A VIEW TO A KILL
(director: John Glen; screenwriters: based on the short story A View To A Kill by Ian Fleming/Richard Maibaum/Michael G. Wilson; cinematographer: Alan Hume; editor: Peter Davies; music: John Barry; cast: Roger Moore (James Bond), Tanya Roberts (Stacy Sutton), Christopher Walken (Max Zorin), Grace Jones (May Day), Patrick MacNee (Sir Godfrey Tibbets), Robert Brown (M), Desmond Llewellyn (Q), Fiona Fullerton (Pola Ivanova), Patrick Bauchau (Scarpine), David Yip (Chuck Lee), Manning Redwood (Bob Conley), Alison Doody (Jenny Flex), Willoughby Gray (Dr. Carl Mortner), Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny), Walter Gotell (General Gogol), Geoffrey Keen (Minister of Defence); Runtime: 131; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Albert R. Broccoli/Michael G. Wilson; MGM/UA Entertainment; 1985-UK)
“This Bond eats quiche.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This Bond eats quiche. It’s cartoonish to a fault, loaded with unfunny smutty double entendres, dull set pieces, the hero seems too old for the action part, the overused Armageddon formula has become tiresome and there’s no super-villain– just an effete greedy industrialist with a freaky nature. John Glen (“For Your Eyes Only”/ “Octopussy/”The Living Daylights”) helms the fourteenth James Bond film produced by Albert R. Broccoli. It’s lazily cobbled together by writers Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson. This was the aging Roger Moore’s seventh and last role as Bond. The lavish production cost $30 million, which didn’t make it a good Bond film but saved it at least from being the worst. The English band Duran Duran sing the theme song.
The prologue has Bond (Roger Moore) in Siberia retrieving the sample chip that 003 stole from the KGB after discovering the British agent had been killed and then outskiing the Russian agents in pursuit. These are special chips resistant to electromagnetic pulses that were developed in the West by Zorin Industries – a company owned by the wealthy and mysterious former East German industrialist Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) – that evidently is now leaking that info to the Russians. That Zorin, a former KGB agent, is a genius but a psychopath due to him being a creation of Nazi genetic experimentation during the Holocaust–in amoral experiments done in the concentration camps to create a superior race of children.
Bond takes advantage of Zorin’s interest in horse racing to attend his stables in France and discovers a secret lab beneath the stables. It doesn’t take long for Zorin and his African-American associate May Day (Grace Jones) to discover Bond is a secret agent investigating them and they try killing him in a dramatic fashion that leads to a chase through the Eiffel Tower.
When Zorin thinks he succeeded in killing Bond, he heads to San Francisco and Bond follows. There Bond teams up with the attractive geologist Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts), whose deceased father’s oil company Zorin took over in an unfriendly stock buyout. Bond uncovers Zorin’s diabolical plan to flood the San Andreas fault which will cause an earthquake that will reach the Silicon Valley and destroy the area and kill millions. Zorin doesn’t want competition for his unique chip and plans to become the wealthiest chip producer in the world. Luckily for us Bond’s on the job and is able to dismantle the explosives with the help of May Day, who was deserted by her boss and now turns on him. Bond successfully confronts Zorin, henchman Scarpine (Patrick Bauchau) and the Nazi mad scientist who created Max, Dr. Mortner (Willoughby Gray), atop the Golden Gate Bridge before they can escape by air.
REVIEWED ON 2/21/2009 GRADE: C