Here we go again. A new Bond movie and a new Bond to boot. You heard it folks. Sean Connery has left the franchise (again) and the reign of Roger Moore is about to begin. I know everyone is sad about this change in stars but hey, he can’t be any worse than Lazenby so let’s give him a chance. So let’s move ahead to today’s movie: Live And Let Die.
The plot: Several British agents have been killed within a 24 hour period; their only link is their investigation into Dr. Kananga, the dictator of a small Caribbean island. Bond goes to New York and finds himself the target of an assassination attempt himself. After surviving the attempt, Bond meets up with his friend Leiter and finds a connection between a local drug lord, Mr. Big, and Kananga. Going back and forth between the swamps of New Orleans and the Caribbean island of San Marco, Bond must figure out who is behind the assassinations and put an end to them, before he is killed himself.
Ok. So this is Roger Moore’s debut in the Bond franchise. Now this movie had a budget of only $7 million and wound up grossing $161 million worldwide. So financially, it was a success. It also holds the record for the most viewed broadcast film on television in the United Kingdom when it debuted. So obviously, people wanted to see it. Critically, the feelings about it were mixed. Some people liked Roger Moore, others thought he was bland. Some people liked the villians, others thought they were merely used to cash in on the “Blaxploitation” movement at the time. About the only thing everyone agreed on was that Jane Seymour was a great Bond girl.
Now I liked this movie but I won’t say that this was the best film in the series. Yes there were a lot of racial tones in the movie but that was the same for a lot of movies back then. It didn’t bother me any. I did like the location settings. Some of the action and chase scenes were really good. Some, like Bond running across the backs of crocodiles, were really cheesy. It took a little while to get used to him, but I can accept Roger Moore as James Bond. Yes he didn’t have the presence that Connery gave him but Moore did put his own spin on the character that made a lasting impression with the audiences.
So a decent entry into the Bond series and worth watching.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5