James Bond Declassified: A VIEW TO A KILL
Roger Moore limps his way through one final outing as Bond
File #14: A VIEW TO A KILL
This series will trace the cinema history of James Bond, while also examining Ian Fleming's original novels as source material and examining how faithful (or not) the films have been to his work.
Directed by John Glen
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson
CHARACTERS / CAST
James Bond / Roger Moore
Stacey Sutton / Tanya Roberts
Max Zorin / Christopher Walken
May Day / Grace Jones
Sir Godfrey Tibbett / Patrick Macnee
Scarpine / Patrick Bauchau
Chuck Lee / David Yip
Minister of Defence / Geoffrey Keen
Dr. Carl Mortner / Willoughby Gray
Jenny Flax / Alison Doody
Pan Ho / Papillon Soo Soo
Pola Ivanova / Fiona Fullerton
Venz / Dolph Lundgren
General Gogol / Walter Gotell
M / Robert Brown
Q / Desmond Llewelyn
Miss Moneypenny / Lois Maxwell
By the time this film opens in the theaters, James Bond films find themselves not only in competition with whatever the state of the art of franchise filmmaking is, but also with their own legacy as a series. The films feel very familiar, and it’s increasingly difficult to find a new variation to play on ideas that we’ve seen several times before.
This particular opening sequence is very familiar territory. The Spy Who Loved Me is such a definitive ski sequence and such a great opening for a Bond film that it seems self-defeating to try to compete with it, and there was a pretty solid ski chase sequence in For Your Eyes Only that also feels like it’s not worth trying to top. Bond’s retrieving a microchip from a dead body, some Russians spot him, and a completely forgettable sequence ensues. The Beach Boys playing under the snowboarding makes me want to deep freeze my eyeballs. It’s a John Glen joke all the way and I hate it.
I wish there was more to say about it, but there’s really not. It’s over in a flash, and it ends with a silly joke about a submarine hiding in an iceberg. Bond climbs in, sexually harasses his employee, reminding us that he’s the randiest almost-60-year-old in the world. Surely that’s the last time in this film that they’re going to underline the “Bond is horny” thing, though, right? Truly, one of the low points of the series so far. A terrible opening.
The theme song, though? A banger of the highest order and Maurice Binder’s title sequence feels like a Nagel print come to life, soaked in neon and attitude.
Things get off to a wacky start.
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