After George Lazenby decided to call it quits to reprise his role as James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery, returns to the front seat by starring in this picture, like Connery’s other Bond films, it went on to become a box office success. As another movie was in development, Sean refuses to come back as 007, I bet he was tired on playing the same routine over and over again, without trying anything different, thus producers seek fresh blood to find a replacement for Sean. After many auditions, the producers found their designated target to play 007, that target is none other than Roger Moore starring in his first Bond movie called Live And Let Die.
Live And Let Die, was released in 1973, earning positive reviews from critics/fans alike. It was also a commercial success at the box office.
With the passing of Roger Moore, I’ve decided to share my real thoughts about his breakthrough role as Bond, in honor of his memory as an icon.
If you’re familiar with the recycled pattern ranging from Sean Connery to Pierce Bronson’s movies, this review contains SPOILERS.
Positive: Roger Moore did a great job as James Bond. His portrayal is much more comedic than any other Bond actor. Speaking of comedic, this is one of the first Bond movies to feature elements of Comedy with a lighter tone. Think of it as The Silver Age Of Comics when our favorite heroes enter wackier adventures, take Adam West’s Batman as a primary example.
Fun Fact: Before Roger won the part as Bond, two famous actors who were included for the role are, Adam West, & Burt Reynolds. If one of the two won the part, it could’ve been the first time for an American born actor, portraying James Bond.
For the first time in Bond history, most of the filming locations from the movie is set in America. If they filmed one scene in Texas, I would’ve given this a bunch of Bonus Points because I live in that state.
Action Sequences were good such as a boat chase and one scene that got me laughing is when Bond pretends to be a flying instructor to evade is pursuers. I’ll have to give this Bonus Points for the student reacting to the situation.
Cinematography wasn’t that bad from start to finish.
Paul McCartney contributed to the theme song alongside his late wife Linda, and his Post-Beatles band called Wings, for the movie as it was played in the title sequence.
Unlike most Bond films which features nuclear weapons as a Plot Device, drug smuggling is used for The Villain’s evil plan. At least the writers tried something different in an attempt to repeat the same formula, even though there’s still some recycle patterns from previous films.
One of the henchmen has a prosthetic hand resembling a claw. I believe that the creators of Inspector Gadget came up with the idea of Gadget’s archenemy who has a prosthetic claw for a hand.
The film manages to use Blaxploitation. Which is a Sub-Genre from The 70’s, as well as Voodoo as a recurring Plot Device.
An Over-The-Top Death Scene involving an exploding man. Not kidding, an exploding man literally blowing into pieces, as in a beached whale exploding into millions of pieces.
Negative: An Optional Con for those who have a fear of snakes. There’s one or two depicted in this movie. If I were you, make sure you bring something to soothe the fear inside your system like water or a stress ball.
Once again, incompetent henchmen leave Bond to die with alligators, rather than staying as a backup plan. Nobody does that in Real Life! This makes the baddies look like Marv & Harry from Home Alone!
For the second time in a row, even The Bad Guy attempted to kill Bond by feeding him with alligators. Didn’t he learn from his previous mistake? I’m gonna assume he switched brains with Ed from Ed, Edd, n’ Eddy, offscreen.
During an intense boat chase, there’s a sheriff named J.W. and I swear to god, he reminded me of Jackie Gleeson as Sheriff Buford T. Justice. (off of Smokey & The Bandit) J.W. was an annoying hillbilly. I’ll have to Double Down Points for depicting an annoying idiot, because I can’t stand a stock character known for being obnoxious! Sheriff Hopper from Stranger Things has a more dignified character than this discount version of Boss Hogg!
Desmond Llewelyn didn’t show up as Q. Thankfully, Bond uses his gadgets for his mission. I’ll let this con slide if it weren’t for the gadgets, Q’s presence would’ve never given us a clue that he’s still around.
The Final Verdict: B-
I think Roger’s first Bond film has some elements that holds up, except for the cons I’ve listed for this classic Bond entry. If you’re a fan of 007 like I am, go give this one a watch.
R.I.P. Roger Moore, thank you the memories and you’ll always be remembered as James Bond, besides Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, & Daniel Craig.