#112 A View to a Kill
After recovering a microchip from a dead 00 agent, James Bond (Roger Moore) is assigned the task of looking into Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) and his industrial empire. It appears Zorin and his faithful associate May Day (Grace Jones) are up to something in California and it’s up to Bond to discover and stop it before it’s to late.
And so we come to the end of Moore’s run as 007. Does it end with a bang or with a whimper? Unfortunately the latter. Until Die Another Day came out this was considered by many to be the worst of the Bond films and that is not without merit. Personally I rank OHMSS and Octopussy both lower than this film but it is in no way the example I would use to try and introduce someone to the series.
If Moore was looking old in the previous two installments he looks ancient in this one. Even Moore himself has said that he was too old in this film and if he had the chance to do it over again would have stopped after Octopussy. His interactions with the ladies in this film have moved from awkward to creepy. He’s like that Uncle who hits on his niece’s friends at parties. It’s just not right.
Tanya Roberts plays the Bond girl Stacey Sutton this time around and she is by far the worst of them all. She starts off somewhat acceptable playing a slightly aloof guest of Zorin who rebukes Bond’s advances and leaves for about 1/2 hour. As soon as she’s given any real screen time however, she quickly displays how far we’ve fallen for the smart and elegant Bond girls of the previous films. She and Moore have no chemistry and half of her lines are either screaming or saying “Oh James!” in a really high pitched yell. She’s also not believable in the role. She’s supposed to be a geologist but she’s as convincing as the women playing the palaeontologist in Shark Attack 3.
Walken as a villain and Jones as a henchwomen are actually probably the saving grace of this film. Walken is the first of Bond’s villains to purely be a psychopath. Others have been crazy but they’ve always been able to keep it together to conduct their plan. Zorin just does things because they feel good at the time. Walken has a certain charisma about himself anyway so it just lends itself to the role.
Jones is a bit nuts as well and she makes for an interesting character. Unlike Jaws however, when she turns on Zorin in the end if feels tacked on and we as an audience feel cheated because we didn’t get to see her and Bond go at it in some crazy final battle.
In terms of stunts and cool gadgets there aren’t really any this time around. There are action sequences for sure but none of them are really anything to write home about.
Overall, this film has most of the worst attributes of Moore’s type of Bond and it showed the desperate need for some fresh blood in the role 1/5