|Page 4 of 26:||             |
|Index||260 reviews in total|
Live and Let Die the first time we get to see Roger Moore as Bond is a fun if not not slightly more humorous than previous Bond films with a villain who is not a super villain, but a mere humble drug kingpin. The film is a fun watch and although by far not the best Bond, can still be considered Bond that felt more like Bond was a police detective rather than a Spy. The film is OK, and here is why I thought so.
The story is not the strongest by a long shot in the Bond series but still serves to give us what we want, action, crime and adventure and Bond is still using his big gadgets and nice cars to crack down on the villains. I felt the story was a bit slow but started to maybe speed up toward the end with an ending that is just well, go and see what I mean. I did enjoy the plot and I commend it for being a more realistic villain, but with the horrible racial overtones, it made for a Bond that wasn't anywhere near the best, and not Moore's best performance either.
I enjoyed Moore in this film and as I said with the humour thing, he knows just what to do in this movie, with his quick and witty remarks and calmness in a bad situation Moore excerpts confidence even in the face of probable certain death. The cast aren't that great and although we are focusing on Moore more than anyone in this film, cast such as Jane Seymour are poor and seem to overly done as characters to be serious, that goes for the villain too. I did like some of the more petty villains Bond encounters before he meets the main villain as Bond finally got to deal with knives and clubs rather than lasers and just guns all the time.
It was written well and directed all the same but not so much praise must be given to this as it isn't as good as it could have been done. The stunts in this are good if not great and one of the first Bond's that nearly over does the stunts, but manages to balance the suave nature of Bond with his more testosterone filled half. The action sequences are OK too and serve the film well in it's pats that are turning boring, the action gives us much thrills and enjoyable action that isn't too dark for kids for example.
The film isn't great as I was saying and far from it, with an acting cast that sometimes seem to be in the wrong film and characters that just seem to take the mick of the film(Sheriff Pepper does that) it could nearly be said it wants to be laughed at. It isn't that bad to be fair but as we get so many times, the villain is too ambitious and plans to massive to ever be possible, here we have it even more so with a medium sized drug cartel planning well, no spoilers but a big thing to happen.
I think those who like Bond films and especially Moore will enjoy it as sometimes on reflection it seems Roger Moore got more lighter in his films as they went along, with only really "A View To a Kill" being more dark than this Moore film. Those who don't like Bond always may like it though with it's un gory action but still people do die, it mixes up well so that younger audiences can also enjoy this as well as elder viewers too.
Overall I give this a 6/10, solidly a movie but not really quite near being good, but I felt it was much better than just being another OK film. Not the best Bond and won't set sparks off with the fans as although it is enjoyable, it can be passed off as briskly entertaining adventure but never getting to the heights that the earlier Bond's get to.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When three MI6 agents are murdered within a short period of time "James Bond" (Roger Moore) is sent to New York to investigate. Once there he discovers evidence that a man by the name of "Dr. Kananga" (Yaphet Kotto) may be responsible and so he heads to New Orleans to continue his investigation. It is here that he is abducted by a gangster by the name of "Mr. Big" (name deliberately withheld) and meets a beautiful psychic named "Solitaire" (Jane Seymour) who works for Dr. Kananga and keeps him informed of future events by the use of tarot cards. After managing to escape from the clutches of Mr. Big he then travels to a small island in the Caribbean called San Monique where he meets up with another agent named "Rosie" (Gloria Hendry) who is there to assist him. From then on events begin to rapidly overtake him as he encounters an assortment of hoodlums, crocodiles, a voodoo priest named "Baron Samedi" (Geoffrey Holder) and even a Louisiana sheriff by the name of "J.W. Pepper" (Clifton James). So essentially what we have is an action-packed movie that has elements of previous James Bond films mixed with a blaxploitation theme and some very good humor as well. Throw in some good performances by Roger Moore and Yaphet Kotto along with one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to appear in a James Bond film in Jane Seymour and there really isn't too much to dislike about this movie. That said, I rate it as above average.
This is the first film with Roger Moore starring as MI6 Secret Agent
James Bond 007, where he is sent to New York to investigate the
mysterious deaths of several British agents. There, he discovers that
the self-producing heroin addict Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto) is linked
to the case and as Bond tries to unravel his master plan, he meets
Solitaire (Jane Seymour), the beautiful Tarot card reader whose magical
gifts are reluctantly crucial to Kananga. What follows are some nice
action sequences involving voodoo and witch doctors.
While Sean Connery is, of course, the first and original actor to play James Bond and is regarded by many to be the best one, I actually like Moore's portrayal of the secret agent better. He gave his own unique personality and charm to the character, but also kept Bond's iconic characteristics of suaveness, womanizing, deadpan humor and funny one-liners. His acting was charming and comedic, which helped him engage in all the action scenes and provide touching chemistry between him and the beautiful Jane Seymour.
Tom Mankiewicz did a pretty nice job on the screenplay, providing us with a story that is interesting, and Guy Hamilton did a pretty good job directing. Much of the movie delved on Bond and his partners roaming around the streets of New Orleans and the Caribbean Island, looking for clues leading to Kanaga and his scheme.
There is lesser action in this movie than other 007 films, but the voodoo scenes where Moore does some nice butt-kicking action with Kanaga and his henchmen are among my favorite parts in the feature. The boat-chase scene was exciting at first, but gets drawn out later on in the scene; it also lacks a much needed music score accompaniment. The loudmouth Sheriff Pepper (Clifton James) is a very annoying character and didn't serve a real purpose in the movie; but, I guess he was needed for comic relief.
Overall, it's a pretty lively and amusing first 007 film to feature Roger Moore.
Roger Moore is taking his first turn as the iconic Bond. Bond is called
in to investigate the killing of British agents. In New York, Bond is
attacked, and we're introduced to Kananga (Yaphet Kotto) the dictator
of San Monique, and his virgin tarot card reader Solitaire (Jane
Seymour). It turns out that Kananga or Mr Big controls large
concessions of businesses in Harlem and beyond.
The title song from Paul McCartney jolts the series into the 70s. It is indeed a start of a new era. There is a definite black urban influence at work in this one. I love the juxtaposition of the impeccable Lilly white Bond clashing with the hip black culture. I also love Yaphet Kotto but I wish he had more to do. Baron Samedi (Geoffrey Holder) has to be one of the most interesting looking villain ever. Even better than Tee Hee (Julius Harris) with his claw hand.
Lois Maxwell is showing her age as she becomes more of a mom figure to the younger Bond. There is a chance of Bond doing the same. He is certainly out of place. So Roger Moore is playing a lot of this off as a joke. It's a different take on Bond than the one from Connery. And this franchise is now part parody especially with the comical Sheriff Pepper (Clifton James). This is an interesting start to the Roger Moore era.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After "Diamonds are Forever" Sean Connery left the role of James Bond
officially with the words "Never again"( a foreshadow to his final but
unofficial role as James Bond but thats for another review). The
producers once again had the task of looking for a new Bond and who to
pick but "The Saint"s Roger Moore.
Lets just say that the plot is more strange and bizarre than the previous films as it involves sadistic murders, drug trafficking, an annoying redneck sheriff who is rarely funny, a virgin tarot card reader and a voodoo witchdoctor who may or may not be immortal. Not to mention that all the villains are black save for two allies that Bond meets in the film. This was to cash in on the blaxploitation genre that was popular in in the early 70s.
Roger Moore's take on Jame Bond was very different from Connery's as he played it with more humor and charm. Jane Seymour as the bond girl was very beautiful but her character was only there as a damsel in distress for Bond to save at the end. Yaphet Kotto was an okay villain but his plan made little to no sense. Clifton James as Sheriff J.W. Pepper was only funny a few times but most of the time was very obnoxious in what was supposed to be a serious boat chase. David Hedison plays as the fourth actor to play Felix Leiter and does a great job.
Guy Hamilton returns as director for the third time and makes an improvement after the disappointing "Diamonds are Forever". Surprisingly the tone is less campy but more surreal, strange and somewhat uneven.
"Live and Let Die" is a decent start for the Roger Moore era and I give it good points especially for the catchy "Live and Let Die" song by Paul McCartney and the Wings.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Live and Let Die was Roger Moore's first appearance as Agent James Bond
007, a role he so obviously relished over the years. Then he was better
known as a TV star following his role as the Bondesque Simon Templar in
the Saint, and the follow up as Lord Sinclair in the less successful
When the film starts, Bond's briefing is not in the familiar office of his boss M, but in his apartment where he had just finished cavorting with a delectable Italian agent.
M gives Bond the unfortunate news that three British agents have been murdered presumably by one Mr. Kananga, the dictator of a Caribbean country called San Monique. Bond is then ordered to investigate the deaths.
Bond's assignment takes him to New York where he meets the beautiful and mysterious Solitaire, a tarot card reader with seemingly possible powers to predict the future. Solitaire played by Jane Seymour (her first acting role) was a virgin who will lose her power if she loses her virginity.
He also encounters Tee Hee, the henchman with a hook instead of a hand. (In the Bond novels, Bond's friend Felix Leither had the hook); the seductively menacing Baron Samedi, supposedly The Man Who Can Never Die, and finally the big bad guy himself, Mr. Kananga played charmingly by Yaphet Kotto. Both Julius Harris and Geoffrey Holder who played Tee Hee and Samedi respectively were sadly underused but still their performances as the grotesque bad guys were arresting.
Sadly, Desmond Llewlyn did not make an appearance but his character, Q, was still referred to in a comic altercation between Bond and M.
Kotto has the distinction of being the first and only black villain in the James Bond franchise. And it was a role he played with equal measures of charm and menace. Kotto always has a magnetic screen presence and it show in this movie, almost matching that of Roger Moore himself, despite his lesser screen time. It was obvious that the Bond film makers were cashing in on the successful blaxploitation movies of the 70s, (although in a reverse order since the black guys are the villains). The racist theme was prevalent in the movie and which begs the question- were they black because they were villains or where they villains who just happened to be black? Roger Moore's interpretation of Bond was radically different from Connery's. He eschews Connery's sardonic wit and roughness to assume a more affable finesse and comedic persona. That charm is what made Roger Moore a more likable Bond in Nigeria (not in my opinion though).
He smokes cigars, struts through the street of Harlem dressed like The Prince of Wales, speaks in refined English (his one liners where excellent like when his quip "sheer magnetism, darling" as he pulls down a zipper with a magnetic watch), shows no anxiety in being in the midst of violent black drug runners (when he is being taken away to his execution, he calmly advises Solitaire not to leave as he shan't be long) and tells a massive henchman called Whisper to keep the change when the henchman serves him with drinks and takes his gun in exchange.
LALD is a fast paced movie which unusually for the superficial Bond movies skirts the supernatural world of voodooism, occultism and human sacrifices. The drug theme is also explored via Kananga who wants to monopolize the drug world in US by an operation that does not really make sense.
As Kananaga puts it "I sell to anyone black, white-I don't discriminate" Like most Bond films, LALD has its plot holes. It is never explained why the British Secret Service was interested in Kananga in the first place that led to the murder of their three agents, or even why their agents were murdered. Fantastically, one was murdered right in the General Assembly meeting of the United Nations! Or why Kananaga's dummy killers would kill one of their own agents on the verge of revealing information to Bond when they could have nipped the whole problem in the bud by just easily killing Bond. Wrong strategy, bad guys.
Despite these plot holes, it is still an arresting movie with such highlights as the climatic boat chase, Bond's nifty watch that could emit a magnetic field, his nerve wracking entanglement with the alligators and a brilliant disco cum spooky song theme song from Paul Marcartney.
It is better that its predecessor, the silly Diamonds Are Forever; not the best of the Bond movies but still a lot of fun to watch.
Moore's charm smooths over the inevitable comparisons with Connery and
is in keeping with the lighter tone that the films had already been
accustomed to and which they would go on with throughout his tenure.
The film is especially intriguing in that it is the only entry in the
series which features metaphysics (Solitaire's ability to read the
Tarot cards and predict the future) as a credible plot device.
Otherwise, LALD's colourful blaxploitation gloss, confident pace and a
few modern touches give it a vigour which was missing from its
predecessor, "Diamonds Are Forever".
Plus, it features an all-time great moment: Bond's escape from the crocodile pool. A winner.
Roger Moore was set to debut in the job he'd hold for the next 12
years... and still people don't want to admit he played a good James
He was softer, yes. Writers had to re-write many of the Connery driven scenes for his more natural comedic persona, true. But when times called for it, Moore made Bond a bastard. Afterall, he did trick this powerful psychic with poor self-esteem into giving up her virginity and stripping herself of her powers all in the name of getting' some tail. You cheeky bastard! 'Let Die' wasn't the best Moore vehicle, neither was it's sequel... but it did give Moore a firm foothold of a character he made great strides with improving on film.
His debut effort did in fact serve as the place setting at the Bond table and the main course would indeed test Sean Connery's true believers.
Add in the first non-John Barry score, a little ghetto voodoo and a kick ass title song... Popcorn baby!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wow, such a different interpretation of Bond. n this movie, Bond is so
much soft, romantic, and so much British! His accent his manners,
everything! I think it was a good thing that they finally choose a
British actor to play Bond... After all, that's the way it should be.
Looking closer at that plot, it really is quite unusual, Bond-wise, for a bit of dabbling in Voodoo and the occult. It creates a spooky atmosphere not normally a part of the average Bond experience. The heroin-based impetus behind the plot serves only as a sensible explanation for the eerie goings-on. Baron Samedi and Tee Hee cannot fail to both amuse you, frighten you and make you go "oooh!"; whilst the ever-dominating Kananga is nice 'n' scary played by Yaphet Kotto. Sheriff Pepper is a touchy subject for Bond purists, but I like him - and Solitaire is a Bond girl with an intriguing touch (!). Oh! - and this is surely the best Felix Leiter. The set-pieces are spectacular in all the ways you would expect them to be (the bus chase, speed-boat chase and the infamous crocodiles stand out in particular), and the action is fast-paced throughout.
Roger Moore's debut as James Bond is a strange film. Having already
established itself by 1973 as a popular series of action films in which the
villains were mostly over the top megalomaniacs with nefarious schemes, Live
and Let Die introduces us to the Moore era, an era full of over the top
plots and villains that eventually peaks with Bond going to space in
Moonraker. The film is not reflective of the next twelve years in the big
screen life of James Bond. The film is about a villain who is a drug dealer,
who uses a clairvoyant whose powers are linked to her virginity to his
advantage, and who also uses voodoo as a means of control over the
population of the island he is living on. Overall Live and Let Die is a very
strange film. For a Bond film it is extremely surreal, featuring moments of
voodoo inspired murder, the villain (a great Yaphet Kotto) masquerading as a
New York drug dealer called Mr Big and the revelation that everybody in
Harlem are all in league with Mr Big/Kanaga.
For all its strangeness, it is enjoyable, however, the film has dated in several regards. Being set in the 1970's, many of the female characters have afro hairstyles, the music is so 1970's it hurts and feels very dated in today's age. In saying that we have a great theme tune from Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney (doing the writing duties as John sings) and some wonderful action sequences and set pieces in the second half when it returns to something resembling a normal Bond film, including a great boat chase over the Louisiana Everglades and Bond and Solitaires about to be fed to a shark, and of course let's not forget Jane Seymour's feature film debut as Solitaire, looking beautiful and lovely throughout.
It's not a perfect film, and it sure as hell ain't as good as future Moore Bond movies, but it does what all Bond films should do and gives the audience a couple of hours escapism that works a charm.
|Page 4 of 26:||             |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||External reviews||Parents Guide|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|