Bond's Final Mission : AVTAK or ?

barryt007barryt007 Hunting Kara Milovy with a massive elephant gun.
edited September 25 in Bond Movies Posts: 16,011
I have always felt and viewed that AVTAK is Bond's final mission.
It escalates the whole film to see Bond's confidence slowly evaparate during the mission,as Tibbet,Lee etc are killed around him and he has to take on Zorin,Mayday,Scarpine,and the whole Nazi steroid experiment ideology on his own ,even down to the haunting music as he hangs on to the airship ,getting slammed into the Golden Gate Bridge etc.


Would you,as i do,see AVTAK in a better light as a 'Bond last mission' scenario,or do you think Craig's 'Logan' would trump it ?

AVTAK ,to me,will ALWAYS be Bond's final mission.

Over to you..
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Comments

  • JeffreyJeffrey The Netherlands
    Posts: 246
    Interesting take. Never thought about it in that regard. Certainly also fits with Bond's age in the film.
  • Posts: 7,013
    I stand firmly by my opinion that Roger was playing Bond close to his own age. He clearly has a disdain for Zorin and the Nazi subplot as a man who lived through WWII.
    007 usually breaks some rules, so I imagine Moore's Bond simply never retired at the mandatory age of 45. He was simply too good an agent to let go and too important to MI6 and the safety of the world.
  • edited May 11 Posts: 668
    I like this way of seeing the series.

    AVTAK doesn't really run from Rog's age, none of his later films really do. I read somewhere—blog I think, maybe a forum post—the very good observation that Rog's final films each kind of had an absent/dead father motif running through them. That each of Melina's, Octopussy's and Stacey's fathers were dead was made explicit and somewhat relevant to the plots of FYEO, OP, and AVTAK. And Rog's presence was a little more paternal as a result (even if he does end up sleeping with them).

    In AVTAK specifically his age is seemingly even more a potent contributor. It really lends itself to a sense of struggle in the film for Bond, putting him up against it, and that's what really makes it appealing as a kind of final assignment. That he really earns the victory. It's very satisfying as a viewer.

    @barryt007, you mention how everyone who helps him ends up dead, which is definitely part of it. It's also the little things. Carrying Stacey out of the flames, he misses a rung on the fire truck ladder. Later, he breaks a ladder rung trying to climb out of the mine shaft. Ladders are very traditionally spoken of in relation to success. 'Climb the ladder.' Missing or worse breaking a rung is kind of symbolic of failure. Bond's 'missing a step' at this point. Etc. Also, Zorin's youth is a nice contrast for the mature OO7.

    The sense of challenge is only heightened for the finale, where he's hanging from the rope (the mission 'hanging on a thread'), isolated and on his own as you noted @barryt007 by Barry's wonderful music, which is quite fateful.

    It all comes together quite well and makes what would be a very satisfying final episode for Bond's career.
  • Posts: 7,013
    Strog wrote: »
    I like this way of seeing the series.

    AVTAK doesn't really run from Rog's age, none of his later films really do. I read somewhere—blog I think, maybe a forum post—the very good observation that Rog's final films each kind of had an absent/dead father motif running through them. That each of Melina's, Octopussy's and Stacey's fathers were dead was made explicit and somewhat relevant to the plots of FYEO, OP, and AVTAK. And Rog's presence was a little more paternal as a result (even if he does end up sleeping with them).

    In AVTAK specifically his age is seemingly even more a potent contributor. It really lends itself to a sense of struggle in the film for Bond, putting him up against it, and that's what really makes it appealing as a kind of final assignment. That he really earns the victory. It's very satisfying as a viewer.

    @barryt007, you mention how everyone who helps him ends up dead, which is definitely part of it. It's also the little things. Carrying Stacey out of the flames, he misses a rung on the fire truck ladder. Later, he breaks a ladder rung trying to climb out of the mine shaft. Ladders are very traditionally spoken of in relation to success. 'Climb the ladder.' Missing or worse breaking a rung is kind of symbolic of failure. Bond's 'missing a step' at this point. Etc. Also, Zorin's youth is a nice contrast for the mature OO7.

    The sense of challenge is only heightened for the finale, where he's hanging from the rope (the mission 'hanging on a thread'), isolated and on his own as you noted @barryt007 by Barry's wonderful music, which is quite fateful.

    It all comes together quite well and makes what would be a very satisfying final episode for Bond's career.

    Excellent post! I do remember the audience having a lot of fun with AVTAK. Vocal cheers and laughs throughout. The beautiful shots of Bond dangling from the thread over San Francisco gave it an edge of your seat element.

    AVATK felt like a final hurrah, although we knew there would be another film in a couple years. I can remember at the time thinking the M/Moneypenny/Q scenes being brought outside the office felt like a farewell party. Deep down I knew this was Roger's last, though at the same time I wouldn't have been too surprised if he signed for another.

    I do like to think of AVTAK as Bond's retirement party, with TLD being set with Bond in mid-career.
  • JeffreyJeffrey The Netherlands
    Posts: 246
    Good post indeed @Strog.

    I do now feel the urge to watch AVTAK again with all this in mind.
  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    Posts: 804
    Naturally, I've always viewed DAD as the last mission but I like this too.
  • barryt007barryt007 Hunting Kara Milovy with a massive elephant gun.
    Posts: 16,011
    Remington wrote: »
    Naturally, I've always viewed DAD as the last mission but I like this too.

    No,...this is Bond in his last and damn hard mission due to his age...watch it this way and i guarantee you will love it more and be right behind him,supporting him.

    Almost one mission too far.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Of course, Mr. White!
    Posts: 2,290
    Strog wrote: »
    Also, Zorin's youth is a nice contrast for the mature OO7.
    This is a crucial point, in my opinion. In AVTAK, Roger Moore's now aging Bond is quintessentially British, polite, chivalrous, in contrast to younger Zorin, who is egomaniacal, psychotic and takes the yuppie values of the eighties to an extreme. Moore Bond's disgust for Zorin is greater than with any other villain in his tenure, as if he can barely stand him-- as if he has never quite seen something like this nutcase before. Whether intended or not, these contrasts between the characters can add up to the feeling that the world is changing and Moore Bond isn't prepared to deal with this new type of evil. That's it "time to leave." For these reasons I think AVTAK is the closest we have to a "final mission."
  • barryt007barryt007 Hunting Kara Milovy with a massive elephant gun.
    Posts: 16,011
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Strog wrote: »
    Also, Zorin's youth is a nice contrast for the mature OO7.
    This is a crucial point, in my opinion. In AVTAK, Roger Moore's now aging Bond is quintessentially British, polite, chivalrous, in contrast to younger Zorin, who is egomaniacal, psychotic and takes the yuppie values of the eighties to an extreme. Moore Bond's disgust for Zorin is greater than with any other villain in his tenure, as if he can barely stand him-- as if he has never quite seen something like this nutcase before. Whether intended or not, these contrasts between the characters can add up to the feeling that the world is changing and Moore Bond isn't prepared to deal with this new type of evil. That's it "time to leave." For these reasons I think AVTAK is the closest we have to a "final mission."

    Spot on Matt..spot on....which is why i treasure this film,and see it as it is,one last (and nearly too much) mission to fulfill.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 22,491
    AVTAK has never been a film I could really get behind, but I must admit this premise first suggested by @barryt007 and now reinforced beautifully by @Strog, @ToTheRight and @mattjoes has made me curious to watch it again soon.

    I've honestly really struggled to see the positives, and have been somewhat envious of those who enjoy this film. Being a huge fan of Sir Rog as Bond, I almost feel an obligation to find a way to see it in a new light and perhaps this will finally be the key to unlocking some enjoyment. In the past I've often scoffed at his age, which is made quite apparent in certain sequences already highlighted here as well as during the firetruck chase. I've also seen the age gap between Bond and Zorin as strange, but again, this new way of looking at things may improve my perceptions.

    So I'll definitely check it out soon and see if anything changes.
    barryt007 wrote: »
    Would you,as i do,see AVTAK in a better light as 'Bond last mission' scenario,or do you think Craig's 'Logan' would trump it ?
    That remains to be seen. I didn't like Logan, so if they try to emulate anything from that film I probably will pick AVTAK.
  • Posts: 7,013
    I far prefer to think of AVTAK as Bond's farewell. At least the Bond I grew up with.
    Honestly, I hope it stays that way. I don't even remotely like the idea of a LOGAN style film to finish of the Craig era.
  • edited May 12 Posts: 668
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    The beautiful shots of Bond dangling from the thread over San Francisco gave it an edge of your seat element.
    It is edge-of-the-seat stuff, isn't it, @ToTheRight? Barry's music starting in just as we see Bond dangling on the rope then Golden Gate nearing inevitably in the distance. We only then begin to get the idea when the film cuts to Zorin laughing, getting the idea himself.
    ToTheRight wrote:
    AVATK felt like a final hurrah, although we knew there would be another film in a couple years. I can remember at the time thinking the M/Moneypenny/Q scenes being brought outside the office felt like a farewell party.
    I agree. AVTAK was the end of an era in more ways than one, I think; surely in terms of a certain sensibility in the series. TLD was apparently at one point going to be a reboot. Even if that didn't happen (and if it had I imagine this take on AVTAK as Bond's last mission might be more well held), the accompanying feeling leaks through in that final product regardless. There are aspects of TLD which definitely seem to anticipate the Brosnan era in a way that no Moore film did. AVTAK definitely feels like an end to something beyond just Moore.
    barryt007 wrote: »
    Almost one mission too far.
    Succinct and good way of framing it. Exactly what Bond must've been thinking as he held on to that rope.
    mattjoes wrote: »
    This is a crucial point, in my opinion. In AVTAK, Roger Moore's now aging Bond is quintessentially British, polite, chivalrous, in contrast to younger Zorin, who is egomaniacal, psychotic and takes the yuppie values of the eighties to an extreme.
    Great thoughts, @mattjoes.

    Bond is very British in AVTAK, you're right, and come to think of it so is the production. In fact, while this is perhaps true to the greatest degree in AVTAK, we could extend the thought out, as in the case of Bond the paternal figure, to each of Rog's last three films, occurring as they did during the heritage cycle:
    At a time of British industrial decline, stagnant economic growth, political polarisation and social unrest, heritage films were appealing to many because they projected a nostalgic image of Britain as a prosperous, powerful and socially cohesive nation.
    Not saying that Glen's films were heritage films. I mention it mainly to point toward a certain mindset in British film at the time. As Bond had aged, so had the production machine. Let's not forget that Rog could've played Bond in DN back in 1962, when Bond was a force of modernization. By 1985 he's become a bit old-fashioned. So in a way, with AVTAK, Bond's 'quintessential Britishness' has become intrinsically linked to his age. Another point in favor of this being Bond's last mission: it becomes the zenith of his national identity.
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Moore Bond's disgust for Zorin is greater than with any other villain in his tenure, as if he can barely stand him-- as if he has never quite seen something like this nutcase before.
    This is very good. I'd not thought of it this way. His disgust is certainly palpable. Different yet reminiscent of the attitude Rog takes in the dinner scene in TMWTGG.
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Whether intended or not, these contrasts between the characters can add up to the feeling that the world is changing and Moore Bond isn't prepared to deal with this new type of evil.
    Yes, the distaste for Zorin spills over into everything Zorin embodies. As you say a sort of change, a 'new type of evil.' But also an old type: Zorin's origins as a Nazi experiment lend a certain sense that the same evil which Rog-Bond--or which a conceivable man of his approximate age (as @ToTheRight said, a man who lived through WWII)--a certain sense that the same eivl which Rog-Bond could well have been fighting at the beginning of his career has returned. A return or a circle, which is a basic representation of time and its passing. As Zorin might say, that's rather neat don't you think?
    bondjames wrote: »
    I've honestly really struggled to see the positives, and have been somewhat envious of those who enjoy this film. Being a huge fan of Sir Rog as Bond, I almost feel an obligation to find a way to see it in a new light and perhaps this will finally be the key to unlocking some enjoyment. In the past I've often scoffed at his age, which is made quite apparent in certain sequences already highlighted here as well as during the firetruck chase. I've also seen the age gap between Bond and Zorin as strange, but again, this new way of looking at things may improve my perceptions.
    I hope some of this does crack the film open a bit for you, if only a little. I think Rog's age and the Zorin-Bond age gap are issues whose experience can definitely be not only enhanced but cause for admiration. Stuff like the Beach Boys being used in the pre-titles or the police chief from the firetruck chase, on the other hand, are not easily overlooked, and can be understandably off-putting. But for my money the goofy offenses in this film are way less in number and degree than in any of Glen's others. In fact I think AVTAK is Glen's best. Not his most fun perhaps but his least affected.
  • Posts: 7,013
    California Girls, as silly as it is, doesn't really bother me. I distinctly remember the audience roaring with laughter, so in that respect, it succeeded in what it was intended for. It's over in a few seconds anyway.
    I find the fire truck scene to be Roger's version of the DAF Mustang chase. It's not my favorite chase in the series, but I do find it more entertaining than the aerial CGI battle in QOS or the plane/snow bit in SPECTRE.
  • KaijuDirectorOO7KaijuDirectorOO7 Once Upon a Time Somewhere...
    Posts: 189
    DaF for the Connery era. Age, and the final catharsis of Blofeld's doom.
  • barryt007barryt007 Hunting Kara Milovy with a massive elephant gun.
    Posts: 16,011
    DaF for the Connery era. Age, and the final catharsis of Blofeld's doom.

    Not compared to MooreBonds last mission and connerybond came back UNOFFICIALLY for that other film in 1983.

  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Christmas Jonestown
    Posts: 29,046
    The last Bond adventure in his previous incarnation is LTK for me.

    Quite fitting too, since it borrows themes from Fleming s last novel.
  • edited May 13 Posts: 104
    I'd also say LTK. It feels like an end in and of itself, but in addition, everything that followed it was quite a bit different and rebooty anyway.

    I think it works as a sort of happy end for Bond, who clearly relishes his ersatz revenge, and spends much of the film totally dominating his opponent. I think when M calls with a job for him, Bond at that point can take it or leave it, just as he talked about in the film prior.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 1000
    Posts: 15,497
    Something about Octopussy has a nice finality to it. Bond prevents WWIII yet again and saves many people from dying in a nuclear explosion, ending up with Octopussy.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Of course, Mr. White!
    edited May 14 Posts: 2,290
    Strog wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Moore Bond's disgust for Zorin is greater than with any other villain in his tenure, as if he can barely stand him-- as if he has never quite seen something like this nutcase before.
    This is very good. I'd not thought of it this way. His disgust is certainly palpable. Different yet reminiscent of the attitude Rog takes in the dinner scene in TMWTGG.
    Good call. In TMWTGG, it's Scaramanga's implication that Bond has something in common with him what upsets 007, whereas here it's Zorin's lack of humanity, but otherwise Bond's reactions in these two films are similar.

    Strog wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Whether intended or not, these contrasts between the characters can add up to the feeling that the world is changing and Moore Bond isn't prepared to deal with this new type of evil.
    Yes, the distaste for Zorin spills over into everything Zorin embodies. As you say a sort of change, a 'new type of evil.' But also an old type: Zorin's origins as a Nazi experiment lend a certain sense that the same evil which Rog-Bond--or which a conceivable man of his approximate age (as @ToTheRight said, a man who lived through WWII)--a certain sense that the same eivl which Rog-Bond could well have been fighting at the beginning of his career has returned. A return or a circle, which is a basic representation of time and its passing. As Zorin might say, that's rather neat don't you think?
    Indeed. It's the past returning to the present. Pretty cool, and I'm happy the Bond films made some use of this Nazi subject matter, which can provide a good basis for a thriller.
  • AntiLocqueBrakesAntiLocqueBrakes The edge
    Posts: 488
    ATVAK is the end of the road. Old man scores upset victory over younger, fresher villain. In boxing, that's a retirement fight. Even the soundtrack sounds like a dying retiring Bond is at place. Is there a movie with more slowed-down versions of the title track? Bond throwing in the towel on the robot does it for me at the end.

    For what its worth, SPECTRE feels the same for me with Craig.
  • edited May 14 Posts: 309
    Some of the theories/arguments in this thread were already explored in Andrew McNess's A Close Look at A View to a Kill. Highly recommended book.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Of course, Mr. White!
    Posts: 2,290
    Thanks for the tip, @Escalus5. I looked it up and found that, tying to the release of his book, McNess prepared an article on AVTAK for the James Bond Dossier. Here's the link:

    https://thejamesbonddossier.com/content/a-view-embraced-reflections-on-a-view-to-a-kill-at-30-years.htm

    Very interesting!
  • Posts: 309
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Thanks for the tip, @Escalus5. I looked it up and found that, tying to the release of his book, McNess prepared an article on AVTAK for the James Bond Dossier. Here's the link:

    https://thejamesbonddossier.com/content/a-view-embraced-reflections-on-a-view-to-a-kill-at-30-years.htm

    Very interesting!

    Thanks for the link!
  • edited May 16 Posts: 668
    ATVAK is the end of the road. Old man scores upset victory over younger, fresher villain. In boxing, that's a retirement fight. Even the soundtrack sounds like a dying retiring Bond is at place. Is there a movie with more slowed-down versions of the title track? Bond throwing in the towel on the robot does it for me at the end.
    Good post @AntiLocqueBrakes (and great username too). Love the bit about throwing in the towel!
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    Some of the theories/arguments in this thread were already explored in Andrew McNess's A Close Look at A View to a Kill. Highly recommended book.
    Thanks for that, @Escalus5. I will put it on the long list of Bond books to get to. Especially if the author is circling some of the same ideas touched on here.

    Just a few days back I ordered The James Bond Movies of the 1980s. On the whole Glen's is my least favorite era of Bond, so I'm trying to see what all I might be missing to appreciate. I'll report back on any interesting AVTAK-related bits.
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Thanks for the tip, @Escalus5. I looked it up and found that, tying to the release of his book, McNess prepared an article on AVTAK for the James Bond Dossier. Here's the link:

    https://thejamesbonddossier.com/content/a-view-embraced-reflections-on-a-view-to-a-kill-at-30-years.htm

    Very interesting!
    Good find! I especially liked this comment:

    "Not once does Moore’s Bond slip into condescension as he assists Stacey. He plays the game with May Day and Fiona Fullerton’s Pola Ivanova, but has the moral wherewithal to drop the act with the woman evidently in need. It’s a terrific contrast; hardly overstated, but there to be discovered and appreciated."

    And this along the subtlety of the St. John Smythe character. Rog once again showing the care he put into his performances. I'd say, though, watching their first scene together, that he does 'play the game' a bit, when doesn't yet know what's what with her (still in the Smythe character). But after that, yes.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache.
    Posts: 12,214
    Murdock wrote: »
    Something about Octopussy has a nice finality to it. Bond prevents WWIII yet again and saves many people from dying in a nuclear explosion, ending up with Octopussy.

    Yes, that's what I was thinking too. Rewatched OP again just recently and it remains one of my favourite Bond films.
  • CatchingBulletsCatchingBullets facebook.com/catchingbullets
    edited May 16 Posts: 224
    Strog wrote: »
    I read somewhere—blog I think, maybe a forum post—the very good observation that Rog's final films each kind of had an absent/dead father motif running through them.
    Yep. That was this bullet catcher's thoughts.
  • CatchingBulletsCatchingBullets facebook.com/catchingbullets
    Posts: 224
    I've noticed that once the A VIEW TO A KILL fans were defenders, then apologists and now we can just be staunch fans. It is a generational thing. Those that had zero issues with it as kids now appreciate it as adult fans.

    This fan obviously has a lot of bed space for Bond '85 and it is the proper starter pistol for CATCHING BULLETS. It is also film with a lot of personal echoes. But that aside, A VIEW TO A KILL is a fine, fun and rich adventure. If THE SPY WHO LOVED ME is *the* Seventies Bond film, then A VIEW TO A KILL - with its microchips, Van Halen hair, computer industries becoming global players, Grace Jones, airships, Duran Duran, tech-based cities and plot - is *the* Eighties Bond film. Bond films are not always fiercely contemporary. But A VIEW TO A KILL was.

    Some forget or don't even fathom how A VIEW TO A KILL was everywhere in the hot summer of Live Aid, Duran Duran and those Grace Jones posters (and Smiths crisps promotions!). The film is the last Bond opus for a while that makes great play of its very real locations playing themselves - Paris, Ascot, San Francisco, Oakland, the Golden Gate Bridge. It is graced with one of the most beautiful John Barry scores, a cracking title tune, great costume choices (Emma Porteous's work for May Day never gets the recognition it deserves), a cracking turn from Patrick Macnee and one of the best Bond villains the wider fan populace has yet to notice in the vicious, sadistic and historically dubious Max Zorin. It is also the first Bond film where our man James is actually on Russian soil at last (albeit lensed in Iceland).

    I had a violin solo of the Barry themes of the film play at my wedding - apt considering where we held it and its proximity to some key Bond studios and haunts. Non-fan folk knew the pieces instantly and the quiet love for A VIEW TO A KILL was clear.

    Catching Stacey ...


    Re-mining A VIEW TO A KILL...
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1217780421585638.1073741864.407779922585696&type=1&l=e460f1a681
  • barryt007barryt007 Hunting Kara Milovy with a massive elephant gun.
    Posts: 16,011
    Does anyone see SP as Bond's final mission in future,due to the very final ending it portrays ?
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Christmas Jonestown
    Posts: 29,046
    barryt007 wrote: »
    Does anyone see SP as Bond's final mission in future,due to the very final ending it portrays ?

    How could it be, with Craig doing one more?
  • barryt007barryt007 Hunting Kara Milovy with a massive elephant gun.
    Posts: 16,011
    The character not the actor.
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