Take a Drink: for black (or any other kind of) magic
Take a Drink: for gadgetry
Take a Drink: whenever Rosie freaks out
Take a Drink: for tarot cards
Take a Drink: for apex predators
Do a Shot: for “pimpmobile” or “honky”
By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
The Bond franchise’s narrow brush with legitimacy (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) thankfully averted, Live and Let Die continued Diamonds are Forever‘s cheeseball tendency by introducing the most cheeseball of Bonds- Roger Moore.
This is not something Sean Connery would have done
In Live and Let Die, a series of suspicious murders draws Bond into a plot full of voodoo, pimpmobiles, tarot, and aquatic predators. You know, Bond stuff.
One common observance of Bond films is how often they reflect their time and culture, and 1973 was smack dab in the heart of Blaxploitation, baby. The result is a Bond flick with more pimp couture, skeezy pre-Giuliani NYC locales, and Yaphet Kotto than your average blockbuster bear.
Nobody can say No to more Kot-to
Not only is this the blackest Bond, but it’s the blackest blockbuster out there shy of the Bad Boys franchise, even if Bond and his main squeeze, a literally virginal Jane Seymour in her first role, are pigment-deficient. It’s not only bad guys, thankfully, with CIA agents and brothers in arms played excellently by African Americans, although the demented Michael Clarke Duncan stylings of Julius Harris as the claw-handed Tee Hee Johnson and the screen-dominating Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi are the standouts, Non-Kotto Division.
There are plenty of other reasons to recommend this Bond, from Moore’s immediate and successful embracing of his subtext-free, fun-first Bond era to the several smashing (of boats (!!), trains, and automobiles) set pieces to Paul and Linda McCartney’s iconic theme, which has transcended the film in the public consciousness, but which pairs with it beautifully in the tension-enhancing way it is interwoven throughout.
While the diversity is welcome and the blaxploitation elements work surprisingly well, the voodoo/island stuff is…
Between the 1920s “native horror”-style voodoo scenes, welfare references, and drug-smuggling master plan, this is white suburban terror codified.
Bond’s slide down the slippery slope of silliness was really starting to gain speed at this point. Live and Let Die triples down on the increasingly dodgy gadgets, takes time for an extended, blatant espresso machine commercial, and then throws itself headfirst into Tex Avery bullshit.
Truly the decade of Moore got off to a swimming start with Live and Let Die, for better and the definite specter of worse.