Man with the Golden Gun, The (1974)

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), directed by Guy Hamilton

When he is targeted for death, James Bond must find the mysterious master assassin first.

In Bond #9, Roger Moore's second, the emphasis is on action-comedy. The plot is a matter of "who cares?" and this entry is near the bottom of most lists. That's too bad; it's smoothly produced, has few gadgets and looks better than I recall. But there is just a general lack of energy and interest from all concerned. The hot topics of the period were the energy crisis, solar power, and a new fascination with martial arts. All the locations are East of Suez this time: Beirut, Macau, Hong Kong, Bangkok and somewhere in the China Sea.

Christopher Lee is one of the better Bond villains, although we never get a fix on him and his agenda: sex, money, power, killing? Too bad he has to have a secret island base. Who knew that solar energy stuff could produce such titanic explosions?

We have two nordic Bond Girls: the alluring Maud Adams and the somewhat dim spy sidekick Britt Ekland. Fatality rate: 50%.

For even more comedy than we want we have little Nick Nack ("I may be small but I never forget!") and the return of Sheriff JW Pepper. Bond rides around in a speedboat and does stunts in an AMC vehicle -- a Hornet? Now that's scary.

John Barry score, his least favorite of the series.

Available on Blu-ray with a fine image. Said to be the last Bond film in 1.85:1 aspect ratio.