You might have noticed that I have a quiet obsession with James Bond films. While Fleming's books about the fictional spy were never works of subtlety, the films have ranged from sublime (You Only Live Twice) to the downright awful (too many to name).
I love the awful Bond films just as much as the good ones - if not, more so - and the invitation to watch Roger Moore mugging for the camera is never one to refuse. And a Sunday afternoon watching what is arguably one of the worst of the official James Bond films brings so, so many questions.
The biggest of these is why did Cubby Broccoli insist on casting Roger Moore for the lead part, even though it was clear that both actor and his hair were never going to be up to the physical role that is a punch/shag first, ask questions later action hero.
Let us balance the pros and cons of A View To A Kill:
WHAT A VIEW TO A KILL HAS GOING FOR IT
- The Duran Duran theme tune- Christopher Walken- A blink-and-you-miss-it Tom Selleck cameo
WHAT A VIEW TO A KILL HAS GOING AGAINST IT
- You got Christopher Walken, but you could have had David Bowie, who did Labyrinth instead- Roger Moore's stunt doubles, who they made virtually no effort to disguise. If I didn't know better, the guy in the cut-in-half Renault car chase is actually Vladimir Putin
|Vladmir Putin makes his escape in half a Renault|
- You got a bad guy who escapes in an airship, surely the slowest, least efficient means of escape in the history of all evil geniuses- The airship has - as part of its standard equipment - a fire axe and a bundle of dynamite. Because when you're in an airship, you're going to need to blow something up at some stage, and a bundle of dynamite is always handy- A Bond Girl so bad that she appears to be a recent graduate from the Goldie Hawn School of Very Loud Screaming- Lots of very loud Bird Girl screaming- Roger Moore, aged 57 at the time of making the film, was twice his female lead's age. In fact, Moore noted at the time, he was older than her mother- A bad guy obsessed with horse racing (at least for the first hour or so), who is so dedicated to winning that he has installed a number of cheat mechanisms on the practice course at his own stud farm. Yet all it does is knock his own henchmen from their horses
|That leotard will haunt your nightmares|
- A French detective with an outrageous Clouseau accent called Monsieur Aubergine. He is killed by a poisoned paper butterfly, wielded by Grace Jones- Grace Jones- Roger Moore doing the sex with Grace Jones- When Bond is caught by San Francisco's Comedy Police, instead of reasoning with them, he steals a fire truck. As you do- ...Which he jumps over an opening bridge. As you do- The not-even-trying double entendres. You start to wilt after the 20th "getting my end up" joke. Even Moneypenny looks like she's had enough
And as the end credits roll you realise the moral of the story is this: Don't cheat at horse racing, because it'll only draw attention to your plans to destroy San Francisco through a contrived plot involving earthquakes that Lex Luthor did much better in the original Superman film (and he would have got away with it too if it wasn't for meddling Kryptonite time travel). A message to us all.
Hang on - I just remembered Never Say Never Again. Never Say Never Again and Rowan Atkinson's bumbling sub-Johnny English cameo at the end where he ends up in a swimming pool in a prat-fall that the Chuckle Brothers would have refused. Don't get me started on Never Say Never Again.Which I declare canon, so there.
JAMES BOND WILL RETURN
|Roger Moore, Grace Jones and the legs of infinity|