The James Bond series was a monumental series for me growing up and, as I planned on featuring one of the 20+ films in the series as a Key Movie, I just couldn’t choose. Since I can’t choose a single one, I am reviewing each and every Bond film continuing with today’s entry, For Your Eyes Only
Welcome to Key Movies Of My Life James Bond Edition.
Today’s Key Movie:
Bond is back and this time he is hunting down a lost encryption device, trying to find it before it falls into the wrong hands. Travelling to Greece, he teams up with a young woman hellbent on avenging the deaths of her parents at the hands of a local rival, who also happens to be a target of Bonds.
Why this movie?
After the debacle that was Moonraker, the producers needed to get things back on track. Tossing out all sci-fi attributes, they attempted to bring Bond back to his roots by returning to the spy thriller theme. Marking Roger Moore’s Fifth entry in the franchise and ushering the series into 80’s this film is clearly a product of it’s time.
Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?
What proceeds is one of the most convoluted plots of any of the Bond films to date. In fact, I don’t think there is much of a plot as opposed to just a string of action sequences with long moments of dialog to fill the gaps. I would try to explain the point of this film but really, it is just Bond flailing about trying to get a macguffin before the Soviets do causing him to travel around the globe instead of just going to the place where the device sunk into the ocean in the first place.
As with most attempts to return to form, the producers seemed to just throw in every cliche from the previous films they could, even allowing Bond to kill his arch rival in the opening segment which is truly one of the worst opening sequences in the history of the series. They then proceed to touch on every other Bond film with moments out of Thunderball, Live and Let Die and even On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The Bond Girl in this film is one Melina Havelock who is out to kill the killers of her parents. Sadly, even though she is a skilled Greek killer (Elektra anyone?), the actress portraying the role comes across very wooden and distant. I know it is probably on purpose as she is dealing with the loss of her parents but it really comes across as disingenuous.
To top it all off, the opening credits theme is, in my humble opinion, lacking in just about every way. Performed by the then popular Sheena Easton, the song doesn’t quite fit the film…or maybe it does since the film doesn’t fit itself come to think of it.
So, it’s not great, but are there any good parts?
I have to say, the action sequences are pretty great. They really don’t pull any punches in the one and turn the dial up to 11 during these moments. Everything from car chases, sniper assassins, a killer hockey game and even underwater sequences are tossed in making for some of the best action moments of any Bond film so far. Bond films should be more than just action however and sadly, these outstanding moments are not enough to make up for the lack of plot.
Even with all of the action, there really isn’t a villain for Bond to defeat. Even though Julian Glover plays the man who is supposed to be the antagonist, Aristotle Kristatos, he comes across as nothing more than a black market smuggler.
Sadly Bernard Lee, Bond’s Boss M died prior to filming this entry but out of respect they allowed his character to go on leave in order to explain his absence. They would replace Lee with a new actor in the following entry.
All in all, this is one of the worst of the Bond films and is really one of the entries that taint Roger Moore’s run in the franchise. It is any wonder that Roger Moore managed to stay in the role after this atrocity. It’s bad and there is little redemption to be had outside of the rather well done action sequences. Moore comes back for…more but we will discuss that next week.
OK, where do I get this movie?
Skip it. It is not as bad as Moonraker but it is pretty lackluster. If you have to buy a copy, you can get it here.
Here is the trailer, as usual.
Late To The Game 3/21/2019
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