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(Review originally written at 24 September 2003)

Of all the Bonds that have been made, this one is probably the darkest.

One of the things that I am missing is the humor. It misses the typical Roger Moore James Bond humor with as a result that the movie becomes a bit too serious. Sure it has some funny moment but it just misses the Roger Moore touch he added to the later Bond movies. But that's no wonder since this was Moore's first Bond, it looks like both actor and crew were still searching for the right character for Moore's Bond.

Another minor problem is the story. There happens too much in a too short amount of time. They could have resolved this by making the movie just 10 minutes longer.

But still it is a very solid Bond movie. It has some amazing character such as Baron Samedi and the legendary Sheriff J.W. Pepper that later returned in "The Man with the Golden Gun". The villains are one of the very best from the Bond series even though Kananga is a bit underused. Jane Seymour plays a great and beautiful Bond girl but again also she is a bit underused.

The atmosphere is pretty dark, mainly of course the scene's in Harlem. It's interesting but I still prefer the lighter Bond.

The movie is full with famous Bond scene's with the speed boat chase as one of the best. It's funny, spectacular and tense in other words: Typical Bond. I also always enjoy the scene's between Bond and M and this movie is no exception. Their relationship and the certain tension towards each other is priceless and always good for some hard laughs. It's pure comedy that not all people will understand.

The music by George Martin is different but it suits the movie and it's atmosphere really well! The main title song by Paul and Linda McCartney is also very good and one of the very best Bond theme songs.

Solid Bond that could have been excellent.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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