Days before the rogue Bond movie 'Never Say Never Again' - which starred Sean Connery - opened in London at the end of 1983, Cubby Broccoli managed to pull off a champion spoiler. He announced that Roger Moore - who had declared his retirement from the role earlier that year with 'Octopussy' - had signed for a seventh movie, provisionally titled 'From A View To A Kill'. In other words, it didn't matter whether or not 'Again' was a hit, because Moore was still going to be around in the future. Loosely based on Ian Fleming's short story ( which appeared in the 'For Your Eyes Only' collection ) 'A View To A Kill' appeared two years later, again directed by John Glen. Critics who had claimed the 56-year old star too old for the role had to eat their words - in fact, he looks in better condition than Connery did in 'Again'. The plot by Michael G.Wilson and Richard Maibaum has Bond investigating the nefarious activities of millionaire 'Maz Zorin' ( Christopher Walken ). When I saw this originally, I chuckled. "They've remade 'Goldfinger!", I thought. "Only with microchips instead of gold bullion!". The two films are similarly structured. Instead of cheating at cards, Zorin is fixing horse races with the aid of steroids and micro-chips. Whereas Goldfinger wanted to increase the value of his gold by blowing up Fort Knox, Zorin wants to increase the value of his micro-chips by triggering an earthquake along the San Andreas Fault, California, thus destroying Silicon Valley.
'Kill' is a long way from 'Goldfinger' in terms of quality, of course, but it is much better than 'Again'. The equivalent 'Oddjob' is the enigmatic 'May Day', played with gusto by singer Grace Jones. Strangely, she never gets to fight Bond, which is a pity as the posters gave the impression such a skirmish was going to the movie's highlight. The action scenes start with an impressive Siberian skiing sequence ( marred only by the use of the Beach Boys' 'California Girls' ), and go on to include May Day jumping off the Eiffel Tower, Bond losing half his car in a chase, Bond and 'Stacy Sutton' ( Tanya Roberts of 'Charlie's Angels' ) trapped in a burning lift shaft, a chase involving a runaway fire engine in San Francisco, and Bond and May Day in a flooding mine, culminating in a climax involving an airship and the Golden Gate bridge. One of the film's pleasures is seeing Moore alongside Patrick Macnee of 'The Avengers', cast as 'Sir Godfrey Tibbett', Bond's sidekick. There is an amusing scene with Bond posing as a rich man and Tibbett as his chauffeur. It is a pity Tibbett was written out so soon. More of him and less of Fiona Fullerton's arch Russian agent - 'Pola Ivanova' - would have helped the movie no end. Moore was reputedly uncomfortable with some of the more violent aspects, such as Zorin machine-gunning to death his own men.
With its lively 'Duran Duran' theme song, 'A View To A Kill' was another big hit when it opened in the summer of 1985. Though it was not formally announced at the time, it was obvious that Moore was not coming back. Ditto Lois Maxwell as 'Miss Moneypenny'. His tenure as 007 - seven films across twelve years - marks him as the longest serving incumbent in the role. He might not have pleased humourless Ian Fleming fans, but there is no denying that he was massively popular with the general public. His successor, Timothy Dalton, was closer to the original Fleming character but the public chose not to endorse him. It was not until the arrival of Pierce Brosnan in 1995 that Moore was successfully replaced. The look of pleasure Moore put on the faces of cinema-goers world-wide took a long time to fade.
A View to a Kill
A View to a Kill
James Bond has one more mission. Bond returns from his travels in the USSR with a computer chip. This chip is capable of withstanding a nuclear electromagnetic pulse that would otherwise destroy a normal chip. The chip was created by Zorin Industries, and Bond heads off to investigate its owner, Max Zorin. Zorin may only seem like a innocent guilty man, but is really planning to set off an earthquake in San Andreas which will wipe out all of Silicon Valley. As well as Zorin, Bond must also tackle May Day and equally menacing companion of Zorin, whilst dragging Stacy Sutton along for the ride.
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December 10, 2012 at 01:53 PM