Roger Moore makes his last stand as Bond in A View to a Kill. Facing off against Christopher Walken’s horse racing fanatic and industry tycoon Max Zorin, he must stop him before he carries out a dastardly scheme to create a monopoly in microchips.
Finally, after seven movies and countless unbearable sexist puns, we have come to the end of Moore’s Bond tenure. It’s been quite the slog, beginning vaguely promising with Live and Let Die before loosely declining in quality and now ending with the preposterous A View to a Kill. I can almost taste Timothy Dalton, and the taste is sweet.
After the sedated (and thoroughly awful) Octopussy, there was a need to re-invigorate the formula somewhat. The obvious choice in this instance would be to replace 57 year-old Roger Moore with someone who isn’t a ballhair away from receiving their pensioner’s buspass. Instead, they made sure everyone else around him was younger and trendy to make up for his complete inadequacy. Hence Grace Jones; Zorin was also to be portrayed by David Bowie at one point, before even he presumably thought this was a fucking ridiculous idea, and so was replaced by Christopher ‘will star in literally anything’ Walken.
Poor Roger. He has since said that the revelation that he was older than his co-star Tanya Robert’s mother was what put the final nail in the coffin. And he is properly old-looking here; it’s not as if he has aged particularly well. His hair is verging on Donald Trump territory, and his face looks like its been intensively varnished. You almost begin to worry for his well-being when he jumps off things or runs fast; he’s liable to cause himself some serious injury.
Moore aside, this is surely one of Bond’s most bizarre outings. A bad-guy whose preferred method of transport is a Zeppelin full of explosives, a plot that involves drugging horses via remote control, and, well Grace Jones, everything feels like it’s been cobbled together from different movies. Mostly though, it’s just complete and utter nonsense.
Bond theme: Duran Duran may be preening, sub-human yuppies, but they write a great 80s tune. After the subdued likes of All Time High and For Your Eyes Only, this is a welcome change in tone. Opening with a thundering beat, this immediately feels more electric and exciting than Bond has been for years. It’s the best thing about the entire film; shame that everything pre and post the opening credits is complete bobbins.
Best one liner: Once again Moore delivers the sex puns thick and fast (hey-o!), but this time they mostly revolve around horse racing (‘I love an early morning ride!’). Personally though I am a fan of Bond exclaiming ‘Quite the let down!’ for seemingly no reason whatsoever after exiting a descending lift.
Glamorous Locations: Opening with Bond skiing (AGAIN) in Siberia, Bond has a brief jaunt to the Eiffel Tower before staying at Zorin’s estate twenty-odd miles north of Paris. After seemingly hours of dull horse racing chatter, Bond moves on to San Francisco to thwart Zorin’s devious masterplan, culminating in a triumphant encounter atop the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course.
Girls: Between Alison Doody’s hideously named ‘Jenny Flex’ and Grace Jones’ batshit insane ‘May Day’, they make some of Moore’s most mis-matched pairings. At age 57 to Doody’s 19, Moore was older than her mum (yuck), whilst Jones is simply on another planet altogether. Their sex scene is almost too awkward to bear, with a behind-the-scene story involving Jones and a huge black dildo presumably explaining why Moore appears to be so terrified.
Gadgets: After the relative lack of gadgets in the last few instalments, they seem determined here to shovel in a few useless items of note. Doing what seems like some actual spying for once, he uses some binocular sunglasses to peer at Zorin while he’s up to his shady business deals, and snaps some photos with his inconspicuous ring camera. Most outrageous though is his iceberg-submarine, which he uses to escape Siberia in the film’s pre-credit sequence.
Classic moment: In a film that’s almost completely bereft of anything that can be defined as a ‘classic moment’, the pickings are slim. However the pre-credits sequence features some impressive skiing, and Bond even takes down a helicopter. Pretty badass…
Low Point: …apart from the moment when Bond uses a blown-up shard of snowmobile to snowboard way from the bad-guys to the tune of Beach Boy’s ‘California Girls’. Just stop it now Roger.
JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN… THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS