Countdown to Skyfall: A View to a Kill (1985)

Countdown to Skyfall: A View to a Kill (1985)

A VIEW TO A KILL (1985)

BOND: Roger Moore

DIRECTOR: John Glen (For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy)

BOND GIRL(S): Tanya Roberts (Stacey Sutton); Grace Jones (May Day)

COOL GADGETS: Remote controlled robot (the "Snooper") - catches Bond and Stacey in the shower at the end.  "Oh, James."

THEME SONG: "A View to a Kill," sung by Duran Duran.  Maybe it's my bias towards '80s music, but this is my favorite Bond song of them all.  I still listen to it, and do a particularly mean version of it at karaoke.

IMDB PLOT SUMMARY: An investigation of a horse-racing scam leads 007 to a mad industrialist who plans to create a worldwide microchip monopoly by destroying California's Silicon Valley.

ICONIC MOMENTS: Bond battles Zorin (Christopher Walken) on top of the Golden Gate bridge.

FUN FACTS: Dolph Lundgren, who was dating Grace Jones at the time, makes a blink-and-you'll miss it appearance.  This is the last film that Lois Maxwell appears in as Moneypenny.  At the time, Walken was the first Oscar winner to ever appear in a Bond film.

VERDICT: Is a Bond film still a Bond film when the viewer is more interested in the villains than Bond himself?  Better yet, does Roger Moore really play Bond, or should credit go to all the stunt people, who were clearly more employed here than he was?  Good questions.  Moore is A View to a Kill's real weakness.  At this point, nearing his 60s, Moore is just too darn old to be playing Bond.  There is an overwhelmingly distracting use of green screen in the film, and it's obvious when Moore is on screen doing action and when he isn't.  Tanya Roberts doesn't add anything either.  She's pretty, but not a great actress, and her scenes with Moore make this one of the weaker entries.  That's a shame, because the villains are great here.  Walken has a field day with unorthodox line readings, and he makes for an intelligent, charismatic bad guy.  Equally interesting is Grace Jones as May Day.  Jones may not be a master thespian but the character suits her to a tee and she's a convincing bad-ass.  The pre-credits sequence is fairly indicative of the movie you're going to get: there is some great skiing action and exciting music, but then the soundtrack briefly switches to the Beach Boys' "California Girls," sacrificing style and thrills for a cheap joke.  One step forward, two steps back.  Time for Moore to retire.

GRADE: C+

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