For today’s first review of Live and Let Die (1973), here’s a review by Luke of Oracle of Film.
Thanks again Luke!
LIVE AND LET DIE
I know who you are, what you are, and why you’ve come. You have made a mistake. You will not succeed.
Number of Times Seen: 5
Brief Synopsis: Three agents, investigating the Prime Minister of San Monique, die. 007 is sent to figure out what happens and how an important politician connects to American gangster, Mr. Big.
My Take on It: Despite me one of those people that would very much like to criticise the Roger Moore era as much as possible, I must admit that Live and Let Die is one of my favourite Bond films.
It is just so fun. Moore might not have the presence of Connery, but we could argue that the writers need to up their game to make the movie work with the actor. There are quite a few villains in this one (the amazing Yaphet Kotto as Dr. Kanaga, the creepy Baron Samedi and the cult Bond figure, Tee Hee), so whenever the movie threatens to slow down, there is always a trick to throw into the mix. There is a nice mixture of set-pieces too. The slow tension of Bond trying to make his way out of a crocodile farm, the fast-paced action of a boat/car chase with Kanaga’s gangsters and the more traditional Bond vs. Bad Guy confrontation over a shark pool. Sadly, the actual death of the big villain is one of the more ridiculous moments in Bond history, but we will put that down to a small mis-step in a mainly excellent Bond movie.
Let’s talk Roger Moore. My main problem with Roger Moore, other than a total inability to act, is the fact that he just doesn’t feel infallible. Connery could be inside a place rocketing out of control and he would still look like he was deciding which wine to have with his salmon dinner tonight. Roger Moore sounds like he has been totally winded after the first punch makes contact. He can do the cool exterior stuff, because his television career was built on that look, but he cannot do much more. Thankfully, the gags are better written in this one than they are in a few movies time, so the worst of Moore is still bearable in Live and Let Die. Let’s put this one down to another, far more grievous mis-step, shall we?
Bottom Line: If you are willing to put up with Moore, Live and Let Die is up there with the best of the Bonds. A gripping, fun entry into the franchise.