HER MAJESTY’S TOP GUN (1977)
aka No. 1 of the Secret Service
Article 3829 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-28-2012
Posting Date: 2-7-2012
Directed by Lindsay Shonteff
Featuring Nicky Henson, Richard Todd, Aime MacDonald
What it is: Low-budget Bond parody
Secret Agent Charles Bind is sent out on a mission to investigate the murders of noted financiers.
This movie was apparently meant to be a parody of the James Bond movies; unfortunately, on that level, the movie is a failure. Not only are the intended laughs ineffective, there’s far too much wasted time between them. The closest I came to being amused was during a sequence where an assassin in training honed his skills by shaving off the whiskers of his brother with his gun. Other than that, it tries for laughs with a lame running gag involving his female assistant and a soda syphon, horrible post-killing one-liners, and action sequences both more exaggerated and more undernourished than those in the real James Bond movies. However, if the comedy falls flat, there is at least one compensation. I actually found the villain in this one rather intriguing; his plan is offbeat, and he’s so cocky he practically drags the secret agent along with him on the assassinations just to show him how useless it is for the agent to stop him. Still, the movie overuses him; his character would have been more fun if he hadn’t been in every other scene, and both the script and the budget are too undernourished to make it all work. There’s some fun faces in the cast (such as Milton Reid and Jon Pertwee), though they aren’t really given enough to do. Also, in terms of its fantastic content, this one is very light on the gadgetry; other than the fact that the secret agent has a huge machine gun installed in his car, I don’t think there’s any at all. Therefore, I don’t really think this qualifies as a genre effort.