A View To A Kill

A View To A Kill

****

Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Okay, I'm going to lose a lot of fans by saying that I really liked Roger Moore as James Bond. He was the quintessential 007. Timothy Dalton was the most realistic. Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan are just show-offs. However, by the time Moore got to View To A Kill, he was definitely looking like a tired old warhorse. There's enough fun in this instalment to balance it out, thankfully.

Christopher Walken stars as Max Zorin, a purebred Nazi baby all grown up into a psychotic capitalist madman. He plans on destroying the key geological lock underneath the San Andreas Fault, resulting in a massive flood that will drown Silicon Valley, thus allowing him to corner the "chip market".

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Throughout the course of the story, Bond involves himself in a number of set pieces and makes the odd joke or two. There's a neat scene of a Ruskie being chucked into a big fan, a memorable firetruck chase and the showdown on Golden Gate Bridge that is way cool.

All the Bond clich├ęs are here - the practically meaningless title, the encounter with the bad guy before there are any hard feelings, the bad girl who is either tamed or a double-crosser, the shy girl who is driven wild by Bond's double entendres and the gadgets which always seem conveniently to come in handy. Nothing's changed, huh?

If you're a fan of the contemporary Bonds, it might feel a bit odd going from smart-ass runt Pierce Brosnan, bedding the ladies, to a leathery 60-something Moore, bedding shrieking androgynous Amazonian Grace Jones for no apparent reason. That scene has always been rather uneasy on the eye.

John Glen is a veteran of the world according to Ian Fleming. Nowadays, every movie is directed by someone else, in order to keep a fresh perspective. But they all look the same when there are no explosions, or car chases. And such scenes are directed by second unit, anyway. Glen keeps a balance between the plot and the action that is believable. The modern Bonds, especially the last two, seem to invent the set-pieces first and then think of some ludicrous storyline to tie them together.

Of course, you can argue that ALL 007 movies are ludicrous and should be taken as nothing but total male fantasy. The believability has always been next to non-existent, but it's in the way that the story is presented that has the ultimate effect. Older Bonds were not about being loud, or having fancy effects. They were about a cocky Brit, who liked to sleep with as many women as possible, without having to worry about STDs, paternity cases or what M would have to say about it all.

This is the mid-Eighties model and Moore's last appearance. He was certainly getting old, but was still cool enough. And look out for Dolph Lundgren, then Grace Jones's hunk, as a KGB heavy.

Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2003
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The super-spy tackles a psychotic capitalist, bent on destroying Sillicon Valley.
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Director: John Glen

Writer: Richard Maibaum, Michael G. Wilson, based on the novel by Ian Fleming

Starring: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones, Patrick Macnee, Patrick Bauchau, David Yip, Fiona Fullerton, Manning Redwood, Alison Doody, Willoughby Gray, Desmond Llwellyn, Dolph Lundgren

Year: 1985

Runtime: 131 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK/US

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