Get Moore! (1973)

James Bond is back, but he’s left Sean Connery at the old people’s home in favour of a younger model with some killer eyebrows. Blogalongabond is back, and Roger Moore’s having none of it.

When three agents are assassinated within the space of 24 hours, each of them somehow involved in monitoring the movements of Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), M (Bernard Lee) and Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) pay 007 a visit in order to request his services. Arriving in New York – the location of the first death – James Bond (Roger Moore) escapes a similar attempt on his life, following the would-be assasins to a bar in Harlem. Brought before Mr. Big, a local gangster who is in fact Kananga in disguise, Bond meets his virgin, tarot reading assistant (Jane Seymour) and, escaping yet another attempt on his life, follows both to San Monique. When he is captured again after literally shagging the psychic out of Solitaire, she and Bond must escape crocodiles and sharks respectively if they are to foil Kanangas plot to bankrupt the world’s heroin competitors. Or something.

Despite the pre-credits sequence – which features one particular agent being killed by the least convincing snake-bite ever – Live and Let Die gets off to quite an unexpectedly strong start. Featuring a franchise-best theme song – Paul McCartney & Wings duly replace throaty crooning with bombastic bravado – and an enlivened score courtesy of George Martin, McCartney’s producer while with The Beatles, Live and Let Die sounds absolutely fantastic.

Unfortunately, it’s not that much to look at. Although the effects are little short of sterling throughout – a last act boat chase is particularly effective – the film itself is far from arresting. Yet another compilation of greatest hits, we have the usual double-crossing, the contractual underground monorail and – just in case you missed them the last time – the villain’s lair even comes complete with its own shark pool. There’s even a train-set skirmish for those of you who haven’t seen From Russia With Love.

To make matters worse, these recycled ideas are now treated with an overwrought sense of smugness rather than a genuine sense of gravity. Roger Moore is no worse than George Lazenby – indeed, he even has his moments of greatness – but he hides behind his eyebrows, unwilling to commit anything more than a furrowed brow to this most minimalist of performances. It is difficult to invest in someone so relentlessly blasé, water coming straight off this duck’s back without making all that much of an impression. And don’t even get me started on the comic relief (*cough* yokel sheriff *cough*); not even Austin Powers stooped that low.

It is a nice change, however, and with a simpler plot, a lively script and pumping soundtrack Live and Let Die is far from a disaster. Moore does indeed have a fetching set of brows, and while he mightn’t be a revelation in the role he holds his own, delivering entendres with just as much wry verve as Connery ever did – and he never had to run across a row of hungry crocodiles.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Get Moore! (1973)

  1. Pingback: August 2011 – Smurfity smurf smurf smurf! « popcornaddict

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