007 in 23: Assignment #014- A View to a Kill

ASSIGNMENT #014: A View to a Kill (1985)

Before we get to the main review, let me take time to talk about Lois Maxwell and Roger Moore as this is their last appearances in an EON produced Bond feature in A View to a Kill. Lois Maxwell, alongside Bernard Lee, had been in the series since Dr. No in 1962 and asked for her role to be killed off in this feature, but the producer decided against it. Lois Maxwell was a gorgeous and wonderful delight as Miss Moneypenny, always there eagerly awaiting Bond to come back and make passive flirts, promising the world to her and his love. No matter the actor or the time period, Moneypenny always pleased and I enjoyed every minute of her performances throughout these features. Lois Maxwell, you have a place in my heart as one of my favorite Bond characters.

Roger Moore gets enough crap about not being as great as Connery, so I was skeptical going into his Bond features and wound up loving him. Roger Moore made Bond his own throughout his film, creating a Bond that would work in the bizarre and strange plots that surrounded him. His Bond had humor, he was a charmer who got his way no matter what, and even at his older age, could still beat the living crap out of mooks in a fist fight. As mentioned before, Moore thought his best Bond film was The Spy Who Loved Me, which I have to agree is my favorite Moore film and he delievers not only in that. I personally loved him a tad bit more in For Your Eyes Only performance wise, but to get his true essence, watch Spy Who Loved Me. Roger Moore was a fantastic Bond and even if the film was bad, I knew Moore would give that smile guaranteeing a great performance.

With that out of the way, onto the plot of View to a Kill. Bond finds the body of 003 and retrieves a microchip from the Soviets while in Siberia, while engaging in a snowboard chase (Bond snoboarding? Hell yes) to a hidden iceberg submarine. He delivers the chip back to MI6 as Q discovers it cannot be damaged by electromagnetic pulses and is owned by Zorin Industries. Bond goes to Ascot Racecourse to meet take a look at industry head Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) as his horse wins a race possibly do to drugging as MI6 operative Sir Godfrey Tibbett (Patrick Macnee) informs him. It proves negative and Bond goes about his way to Paris only to find that Zorin will be holding a horse auction within the next month thanks to French Detective Achille Aubergine (Jean Rougerie). Aubergine is assassinated by May Day (Grace Jones), a henchwoman of Zorin, with giving chase on the Eiffel Tower with her escaping via parachute. Tibbett and Bond head to the horse sale to buy a horse and flirts with a woman, but is rejected (Ouch). Luckily, it is due to Zorin paying her not to take a chance on him. Bond and Tibbett soon discover that Zorin has been putting adrenaline releasing chips into horse in order to win. Zorin and May Day get wind of this with Zorin discovering James Bond’s secret life and May Day killing Tibbett. When General Gorgol of the KGB (Walter Gotell) hears of Zorin starting to attack Bond, he informs Zorin that the KGB trained him and financed him, only for Zorin to go rouge. With this, Gorgol denies Zorin of support as Zorin tells a group of investors that he will destroy Silicon Valley to obtain a monopoly over the microchip business because apparently that is how that works. Bond heads to San Francisco to meet with CIA agent Chuck Lee (Wait…where the hell is Felix Leiter? Where the hell did he go?) that Zorin may be a by-product of experiments of steriods performed on him by Dr. Carl Mortner (Willoughbry Gray), a Nazi scientist formerly of the KGB. Bond goes to one of Zorin’s oil rigs to find Pola Ivanova (Fiona Fullerton) recording conversations on tape, only for him to seduce her and walk out the door with the information on tape.

Bond tracks down the woman Zorin paid to reject him and comes across her in the form of Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts), a geologist for California, to find Zorin is trying to buy her family oil business. They are both caught by Zorin and tossed in a elevator on fire with Bond successfully escaping and entering, you guessed it, a car chase…in San Francisco (Spoiler: It is awesome throughout). Bond and Sutton head to Zorin’s mine to discover Zorin plans to flood the San Andreas Fault and Hayward fault placing explosives on a geological lock that would cause a Big One type scenario to flood the entire city of Silicon Valley because, once again, that is how that works. Zorin blows the first set of explosives successfully while killing his mine workers. Bond and Sutton are discovered, but escape, but Sutton escapes successfully as Bond starts to fight May Day. May Day soon realizes Zorin has left her for dead and decides to help Bond get rid of the geological lock explosive out of the mine, but dies in a sacrifice to ensure the bomb would exploded successfully outside due to a faulty brake on the car. Sutton is taken onto Zorin’s airship with Bond holding onto the anchor rope as it travels above the Golden Gate Bridge. Bond moors the ariship to the bridge causing Sutton to attack to ensure the airship breaks open by hitting the framework. Zorin with axe in hand begins to fight Bond, only to be sent sleeping with the fishes. Dr. Mortner who is on the airship attmpts to light dynamite to toss it out and kill SUtton and Bond, only to juggle the damn thing and blow the airship up. Bond is thought to be missing after the explosion, but luckily Q finds them using a remote control robot and sees Bond and Sutton bathing in the shower with Q saying 007 is alive.

This movie was delightfully stupid. A View to a Kill is a bad Bond film done right. Unlike Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, and Octopussy, this manage to know its stupid and go with it. The plot is beyond stupid and the villain’s plan is unbelievably flawed, the jokes are a bit dated, Tanya Roberts can be quite annoying, but my god, the action delivers and the performances are fantastic. Moore, I said my peace at the beginning of this, he is awesome as always. Tanya Roberts is not the best Bond girl to be honest, but she is gorgeous. If you remember her, thanks That 70’s Show. Grace Jones as May Day is terrifying, but such a badass that I wish her Jaws-esque treatment was in another film and not this because I love this character  Christopher Walken as a Bond villain, need I say more? Christopher Walken is a great villain. He is calm and collective, but intimidating and dominating. Christopher Walken plays Zorin like he is about to deal with Connery’s Bond and works for SPECTRE. He is classic and I enjoyed everytime he came on screen giving it his all. I love Walken and I love this performance. The only problem is the plot is a retread of Goldfinger, only if it was done way worse. Zorin wants to control the silicon business by destroying valuable workers and factories in Silicon Valley. Who in the hell thought that was a good idea? Luckily, the film is paced well giving more to not dull the plot and story as a whole. The jokes may not work, but the chase with the police in quite hilarious with the police chief constantly getting screwed. Think J.W. Pepper, but less of an annoyance. The action and suspense is handled well and delivers moments I was on the edge of my seat for. This is the ultimate guilty pleasure film for me.

As for the theme song, I’m going to be completely bias because I love Duran Duran. I enjoy everything they’ve put out and love their songs to death. ‘A View to a Kill’ is no exception. It matches the era and the tone of the film, it’s fun and doesn’t alienate older fans. Helps that legendary Bond composer John Barry had a hand in it. I think this song is badass and I love it. A View to a Kill is bad, but I can’t help but enjoy it. Roger Moore personally disliked this film and I can see why, as can many others, but I might have to say it is a favorite. Check it out and draw your own opinion.

Assignment Status: 2.75 out of 5

Next mission, Timothy Dalton comes in as Bond to take down a KGB general across Europe and the Middle East after letting him get away. The Eighties Bond are almost done.

Next Mission: The Living Daylights

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