Live And Let Die (1973)

live-and-let-die

James Bond investigates a drug lord with a reputation steeped in black magic in probably the most tacky and exploitative outing in the franchise.

It is guilty of jumping on every yokel-pleasing bandwagon of the 1970’s, including redneck humour, Blaxploitation and ludicrously over the top car chases, all tainted by the kind of distasteful sexism that was swept away by 1980’s political correctness. The plot is also straight out of Austin Powers, featuring a villain called “Mr Big” (*sigh*) and an attempt to kill the indestructible secret agent by leaving him alone and unguarded right outside their secret drug lab. D’oh. Roger Moore is far more sleazy than suave, his seduction of the radiantly beautiful Jane Seymour feeling particularly seedy, but my biggest problem with this rather nasty Blaxploitation pastiche is the fact that Blaxploitation worked because the heroes were black. That was kind of the point. Making a Blaxploitation film where all the villains are black and the two heroes are both white just smacks of plain racism.

Having said all that, it manages to be mildly entertaining on the level of pure kitsch but the amount of sophistication and subtlety on display here is equalled by the average Carry On film.

4.5/10

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