The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

A nipple. Yes, that's right, a nipple—that's the grand entrance of "The Man with the Golden Gun". Ah, but don't worry, it's not just any nipple; it's a pale grey, disgusting looking third nipple belonging to none other than Christopher Lee. This is seen within the opening minute of the film. This nipple gets its own close-up...I guess it had to sleep with the director too (oh, so naughty).
Anyways, I think this sums up the biggest problem with "The Man with the Golden Gun"; because if a nipple is the big entrance, you know that there are huge problems lying further on down the road...and you'd be remarkably right.
Post-nipple close-up, we see Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) lounge on the beach with a beautiful woman who towels him off seductively. Then we have his midget butler named Nick Nack (Hervé Villechaize) who appears to be trying to knock his master off. Hiring a shady looking dude with a gun, Nick Nack instructs him to wait in the bedroom for Scaramanga.
Once he's inside, Nick Nack starts playing God via a panel of uber-controls that allow him to do pretty much everything. Scaramanga gets trapped inside with the hired gun.
The bedroom converts into a circus sideshow, complete with house of mirrors and everything. The hired man gets corralled into walking down flights of steps, turning certain corners, etc. etc. Scaramanga has to get to his gun before he becomes dead; but he does and it becomes clear that this has just been killing-Bond training.
Cut to main titles.
Bond (Roger Moore again) enters quickly and learns that a man named Scaramanga has sent MI6 a little present: a golden bullet with Bond's number carved into it. MI6 sees this as a threat and since Scaramanga's identity is completely clandestine, they have nothing to go on. M suspends Bond who is so anxious to get back on secret-agent-ing (totally a word) that he decides that only path left for him is to track down Scaramanga himself and meet the killer head on.
Scaramanga had a thing for gold (not that we've seen that in a Bond villain before...sarcasm, of course), he has a golden gun, hence the title, and he shoots exclusively with golden bullets which cost a fortune to make. 
Bond knows that if he wants to find Scaramanga he's got to find one of the bullets...which takes him about five minutes. This bullet is found lodged in the navel of a pretty dancer at the night club....of course. Bond removes the bullet with his mouth...I just...I just....just no. After accidentally swallowing the golden nugget and then setting off for a pharmacist and then, no doubt, excreting the bullet, 007 finds out the maker.
Then it's just a hop, skip, and a jump closer to Scaramanga.
There are some heavy logical issues in "The Man with the Golden Gun" how Scaramanga has a life size dummy of Bond in his freak show when he supposedly never met the man. Then there's the motive, which is paper thin, and the script itself.
When the most exciting thing that happens is a karate school going berserk for absolutely no reason, you know the movie's in trouble. Sure, you could argue the whole karate school thing; but it would bring up the biggest hole in the movie (and perhaps the series): why don't people kill Bond when they have the chance? If you could count the number of times that people got the drop on our dear gentlemen spy, you'd be weary before you got to this movie. Why is it that at gunpoint, our villains must calmly explain their whole plan and decide to dispatch Bond in some elaborate way that has twenty-seven ways it could mess up? Why?
But moving on...Bond has to save the world again; but from what, I can't remember...does he even have to save the world? What happens in this movie?
It's not very memorable.
Scaramanga is the lowest of the Bond villains yet, clinging to hope because he has a nifty gun.
"The Man with the Golden Gun" is by far the worst Bond movie yet, stealing from each movie prior to it and adding uselessly stupid characters.
John Barry returns for the score (I approve) and Guy Hamilton is back (I don't approve) for the last time (I approve).
What it boils down to is the reappearance and that freakin' annoying redneck caricature from "Live and Let Die". Apparently audiences found him funny. I did not. Instead of a cameo, he gets remarkable screen time, filled with racist slurs, curses, and unfunny physical humor.
"The Man with the Golden Gun" ends horribly, in fact it's pretty dreadful the whole way through. Then again, it all started with a nipple, so what were you expecting?

Score: ★½

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