Director: John Glen
Cast: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones
Have I Seen it Before: It’s Bond. It’s a lock. I’ve even sat through the shitty ones.
Did I Like It: It may be the only Roger Moore I can say I actually like.
The text of this review appeared previously in a blog post entitled “How Could No One Else Like These Movies?” published 04/23/2017.
Roger Moore is my least favorite Bond. Yes, that includes the dour Timothy Dalton, the dim-eyed Australian George Lazenby, Peter Sellers, and… ahem… Woody Allen. That being said, not all of his movies are that bad. In fact, I’d be willing to say of his seven times at the end of the gun-barrel sequence, I actually like as many as two of them.
This—Moore’s final outing in the role—ranks dead last of the series on Rotten Tomatoes*, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Everyone knows that Roger Moore actually went into outer space in one of his movies, right?
Beyond obvious better candidates for worse Bond movies, A View to a Kill has a lot going for it. The theme song, from film composer John Barry and British group Duran Duran is a pure New Wave confection. The action sequences, culminating in a shoot-out at the Golden Gate Bridge is fantastic, and lest we forget: CHRISTOPHER WALKEN IS A BOND VILLAIN. Has there ever been an archetype that an actor was more destined to play than Walken playing one of the heavies in this film?
Critics point to Moore’s advancing age (57 at the time of filming) as contributing to the film’s underlying incredulity. For me, though, Roger Moore always brought a certain older quality to the role. Even in Live and Let Die (1973), he seemed stiffer, more mature than any of his brethren did in their initial movies. Besides, I think an increasingly geriatric Bond is an interesting idea, although I will admit both that I may be alone in this thinking, and that the movie—and the series, for that matter—never bothers to acknowledge that Bond might age.
But, come on! The man went into space in one of his movies! Why? Reasons, that’s why. As long as Moonraker (1979) exists, I can’t accept that this movie is the franchise’s nadir.
*Not including the strange-but-watchable off-brand Never Say Never Again (1983), or the afore-alluded-to comedy version of a multi-car pile up that was Casino Royale (1967).