The days of Sean Connery’s 007 are over, and Roger Moore has stepped in to take on the role of the renowned secret agent for 1973’s Live And Let Die. Moore’s appearance marks the beginning of a new era – one I’m not sure I like all that much.
The first shot of Moore as Bond – lounging around in bed with a woman – speaks volumes about his portrayal of the character. Moore’s 007 is far more concerned with getting laid than saving the world, and seems utterly reluctant to embark on any missions. This made it extremely hard to invest in any of the action, as James Bond is no longer doing anything proactive – it’s all reactionary.
Moore also brings a great deal of camp to the film, and I have expected him to pull a George Lazenby and break the fourth wall. While Connery was never one to shy away from the occasional quip or pun, Moore’s 007 goes out of his way to say the cheesiest thing imaginable, regardless of the danger surrounding him. There isn’t really a balance between comedy and drama, which I found disappointing and tiresome.
The same could be said for the supporting characters. The villains are downright laughable (one literally gets inflated and blows up), and the set pieces are overly long and intercut with characters like Sheriff J.W. Pepper, the Jar Jar Binks of the Bond franchise.
The villains and plot of Live And Let Die are all over the place and, at times, utter nonsense. The film is, at the very least, forty-five minutes too long, and I can’t even remember what the villains’ schemes were or why Bond was involved in the first place.
The film is fascinating in the sense that it’s a Blaxploitation film, making it a bit of a time capsule and an interesting experiment. But that’s not enough to save it for me. This is, without a doubt, my least favorite entry to date, and has me a bit worried about the six Roger Moore films now in my imminent future.
On the plus side, I’m now officially a third of the way through my 007 Marathon!
Next up: The Man With The Golden Gun