This is the first film Roger Moore appears in after Sean Connery turned down a 5.5 million dollar offer. He smokes cigars, drinks whiskey and rocks a flared suit. Ahh the 70's. There is a intentional change in Bond's behavior here. He doesn't feel like a natural ladies man, more like the women are falling for him, for less apparent reasons. Like they are in a movie being paid to do it. He seems clueless about some things he should know, likes being a white man in a suit in the middle of Harlem in the 70's. It doesn't feel natural and Roger Moore doesn't feel natural as Bond here. Maybe it is because he is new, but I am not loving him as Bond.
The first bond girl is hardly seen, a British agent found in Bond's bed in the beginning of the movie. She is never mentioned again and fulfills her role as opening girl well. Say nothing, do nothing, disappear. The bad girl is Rosie Carver, a CIA double agent, who doesn't do anything well, dress, act, or trick James Bond. She is overwhelmingly useless as a bad girl, a good girl, or a Bond Girl, one of my least favorite Bond girls thus far. But with the bad comes the good, and the good Bond girl, is one of my favorites. Jane Seymour, yes that Jane Seymour, in one of her first roles. She is a tarot card reader, who is young and beautiful. A bit naive, but she is important to the movie and to Bond. She delivers her part well and rocks some of the best clothing I have seen thus far in any Bond movie. It is easy to see how she has had a career for almost 40 years.
Mr. Big/Kanaga plays a double role as a Harlem street thug, and the head of state of a country called San Monique, an island where Voodoo still thrives and sacrifices are commonplace. He owns sharks to kill his enemy's, but which Bond villains don't have sharks. He has a huge army of thugs who really have no real plan. Their plan is to give away free Heroin and then get everyone hooked on it in America, drive all the other drug leaders of the world out of business and then charge 3 times the price. We all know this can't happen, everyone would kill these guys as soon as the Heroin hit US soil, but this is the threat Bond is sent to deal with. It seems like a waste of Bond and his talents, and really is a let down. But these might have been the threats of the times. I am just not getting behind it.
There is a magnetic watch Bond wears that he uses to unzip a girls dress, and then later to save him when he is in a jam. There is a bug sweeper to detect audio bugs in his hotel room, which there always seems to be in every movie. His watch also has a saw blade in it to cut ropes. His watches are always so useful. Then a gas pellet gun that shoots a pellet of air. The villains don't really have any gadgets either. These are good gadgets, but they are not critical to the mission and just end up being helpful not game changing, James Bond or a look into future technologies.
This is so far my least favorite Bond movie. It felt all wrong, it felt very 70's. It felt like there was tons of blatant racism, stereotyping and blacksplotation. It felt like a cheap campy 70's comedy, but it wasn't. They brought it some horrible Louisiana Sheriff for what I assume is comic relief, who was awful, and they stuck with him through the whole ending of the movie, making this already bad movie worse. Along with a new Bond who was acting different and not as crafty of smooth as the previous Bond's this is a hard movie to move onto, and I think is the worst so far.