar system as soon as Mr. Norris's nose is ready!

    I am a Bond fanatic above all else. That said - you're right - this is a dizzying mix of the good and bad - for me, probably the worst EON Bond film. That it was the last contribution by Harry Saltzman (and it's all his - Cubby pretty much sat this out) makes me glad he did team up with Cubby - especially when Mr. B returns with his response to this movie - and it's frigging The Spy Who Loved Me!

    And once again, in this Bond fans not all that humble opinion - the car flip is the single greatest stunt in the series. Bar none. And it is COMPLETELY UNDONE by that stupid goddamn slide whistle. My GOD what were they thinking?!?!

    So, way back around the time of the release of Octopussy, I'm still trying to track down all of the Bonds to watch, as home video is a relatively new thing - and it tells you how far back this was that I was renting some on Beta and some on VHS - anyway, there was a TV special celebrating "21 Years of Bond." Various celebrities wax eloquent on 007 - pretty good stuff. Well, there are clips from the movies in between each celebrity's monologue - and they stick in JW and Bond as they get ready to jump - I haven't at this point seen TMWTGG - anyway, here's this clip (with JW's GD comment intact on broadcast TV, somehow!) and when the jump occurs - it has this revving car engine sound over that is PERFECT for the scene and makes the stunt 2000% more effective. Now, I haven't seen the movie - so I don't know that the TV special people have altered this clip for the show - imagine my jawdropping disgust and surprise when that stupid whistle went off when I finally did see the whole movie! For the record, my trained ear can now tell you that the gunning motor sound that replaced the whistle in the clip was taken from the moon buggy chase in Diamonds are Forever. I'm not sure if this special is on YouTube - but it is well worth a watch if it is. Sorry for the mega comment - I do get carried away with my Bond! Cheers!

  2. You are a machine. Powering through old Bond is, to me, an utterly heroic (yet doomed) journey.

    I can barely get into new Bond, let alone the old one. The Austin Powers movies make them look silly enough, but looking back, they were already frickin' ridiculous.

    Anyway, I own some old ones that I've never cracked, maybe I'll put them in the rotation...or see how far I can throw them.

  3. @ Craig--I love Bond mega-comments! Especially one as heartwarming as that one. Heartwarming in the sense that it's good to hear someone else was as frustrated by that irritating whistle as I was. And not only you, but everyone who's seen the movie, even the people making a 21 years of Bond feature. I really don't understand HOW that noise got passed anyone making the movie. Did they just smash it together and not look at it? Well...actually...the way the movie came out, maybe. In either case, I'm going to have to look for that clip. Even if just to feel a little better about the way that stunt turned out.

    The Spy That Loved Me is next on my list! I haven't seen it in a while, so I'm stoked!

    @ M. Brown--Thanks! Anything for the sake of the blog. But I've got a lot of love for Bond, so it works. However, I have never actually sat down to seriously watch them and critique...and it is interesting what movie reviewer googles reveal. Nonetheless, I think it all depends on the Bond, really. Anything from Sean Connery is pure gold. You've gotta flow with the camp.

  4. Christopher Lee certainly was a cheestastic Bond Villain as far I was concerned. It was like he was putting on those creepy Dracula eyes all "come to me." Nick Nack was just like a 70's Pennywise for me.

    Roger Moore was never the ultra cool Bond like Connery. His pick up lines were just bad and combined with that proper catalog model look of his. Just no.

  5. Great review! I commented about Bond today, so he's topical for some reason.

    I loved the 007 movies, I really did. But I rewatched some Moore pix, & he was a real problem for a me that's older than 12. He slaps women just as coldly as Connery (but not, I assume, in real life like Sean), yet he's smarmy, condescending, rigid. He's... droll and pompous, at times.

    At least he doesn't always immediately antagonize the guy he's investigating, like Sean would. It's nice to see some actual f'ing spying in this spy series. In the end, the first 5 films carry the pulpy feel I like best for this franchise.

    This, and others in the Moore era, tho, have inventive, strong villains, neat plots, cool action scenes, and very competent construction.... well-crafted, if flawed. That car jump was cool, right? Stunts were more impressive when they were live, not digital.

    JD Biggoton, Jr. was... such a confusing choice. If they were dissing the US, it went on too long to be funny, and he should've got blown up or brainwashed or sold into sex slavery. He doesn't fit the tone of 007 at all, and yes, he'd never go on an Asian-tropic vacation. What was he gonna do there? Fish? Go diving?

    When it comes time for Octopussy, tho, you're gonna flip. It's every bad thing about Moore dialed up to 10. You're gonna hurt so bad =)

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  7. Goodknight was super-hot, and I wish this entry was about how she saved the day but lost the credit to a glib pig she works with. I like your ambivalence here. Great song, great base, bad sidekick and slide whistle sound. The scenery is really stunning, too.

    Ps, Maude Adams comes back as a totally different villain's woman in Octopussy. I s### you not.

  8. @ Melissa--Christopher Lee was certainly cheesetastic but...so were most of the Bond villains. And I'm down with campy. But you're right about the Dracula eyebrows--couldn't have said it better myself!

    I'm trying hard to give Roger Moore a chance. But every time I give him a little more slack, he whips me in the face with it. I'm starting to wonder if this isn't a masochistic endeavor.

    @ Thaddeus--Thanks! Every day is worthy of a Bond moment. I'm having similar problems with Moore, though. As much as I am trying hard to like him (mainly because I've got five more Moore films to go through), he's...well. Exactly like you said. Droll. He just doesn't have that Bond spark I'm waiting every so patiently for.

    But. He does make a good spy. Even if he's not reckless and impulsive, he's good spy material. Really, if he had made a series that WASN'T James Bond and just...a string of good spy movies, I think I would've really enjoyed them. Probably.

    JW in sex slavery is probably the most unfortunate image that's crossed my mind in a while. I'm all for making fun of us Americans, and I was actually relatively amused by him the first go around, but...the second time? Way to beat a dead horse and then rub our faces in its blood.

    And...now I don't know what I'm going to do when I get to Octopussy. Maybe I'll just ignore everything and focus on how attractive Maude Adams is. Yes. That sounds like a plan.

  9. I admire your efforts at a complete picture. I first encountered the James Bond through the ROger Moore films, and I thought they were ok. WHen I later encountered the Connery films, I thought "Wow, what happened." Connery is just such a better James Bond. But that being said, I can tolerate Moore's Bond, it's kind of like grading on a curve I guess, or maybe it's more like having a teacher you like replaced by a mostly competent substitute, all the same lessons are there, but the substitute isn't as aware of the overall plan and must rely on cheesy gimmicks once in a while to keep your attention. But as you say "Rock on Christopher Lee." He really is awesome.

  10. Thanks! I feel that--I think your first Bond always holds a special place in your heart. I had the misfortune of having Pierce Bronson being my introduction to Bond, and while I can now realize exactly how ridiculous he is, I can't help but have fun watching him prance about.

    Ahaha, great teacher metaphor! And so true. I'm trying to give Roger Moore a real chance. I am. After all, he has five more movies to either impress me or repel me in, so I'll play it safe and say I haven't quite made up my mind about him yet.


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