A View To A Kill (1985) - REVIEWS ONLY

DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
edited December 2022 in Reviews Posts: 23,298
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    I have always been vastly disappointed by the hate and slander that Bond's 1985 adventure receives. It currently resides at number three in my rankings, and for great reasons too. Back when I first started collecting the Bond movies on DVD and/or VHS tapes, AVTAK was the first that I bought on DVD, and remained my only purchased Bond movie along with GoldenEye on VHS for a period of about five months. During that time, I watched both of these great movies often. AVTAK had me captivated right from the pre-title sequence where Roger Moore engages in a high-stakes ski chase in Siberia against the Russians. As the movie went on, I was treated to a murder at the Eiffel Tower and the ensuing chase for May Day, detective work at Max Zorin's horse stables, the murder of a KGB agent at Zorin's oil pumping station, a fiery encounter at San Francisco City Hall and the ensuing fire truck escape, a flooded mine, and a hair-raising climax on the Golden Gate Bridge. It was purely unbelieveable! Everything was working- Roger Moore as 007, Christopher Walken as "Nightfire's" Max Zorin, stunning action scenes, a rockin' soundtrack by John Barry, and heart-pounding scenes like Zorin's betrayal in the mine and the fight on the Golden Gate Bridge. From this point forward, I was 100% hooked on the world of Bond.
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    edited November 2021 Posts: 538
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,413
    A View To A Kill

    The customary brinkmanship between Cubby Broccoli and Roger Moore concluded sooner than usual. After his success in vanquishing Sean Connery in the “Battle of the Bonds”, Moore knew that he had the winning hand. While, conversely, Broccoli knew that it would be churlish to proceed without a bankable star.

    Yet for all concerned, the general consensus suggested that this would be Moore's last assignment as 007.

    In 1960, Ian Fleming published From A View To A Kill, as part of the For Your Eyes Only anthology, truncated to A View To A Kill for the 14th Bond picture. In Fleming's original story, Bond is called to investigate the murder of a dispatch rider, near Paris. Only the Paris location was lifted for the film, as there was precious little to take from the story. With only the title and location taken from Fleming, the filmmakers decided instead to give Moore a spectacular swansong.

    The scribes, the venerable Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson, now promoted to co-producer alongside Cubby, originally devised the grand and fanciful plot to have Halley's Comet veer off course and smash into Silicon Valley. That fantastic plot recalls films such as The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker and their heightened reality scenarios.

    The world seemed particularly violent in the mid-80's; terrorist actions, CIA backed revolutions and upheaval in the Soviet Union were most unpalatable; hence why the filmmakers chose to retreat from the headlines and instead go back to the simple, breezy episodes that typified the 70's Bond movies.

    This slight readjustment to the series caused the filmmakers to shy away from the Cold War plots that provided the backdrop to the last two films, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy. Perhaps the filmmakers also wanted to disassociate 007 from the bungled CIA schemes.

    Therefore, the creative team determined it was high time to focus on humour and spectacle. The filmmakers had successfully anticipated the prevailing Zeitgeist for almost a quarter of a century, but this time they got it ever so slightly wrong.

    A new breed of action hero was emerging, with names like Stallone, Murphy, Schwarzenegger, and later Willis and Gibson. These films were big on death tolls and explosions, balanced out with one liners and quips, the very trend that Dr. No had established back in 1962. If the world wasn't getting more violent, then the cinematic world certainly was. Art imitating life.

    And against this new wave of action hero was a geriatric Bond – Moore would be 57 when production began on A View To A Kill – in a film that hearkened back to the 70's. In comparison, the Bonds seemed jaded.

    Perhaps the audience in the mid 80's were oversaturated with Bond films. Two movies had come out within 6 months of each other in 1983. In both of these pictures, one had fifty-something-year-old actors, reliving their prime. The Bonds were in danger of becoming passé, just something one’s father enjoyed.

    Indubitably, the filmmakers were aware of this and included extreme sports, such as base jumping and snowboarding, still in their infancy, to pep things up a little.

    John Taylor, bassist of Duran Duran and the biggest band at that time, approached Cubby offering to do the theme song. With all these elements in place, the filmmakers were sure they could appeal to the younger audience.

    A View To A Kill is a peculiar and schizophrenic type of picture. For example, the film features a youthful and dynamic villainous pairing of Christopher Walken's Max Zorin and Grace Jones as his henchwoman, May Day, versus the aged forces of MI6. During the Ascot scene, which features Bond, M, Q, and Moneypenny and Sir Godfrey Tibbett, the age difference is quite marked and quite embarrassing.

    Other examples are the forward thinking plot being regressed by the spectacle of the Bond films of the 70's. Also, one has clever and imaginative action scenes like the steeplechase and the fire at San Francisco's City Hall, opposed by humour laden chase scenes, such as the nighttime fire truck escape and the Parisian taxi chase, all played for laughs.

    There is some strong female characterization, embodied by Grace Jones' flamboyant and memorable May Day, and yet squandered by Tanya Roberts as the main Bond Girl, Stacey Sutton.

    The character of Stacey is well written - an oil heiress, Stacey is embroiled in legal wrangles with Max Zorin, who is trying to buy Stacey's oil share. Despite Zorin's repeated overtures, Stacey is holding firm and has got a job working as a state geologist at City Hall. She allies herself with Bond after Zorin sends his goons after her. A worthy character, in the vein of Melina Havelock and Octopussy.

    Unfortunately, Roberts is no more than a pretty airhead. Alas, she has little chemistry with Moore, who would have been better served with a more age comparable actress, such as Maud Adam's Octopussy.

    Further instances of the dichotomous nature of A View To A Kill are Roger Moore's easygoing charm contrasting with the cut-throat nature of 80's business ethos, represented by Walken's Zorin; and there is also an increased level of violence to the film (much to Moore's chagrin), mirroring current cinematic trends. Yet this is up against overt humour and sight gags, reminiscent of the 70's Bond pictures.

    With all these conflicting elements, one would imagine the director, John Glen, would deliver a film full of colour and not - as is the case - the weakest of the Bond movies of the 80's.

    In order to have the required spectacle of a 70's style Bond film, the plotting takes a back seat. The writing was the foundation for the rejuvenated Bond pictures of the 80's. Without a strong story, Glen's directorial style is slightly lacking.

    By this time one had an established crew working on the Bonds, from Glen as director, to Alan Hume as his Director of Photography – the third Bond film that they had collaborated on – to Peter Lamont as Production Designer. One even had Bob Simmons, the legendary stunt arranger, as a horse wrangler. Perhaps familiarity does breed, not contempt, but a slight complacency; not pushing the boundaries to see what the undoubted talents of the crew were capable of.

    Or maybe the reason behind A View To A Kill's rather pedestrian style is the continued meddling from MGM, the studio behind the Bond films, which stymied up the creative team. After United Artists experienced financial difficulty in the early 1980's, MGM purchased U.A, despite MGM not being in very good financial shape itself. Whereas U.A. let EON's production team get on with making the Bond movies, MGM interfered. With such a small pool of films for MGM – the only guaranteed money maker was the Rocky franchise - it was vital that A View To A Kill made money.

    Notwithstanding A View To A Kill's slight malaise, there is still an awful lot to enjoy in the film, as there is with every Bond movie.

    The final act in particular is terrific, from the mine under the San Andreas lake – surely one of Lamont's most technically impressive sets – right through to the thrilling climax on top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

    All of which compensates for the earlier phase of the movie, while in France, the picture spends an inordinate amount of time investigating Zorin's dubious race horse activities, instead of the main thrust of the plot, which is concerning the Russians having a pipeline into Zorin's microchip facility.

    The locations are also interesting. One would expect a Bond movie to be filled with exotic beaches or snowcapped mountains, and not the cities of Paris and San Francisco. Naturally, being a Bond film, the filmmakers have May Day base jumping from the Eiffel Tower and Zorin setting fire to San Francisco's City Hall – not the usual touristy things to do.

    The urban locations seem to be recalling the trio of the Guy Hamilton directed pictures of the early 70's. Indeed the two aforementioned comedic chase scenes could have been transplanted from the Hamilton films. Regardless, one has to admire the stunt/effects teams for their ingenuity throughout the entire movie - lead by the sterling talents of B.J. Worth, Remy Julienne, John Richardson and Martin Grace.

    Other strengths are John Barry's marvellous, atmospheric and foreboding score, sans the inexplicable inclusion of the Beach Boy's “California Girls” in the PTS. “Snow Job”, played also in the PTS, is a perfect example of Barry's evolving sound, with electric guitars overlaid with the portentous orchestration, yet it still contained the inimitable DNA of the Bondian sound. “May Day Jumpers” begins with a threatening motif, as befitting Jones' character, then veers off into the classic “James Bond Theme”, arranged by Barry for Moore's take on 007.

    Barry implemented Duran Duran's theme song superbly, be it as an exhilarating action cue or as a moving romantic piece. This romantic reworking of the theme song is poignant and touching. A beautiful, goosebump inducing treat from Mr. Barry. It is even used as a heroic key, whereby Barry uses the piece of the song usually related to the lyric “dance into the fire”, when Bond rescues Stacey from the burning City Hall.

    The greatest strength to A View To A Kill, however, is Christopher Walken's portrayal of Max Zorin, whose oddball persona is thoroughly suited to the sadistically gleeful character of Zorin.

    Zorin was born out of the horrific experiments conducted by Dr. Carl Mortner, who gave steroid injections to pregnant women in Nazi concentration camps. Although most women aborted, a few went on to have babies, with extremely high I.Q's, but with a side effect of being psychotic.

    As the movie goes on, Zorin becomes more and more unhinged; his psychosis laid bare, happily slaying dozens of his mine workers, or abandoning his girlfriend cum partner in crime, May Day. Zorin's only attachment is to his father figure, Mortner.

    Zorin is both humorous and scary and is a great antagonist for Bond, even more so when Zorin bests Bond. There is a real needle between the pair, which is most unusual for Moore's Bond, who normally interacts with his villains in a more gentlemanly, tête-à-tête way.

    Despite poor actors littering A View To A Kill in the tertiary roles – the Parisian taxi driver is the most obvious and excruciating – there are two wonderful actors in the guise of Patrick Macnee and Fiona Fullerton, as the horse trainer, Sir Godfrey Tibbett and the Soviet agent, Pola Ivanova, respectively.

    Macnee and Moore share a genuine camaraderie together and it is a great delight to watch Bond tease Tibbett mercilessly as they go undercover at Zorin's magnificent stables. Indeed, Macnee plays Tibbett with such wit and genteel charm, one feels his loss, as the film’s obligatory sacrificial lamb.

    Fullerton's Ivanova is mischievous and sexy, in a break from her usual roles, and would have made for a more suitable lead Bond girl than Roberts.

    On a sad note, this is the final assignment for Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny. With 14 movies to her credit, Maxwell was an institution as Moneypenny, serving under three Bonds - Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore - creating the flirtatious banter with 007, that became a staple for the series. On her last picture Maxwell goes out in style, as she and the rest of the MI6 brigade don their fanciest outfits for the trip to Ascot.

    Things did not get of to the most auspicious of starts, however, when the 007 Stage at Pinewood burnt down in June of 1984. Cubby ordered the stage rebuilt and it was officially completed on January 7, 1985.

    Arthur Wooster's second unit began shooting in July '84, and the first unit shortly after that. To say thank you for the extraordinary co-operation that San Francisco had given to filming A View To A Kill, Cubby had the première in the city on May 22, 1985.

    Although A View To A Kill was successful, it did represent a drop in overall receipts, totalling $152 million. That was $30 million less compared to Octopussy's results in North America, but was only slightly less than For Your Eyes Only, at $55 million, to A View To A Kill's $50 million. Still, for a production budget of $30 million, as were For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy, A View To A Kill made quite a sizeable profit.

    A View To A Kill was the last Bond for Roger Moore. It is an unsatisfactory way to bid farewell to the man who was crucial to keeping the series afloat.

    Granted, Moore should have hung up his shoulder holster with Octopussy, a much more fitting way to end Moore's tenure. Moore looked good for his age, but that age is a mite too old to be playing 007. Moore's age is engaging in one sense, as one fears for him. Not the reaction that the filmmakers were going for, but an interesting observation to make, nonetheless.

    Regardless, Moore's performance in A View To A Kill is top notch, being suave and charming as ever, mixed in with a little steely determination. As with John Glen's other efforts, the character of Bond is well defined, giving Moore's Bond something to do other than visiting exotic locations and quipping.

    For example, at Zorin's party at his French stables, Moore has a fine time posing as an eccentric Englishman, in almost a pastiche of the roles Moore stereotypically played.

    There are instances of espionage and detective work scattered throughout the picture, and Bond shows his resourcefulness, when, underwater, he breathes air from a tyre of a submerged Rolls Royce, which was carrying the unconscious Bond and the dead Tibbett.

    Since Glen began directing Moore, his interactions with the main heavy of the piece, has gotten colder. This is especially true of Zorin, with an undercurrent of hostility between the two men.

    Two prime examples of this are when Zorin orders Tibbett to be killed, and when Zorin murders a City Hall employee right in front of Bond and Stacey, framing Bond in the process. Bond's “It's not mutual” and “Speechless with admiration”, respectively, are practically spat out with Bond's contempt for Zorin.

    Bond is his usual provoking self at Zorin's party, and one sees a more paternal figure as he takes care of Stacey. It is a shame that the filmmakers decided to discard this rather novel approach to Bond and Stacey's relationship, in order to have them be romantic at the end of the movie.

    Throughout his seven Bond pictures, Roger Moore provided a steady hand, when the films were at their most inconsistent. Moore was essential in ensuring the Bond series had long term success; and indeed Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Moonraker are amongst the three highest grossing Bond films to date.

    The public perception of spies had changed, certain styles had been and gone, but against it all was Roger Moore's Bond - seemingly impervious to cinematic trends, a vital touchstone to this ever changing world in which we live.

    Through Moore's sense of self assurance, his lightness of touch, and haughty indifference, he established his own unique take on the character of 007, with his advancing years being offset wonderfully by his laconic humour. As Moore's original screenwriter, Tom Mankiewicz said, “Moore was the old Etonian dropout that Ian Fleming had envisaged”. Nobody does it better.

  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,721
    A View To A Kill

    It was tough going. This was always one I had a little soft spot for because it was released just prior to me really getting in to Bond. But this film's pace is tired. Many other Bond films have a really good third or solid half but AVTAK doesn't.

    May Day and Zorin are pure evil - even more than most Bond villains because they take first-hand delight in killing and I do like how Walken plays Zorin. It's interesting to see him disregard Bond in so many ways - like he doesn't really rate him. It's not the usual banter - Zorin seems like he doesn't really have time for Bond or see him as a serious threat particularly. Much of the film ignores Bond and this more than any of his films feels like Moore playing Moore rather than 007. Especially his banter with MacNee when he's making disparaging remarks or his fatherly comforting of Stacey. That seems like Moore rather than Bond.

    The film is brutal in a way that is only really matched by LTK. But Bond seems to have accepted the world he's entered in to in LTK and he's ready to fight fire with fire whereas Bond in AVTAK appears more disgusted by what he seems, unready for what will happen and unsure how to handle it. 'Bungling around in the dark' Zorin says to him - and he's right.

    The film's climax works quite well - it certainly is a better final fight than TLD or FYEO (although the actual rock climbing aspect of FYEO has it beat.) And it is fairly iconic in the series and a great chuckling send off for Zorin - amused even by his own death - as much as all the people he killed.

    The soundtrack is very good - and does so much heavy lifting in many of these scenes - but I actually prefer listening to this soundtrack on its own rather than tied to the movie. And when I listen to the soundtrack it doesn't conjure up images of the movie - the way YOLT or even DAF do - I just think more of a Bond montage in general. and if they were going celebratory then I wish they'd used the '007 Theme' for the part where he snowboards across the lake rather than California Girls.

    The revelation is good in the sense that until the mine scene we don't know the full extent of Zorin's plans. But I'd say aside from the Paris sequence and the final bridge fight this film just plods along with May Day offing people creepily and not much else to drive the pace.

    With the Duran Duran song, the marketing campaign with Grace Jones front & centre and the computer game for the ZX Spectrum 48k and Commodore 64 - this will always remind me of a beloved and specific time in my life. But taken in isolation AVTAK is easily among the weakest of the series and entertainment wise it could easily slide below DAD.

  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    That was A View To A Kill. Final Thoughts? Pretty good

    To start out with positives I Loved the cast of characters as a whole and found them all to be rather good. Mayday was a pretty good henchwomen/Bond girl imo, her strength was a unique twist on a bond girl and her and Zorin just kill it whenever on screen together. I quite enjoyed the action scenes and stunts here such as the fight with Bond and Zorin, the mine massacre and the PTS. the setting was imo atmospheric and engaging for the most part. John Barry's musical score here is just amazing and one of his very best Bond scores. I also generally like the overall feel of this movie, it feels like a celebration and the true end of the Moore era and they fired off all cylinders with this entry and I very much appreciate this.

    We of course have Roger Moore as Bond, Moore always delivers for me and this movie was no exception in him delivering a solid performance. But of course I have to lastly mention the legendary Christopher Walken as Max Zorin, what an amazing performance he gave, the character was such an evil psychotic genius, had great lines, a great personality and frankly he had me wondering what Zorin would do next, Zorin definitely steals the show here.

    Now as for the negatives, the character of Stacy Sutton while not bad is sometimes annoying especially when she constantly screams James like a banshee. the cinematography here if I'll be honest isn't to great and sometimes looks like a made for tv movie, this is by no means a deal breaker but isn't great. I mentioned that Moore did good here but I'll be honest his constant stunt double usage and his mostly not to good physical appearance look weren't very appealing. Last but not least There are also some rather slow moments that do ruin the rather alright pacing but it's not Thunderball levels of bad.

    Overall I quite enjoyed this film and find it to be massively overhated, it's nowhere near the worst bond film and I think it deserves to be looked at more fairly. My final rating is an 8.5 out of 10
  • LocqueLocque Escaped from a Namur prison
    Posts: 262
    Fifty-seven was Roger Moore in his last outing as James Bond and looking every bit his age. When he's called upon by the script to flirt with women half his age, he just comes across as a sad, dirty old man. It also becomes very apparent that, while he usually moves stiff as a board, he miraculously turns spry and nimble whenever he performs a stunt in a wide shot.
    Old, tired, and running on autopilot, and that's not just Roger Moore: the plot is a routine retread of Goldfinger, but with gold bullion replaced by microchips - a futile attempt to appear up-to-date.
    Tanya Roberts plays the kind of Bond girl who even in 1985 must have been an anachronism: a useless damsel-in-distress who keeps needing to be rescued and whose every other line has her screaming for "JAAAMES!!!"
    Even Christopher Walken, a man seemingly born to play a Bond villain, is a letdown, his performance quickly descending into a cackling lunatic.
    There are a few good action sequences, but it's not enough to save this mess.
  • SeveSeve The island of Lemoy
    edited October 2021 Posts: 357
    In lieu of being allowed to watch the latest edition I have been working my way through the old ones

    A View To A Kill

    Roger Moore's last outing is a version of the Goldfinger template, possibly overstuffed with action at the expense of some decent character development.

    Roger's own final performance is a disappointment to me, far too much eye goggling for my liking and looking a bit creaky when he runs around.

    More skiing (and snowboarding) in the pre credits, I think Rog-Bond spent more time on the slopes than any other Bond. This sequence also features the only really cringeworthy moment of "Rog-humour" I recall in the film, the beach boy music.

    I enjoyed the Eifel Tower segment, the steeple chase segment and the finale, with the Zorin dirigible and the Golden Gate. Not so much the confusing nonsense in the mine and the whole Pola Ivanova subplot seems to be unnecessary, inserted purely to keep Bond's conquest average up.

    Christopher Walken, as Zorin, makes a wonderful villain, but when he suddenly goes crazy in the mine it strikes a false note for me.

    The story seems to set the scene for a female henchman who could have a decent fight scene with Bond, but perhaps Rog didn't feel it was a suitable pass-time for a generally gentlemanly Bond such as himself, so Grace Jones' May-Day is converted midstream into a heroine who sacrifices herself, Craig-Bond style, to save silicon valley for future generations of social media barons.

    Later, he may have had reason to regret that choice of plot direction...

    "During production, Jones was reputed to be difficult to work with; with Roger Moore later remarking: "I’ve always said if you've nothing nice to say about someone, then you should say nothing."
    Among the off-screen antics, Moore stated that, despite his protestations, Jones played very loud heavy metal every day in her adjacent dressing room. He recounted how on one particular occasion: "I marched into her room, pulled the plug out and then went back to my room, picked up a chair and flung it at the wall".
    Perhaps most famously, he recalled how Jones - as a practical joke - wore a "rather large black dildo" during their love scene."

    Two other female henchpersons are even less lucky, drowning in the mine rather than in battle against Bond.

    Patrick Bauchau, as Scarpine, looks the part, but can't act worth a damn in English, and neither can Tanya Roberts (who also looks the part, as Stacey Sutton)

    I enjoyed Patrick Macnee's contribution, the idea of The Saint and The Avenger Steed getting together in a Bond movie appeals to me, but sadly, despite his pedigree, he faired no better than those before him who have befriended James Bond. Sent into town to make a phone-call, using washing the car as an excuse. Instead of making the phone-call he goes to the carwash... and falls victim to a back seat strangler.

    David Yip plays a sort of Asian Felix Leiter and is killed off in a very off hand way (one too many back seat strangulations for one movie IMO)

    Dolf Lundgren is underutilised as a bodyguard of cuddly General Gogol, who by now seems to be as comfortable hanging around MI6 as the British Minister of Defence (he probably even has the key to the executive washroom)

    Grace Jones's then-unknown boyfriend: martial artist, Dolph Lundgren, was visiting her on set when director, John Glen, offered him his first (albeit very minor) role as the KGB operative, Venz. Lundgren found the entertainment business more attractive and rewarding than chemical engineering, so he decided to pursue a career in acting despite having no formal training. Upon learning that Sylvester Stallone was seeking an imposing fighter to play Ivan Drago in Rocky IV (1985), Lundgren sent videos and pictures of himself to a distant contact of Stallone, eventually reaching him

    Not one of the best Bond movies ever, but still more fun than a barrel full of monkeys and well above average for the genre IMO.
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    edited November 2021 Posts: 538
    A View to a Kill

    The Good
    • Max Zorin <3
    • Some of the set pieces like the firetruck
    • Golden Gate fight (one of my favorite scenes of all time + the music)
    • Theme song
    • The humor
    • Moore tries his best to put energy and love into his performance

    The Bad
    • Plot is extremely derivative and formulaic
    • The horseracing plot in the first half: biggest snoozefest ever
    • The first hour is as slow as molasses, and runs a bit long for how little original content it has.
    • Stacey, the geologist...
    • Moore is way too old
    • Bond's chemistry with the women isn't believable
    • Weak dialogue
    • 7 films in, the Moore era tropes are getting old at this point.

    AVTAK is like a 14 song album with 4 great songs and 10 weaker songs. It's not a good album; it's a weak album with some really good songs.

    Moore's age may have worked okay if it were written into the script instead of pretending like he's 30, but overall it's an unnecessary entry that doesn't push the series forward. AVTAK should've been rewritten for Dalton; OP would've been a good finale for Moore.

    AVTAK finds the series at a crossroads, with the first half more toward the slow grounded earlier spy films and the later half into the over-the-top action that we'd see more of in later films. But the formula is showing its age here.

  • A View To A Kill (1985);

    Roger Moore successfully established an entire new generation of James Bond fans. From 1973 to 1985, Moore starred in 7 Bond films, the most of any Bond actor. He took the screen character established by Sean Connery, made it his own, and in the process led the series to an entire new era. By the end of the 1970’s, Moore was questioning his own tenure with the films, as he was only contracted to do 3 films, a fulfillment reached with The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977. Moonraker proved to be the biggest and most successful Bond film when it came out in 1979, giving Moore negotiating power for subsequent films. He returned in For Your Eyes Only, in which he declared he would be done with Bond following that film. Subsequently, with Connery returning for Never Say Never Again, Moore was lured back for Octopussy, to which he once again claimed that he was done after the film. After that, you’d think Cubby Broccoli would immediately begin the search for a new Bond, but once again, Moore would be convinced to return for a 7th, and final time.

    I’m not going to make any quibble about it; I think AVTAK is the worst James Bond film. Or at least the worst one I’ve watched so far in this reevaluation of the series. Everything about the film feels just so wrong, it’s a movie that’s caught between being a silly Roger Moore James Bond movie, and trying to be a darker Bond film with several scenes being much more violent than any other previous entry in the series. To sum up the issue with this film, it has a confused tone, and feels incredibly tiring. It may have benefited from a different actor as Bond (perhaps Timothy Dalton???)

    I don’t think Moore gives a bad performance here, he’s just not right for the part. His age is the issue that everybody brings up, and yeah that certainly is an issue, but it’s more than that. When you have fresh, younger actors like Christopher Walken, Grace Jones, and Tanya Roberts, that kind of young energy needs to be reflected in the films lead; sadly Roger Moore isn’t that energy. The thugs he beats are aged up, you can spot the stunt doubles that they use quite frequently, and any resemblance of coolness found in some of Moore’s earlier efforts as Bond is lost here, and I point to the scene at Zorin’s party as a prime example of that. Bond tries to be all seductive and cool towards Stacey and it just doesn’t work at all. I’ll touch more on this later, but I seriously think either FYEO, or OP should’ve been Moore’s swan song.

    Tanya Roberts as Stacy Sutton is another frequently criticized element of the film. I don’t want to try and be too harsh towards Roberts in light of her passing not too long ago, and the fact that I don’t think the flaws of her character are her fault. She isn’t the strongest actress they could’ve gotten, and she does scream quite a lot, but I don’t mind Stacey Sutton as a character. It’s nice to have a Bond girl who feels quite normal after the women of the previous few Moore films. The age difference between her and Moore is a problem, but overall, Stacey Sutton isn’t as bad as Bond fans make her out to be.

    The villains on the other hand are real highlights. If there are two elements of AVTAK that nearly everyone agrees are great, it’s both Max Zorin and May Day. Christopher Walken and Grace Jones are legendary in the film, they provided a youthful energy that was really lacking in the film’s main lead, it’s really nice to see a Bond villain who, for the first time, really is sick and twisted. Previous villains were always sinister, megalomaniac’s with some slight psychotic tendencies, but for the first time, it really feels as if Zorin is the first Bond villain to be completely unhinged. I find the scene where he forces the Russian spy down the pipe to be shredded to death to be a prime example of this, as well as the scene where he guns down his own henchmen. May Day is another great character as well. A lot has been said about Grace Jones in the role over the years, but I just appreciate what she brought to the role the more I watch the film. I actually like how she turns to the good side and helps Bond out at the end, you actually buy how hurt she must’ve felt after being betrayed by Zorin, much more convincing than Jaws’ conversion in Moonraker. That and she has a pretty memorable death scene, where she chooses to go out defying Zorin and ruining his plans.

    Unfortunately, Zorin and May Day aren’t enough to save the film from the plethora of issues that I have. Moore’s age is commonly pointed out at the main reason for a lot of the flaws in the films, but I think the age complaint is a bit superficial. Yes Moore’s age is an issue, but it’s not what breaks the film. The lack of tonal consistency is what drags the film down. We start with Bond investigating the death of another 00 Agent in Siberia, to snowboarding to The Beach Boys. We go from mowing down dozens of innocent men, to Roger Moore having to be careful not to hit his jewels off a pointed building top. You can see that this film is really trying to toughen up the series and make it more violent than perhaps it has been previously, the issue is that doesn’t work when your lead is Roger Moore. AVTAK tries to be a brutal, hard hitting thriller while trying to be a Roger Moore film as well, and it just doesn’t work. In retrospect, this film would’ve been incredibly special if it had been Timothy Dalton’s debut, or at least a different actor. The series by this point was feeling old, tired, and sluggish. The audiences noticed this too, AVTAK was not the huge critical, or commercial success that other Bond films were, and its reputation these days is that it’s one of the worst films in the series. My verdict is that it’s at the absolute bottom. The film lacks any style, wit, class, and instead feels like a tired pastiche. It’s easily Moore’s worst film as Bond, and as of right now, the worst Bond film ever made. I don’t know, maybe SPECTRE or Die Another Day will make me change my mind...

    3/10 for me.

    I’ll be much more excited for the next film I’ll be reviewing...THUNDERBALL (1965)
  • Posts: 5,742
    You can visit the gold mine from AVTAK... in England :

  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited April 2022 Posts: 3,369
    I'll admit, Duran Duran introduced me to James Bond, and this was the film.

    I'm scared to see it, even the trailer at first, because I knew that Bond was only for adults, I'm still an innocent girl at that time 😅.

    I'm 19, turning 20, so how young am I when I first saw the trailer of A View To A Kill because I'm curious at what is A View To A Kill which the Duran Duran song played into, I just saw the trailer when I was in Grade Seven (7).

    I'm not familiar with them, I didn't even know and care about the casts. I only heard their real names like Christopher Walken, I still didn't know their character names yet (I didn't know that he's character named Max Zorin), coincidentally, I have a classmate named Christopher and I gave him that role, and we played James Bond role playing, strangely, I played James Bond's sister that Bond needs to save from Christopher (the villain), one of my friends played James Bond, considering they're boys, they have no idea about James Bond. We're playing at the classroom at break time and dismissal time before we go home, we ran around scattered chairs. One of the funniest memories that I have 😂.

    Then I've watched the Title Sequence, and my God! The young girl's eyes saw the women skiing, covered in neon paintings, I thought it was weird.

    I still thank A View To A Kill for that.
  • Posts: 12,506
    Gerard wrote: »
    You can visit the gold mine from AVTAK... in England :

    Cool! Must try and visit this place!
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