Live and Let Die Review
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In more than half a century, the James Bond franchise has had its ups and downs. Some of the films have worked better than others, and some have been more over-the-top than others. And 1973’s Live and Let Die definitely falls on the more outrageous end of the spectrum.

Live and Let Die stars Roger Moore as a slightly less debonair Bond. When a number of British agents are killed, Bond is sent to investigate. And as he travels from the bustling streets of New York to the bayous of Louisiana to the Caribbean island of San Monique, all of the clues seem to point to a shadowy crime boss known as Mr. Big. But in order to get to Mr. Big, he’ll need to get past voodoo masters, claw-handed henchmen, and a beautiful high priestess named Solitaire (Jane Seymour).

The Daniel Craig years may have introduced audiences to a moodier, more toned-down 007, but Bond films are rarely serious. In fact, they’re notoriously over-the-top, with wildly exaggerated characters and dialogue that’s dripping with one-liners and innuendo. But Live and Let Die certainly scores above average on the goofiness scale. It features wild native rituals, killer reptiles, a deadly shark tank, and a high-speed boat chase (both in and out of the water). It’s crammed with outrageous characters—and it all seems to get even wackier as the adventure plays out. It’s definitely amusing—but not necessarily for the right reasons.

  
 
Of course, each Bond star tends to set the tone for his installments in the franchise—and Moore’s films are more cartoonish than most. His Bond isn’t as suave and sophisticated as others. Instead of crisp tuxedos, he wears tank tops and denim pantsuits. And the characters around him mirror his wild ‘70s style—complete with crazy prints, bright colors, and platform shoes. His Bond is still as cool and clever as he is lucky in love; he’s just more comical than other actors’ interpretations. And, in much the same way, while Live and Let Die is still action-packed and thrilling, it’s lighter and crazier than other Bond adventures.

Really, then, your enjoyment of Live and Let Die depends on your own Bond movie preferences. If you love the crazy characters and the corny one-liners, you’ll most likely enjoy every outlandish moment. But if you prefer a slightly more straight-laced Bond—and a more traditional spy story—this ‘70s voodoo escapade won’t be one of your franchise favorites.


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