For most of my life, if you had chanced to run into me on the street one day and stopped me to ask what my least favorite James Bond movie was, I'd have probably answered The Man With the Golden Gun. That's changed over the past decade or so, as a quartet of other titles -- two that (the 1967 Casino Royale and Diamonds Are Forever) have been covered here already, and two (Never Say Never Again and Die Another Day) that won't come up for a while yet -- crowded it out at the bottom of the barrel.
I've been simultaneously dreading and anticipating this rewatch of Golden Gun, because I was very curious to see what my rating system determined. I figured it was entirely possible it could reclaim its cellar-dweller status, or at least get close to it.
What I didn't expect was to discover myself enjoying the movie for perhaps the first time ever. In retrospect, I'm not sure I ever paid all that much attention to the movie. When I was a child, the movie confused me, partially because I somehow never managed to see it all in a single sitting, but also partially because the plot during the first act is more complicated than is typically the case with Bond movies. In later viewings over the course of the next few decades I always mentally checked out when this movie came up in my Bond-viewing rotation, and I recall skipping it more than once; another time, I remember fast-forwarding through whole chunks of it.
In other words, I seem to have managed to make it all the way to 2012 without ever giving the movie its proper due. Here, I think you will find that that mistake has been corrected.
This is not to suggest I have uncovered some sort of hidden masterpiece; that is not the case. The movie has numerous problems, several of them quite severe; but it also has several extremely strong elements, and while it is still not going to make it onto a list of great 007 films, I can now definitively say that I like the movie.
Funny what reappraisal will do sometimes, isn't it?