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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

A View to a Kill  rating

Review: written 2007

Workmanlike swansong for the Moore era of Bond

A View to a Kill

In this, Roger Moore's last shot of the Walther PPK, his age is showing, but this is at least balanced out by some satisfying set pieces, decent villains and efficient direction by John Glen - by this time a pro at putting Fleming's world on the big screen.

The plot wanders in a rather convoluted way from Bond investigating a stolen microchip design, to the shady world of horse race-fixing, to a diabolical plot to destroy Silicon Valley in order to monopolize the world's microchip production.

Moore is too old for the role, but it has to be said he gives a good go at it for a 57 year old. Even his co-star is the somewhat wrinkly Patrick Macnee.... If the security of the country or world really relied on these two, who are clearly about to start receiving a pension, there would be little hope for us all.

The action scenes on the other hand are well executed by Glen and his longstanding second unit director Arthur Wooster. The jump off the Eiffel Tower, the half-car chase in Paris, the fire in City hall and subsequent fire truck chase, a thrilling deadly racehorse chase and a well put together fight on the Golden Gate bridge.. all are seamlessly done and worthy of Bond.

With the usual professional stuntwork then, it is the love scenes that become embarrassing to watch, never more so than when a leathery Moore is `seducing' Grace Jones... still in her own league when it comes to sheer `oddness', even now. This is offset by a cracking (and frequently cackling) villain in the form of Christopher Walken. He does not exactly imbue the role with depth, but at least gives it an offbeat quirkiness that helps us buy into him being a psychopath. Tanya Roberts fills the shoes (or really, the high heels) of the standard girl-in-distress-to-be-rescued-by-Bond role, without bringing anything to the show we have not seen before.

And that is probably the crux of it - everything is done incredibly efficiently with only a few missteps (that Beach Boys song gag in the pre-titles sequence - ghastly!), such that it is hard to find fault with the movie. Equally though, there are few moments where anyone, or any scene, really shines, and the overall memory is of a fitting if somewhat pedestrian swansong to Moore's tenure as 007 rather than a standout movie on its own merit.





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