Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die (1973)
★★ / ★★★★

This isn’t my favorite James Bond film even though it has a nice balance of action and humor. At times I felt like it was too light to the point where it’s impossible to take the more serious scenes… well, seriously. Rooger Moore is a mediocre 007 because he lacks a certain edge that Sean Connery has. Moore is a bit too goofy with his one-liners and I wanted him to be more dangerous. One of my major problems is that the film somewhat relied on the belief of tarot cards coming true. That lack of realism really bothered me and I wish the writers eliminated it from the story. It’s a shame because the premise started off well: three agents were killed from different sides of the globe and Bond has to find a connection on why it happened. While the beginning is brilliant, the execution and the conclusion are less than impressive. Come to think of it, I don’t think they answered all of my questions regarding the premise. It simply answered the “why” aspect in one of the scenes and completely forgot about it for the rest of the picture. Somehow, Bond manages to meet a girl who can see the future and become crocodile food. Although the latter scene is very impressive (it’s arguably the best scene of the film), it hardly makes up for the rest of the film’s inconsistencies. Bond is supposed to be the center of the story but there were many scenes where he could not be found. If I were to estimate the net time Moore was not on film, it would be around twenty minutes. When introducing a new actor playing Bond, the smart move is to put him in front of the camera 95% of the time (or more) so the audiences will get a chance to get to know him more. By the end of this film, I felt like Moore was secondary to the big picture.

3 replies »

  1. aw man i disagree w/ you on this one. this was actually my favorite Bond film until Casino Royale came out. I think Moore is excellent in this role. I was actually going to suggest you to check out the scene w/ the crocodiles b/c that was probably my favorite scene of the film; so I was glad to see you mention it here as your favorite part of the film. But I guess I can see what you’re saying about the Tarot cards being corny. I just never really took much of that seriously, anyways. but I liked the action sequences on this one, especially the alligators, and the boat chase.

  2. i’m not sure how well these films have aged. you probably wouldn’t care much for them now if you didn’t back then…but you can give this one another try if you want. i think i will, as well sometime soon, and see if i still like it.

    But even if these films weren’t good they usually had a really good theme song for each one. I remember in 1985-86 when A View To A Kill came out and that Duran Duran song came on it was way ahead of its time; do you recall that song? The movie wasn’t that good, but the song was great. I think it still sounds good today. Christopher Walken was a fun Bond villain, though, as was Grace Jones.

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