Since there was a James Bond novel on the book shelf this week, it means I get to revisit a Bond cinematic adventure that I haven’t previously covered for the blog, and that brings me to 1985’s A View To A Kill.
This is a bit of a mixed bag for me, and will always be important for me because it was the first James Bond soundrtack I ever owned featuring a score by the iconic John Barry, and featuring an awesome theme song by Duran Duran.
The downside is that a this point, Roger Moore is way too old to be playing 007. And instead of addressing that, and making it a plot point, the film treats him as if he’s just on another adventure. It’s not. It is in fact Moore’s final appearance as Bond.
Still, he goes out on a mostly strong note (Beach Boys moment in the pre-credits sequence not withstanding). There are some fantastic set pieces, one atop the Eiffel Tower featuring a parachute jump (although the subsequent chance in half a car is a little silly), some great location work in San Francisco, and a solid supporting cast that includes Christopher Walken (as the film’s villain, Max Zorin), Grace Jones as his henchwoman, May Day, Patrick Macnee as Bond’s fellow undercover agent, Tibbett, and the slightly miscast Tanya Roberts as Stacey Sutton.
I say miscast because she just doesn’t seem to be the strongest actor in this effort.
Bond goes after Max Zorin, a genetically created specimen in a program dating back to the Nazis, who is great with computers and has turned his attention on Silicon Valley. To lock down the market, he decides to trigger a massive earthquake which would destroy the hub of the computer world.
There are some great sequences, and I love Barry’s entire score, there are some wonderful recurring motifs, and themes, and Glen proves himself a solid action director, having helmed the franchise since For Your Eyes Only.
Q (Desmond Llewelyn) is desperately underused in the film, the fun moments between he and 007 are mostly absent in this film, and this marks not only Moore’s final appearance in the series, bt Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny as well. . Still, Grace Jones is wonderfully intimidating in her role, and Walken steals any scene he’s in.
It’s not Moore’s best Bond, honestly, at this point he’s way too old to be doing this, and while the film has some fun moments, it’s easy to see that the series needs a bit of a shakeup, and perhaps a reset.
Happily the next film did that very thing.
I’m not sorry to see Moore leave the role. As a kid his Bond totally appealed to me, but as I garner more years, I tend to like his films less and less with The Spy Who Loved Me, and For Your Eyes Only being the lone exceptions.
James Bond will return…