Fan Reviews - A View To A Kill
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"A View To A Kill" by Justin Milliner
Roger Moore stars in his last Bond film, A View To A Kill alongside
Tanya Roberts (Stacey Sutton) and Christopher Walken (Max Zorin)
in a Bond film that is in fact, very forgettable.
Like most Bond films of that era, they lack a defining moment,
or signature character/title, ect, that make it memorable. From
Russia, With Love had Red Grant. Goldfinger had OddJob. The Man
With The Golden Gun had that golden gun, and Octopussy had the
suggestive name. Nothing in A View To A Kill makes it extremely
notable, which is its first downfall. Its just another mid-80s
action flick, that is forgotten amongst the Die Hard’s and
Rambo’s of that era.
From the beginning, you can tell Roger Moore is just too old.
His hair is thinning, he has liver spots, and oh so many wrinkles.
In scenes with Roberts, it looks like Bond should be Sutton's
father, not lover.
Now, as far as Moore's acting goes, it was on the money. One
of the few things that I find good in this movie. Roger Moore
is James Bond in this film. He says every line, every movement,
every twitch perfectly Bond. The only thing holding him back is
Tanya Roberts was simply sub-par. I don't really care about her
screaming. I think that if she wasn't doing what the directors'
wanted, they would've had it redone the right way. Its not her
screaming/whining that brings her down in my mind. Its her screen
presence. She has none at all. Her lines are spoken as if she's
reciting it, or reading it off a cue card. She generally show
emotion very well (unless, of course, she's screaming or whining),
and to me, she didn't have chemistry with Mr. Moore. They seemed
like they could be friends, but I just cannot picture them as
lovers. Could that be because of Moore's age? Roberts' lack of
acting skills? I can't pinpoint down the reason at this point.
As for Grace Jones, yuck. She was an interesting idea, but was
not executed well. She was an interesting henchwoman, that's for
sure, but was she menacing? No. Was she freaky? Yes. Being weird
is quite different from being scary.
More than likely the highest point of this film was Christopher
Walken as Max Zorin, the crazy 'Goldfinger'-like villain, who
is bent on domination of the microchip industry, eventually making
him rich (the only flaw with his plan is that he has to completely
demolish Silicon Valley). Walken gets his character down to a
tee. The craziest villain since Goldfinger, dare I say. He was
honestly crazy looking. He carried himself like a crazy man. He
had tremendous screen presence, and of course, I'm sure you'll
all agree he is an excellent actor.
The plot, as I mentioned a bit earlier, was a bit weak. Microchips?
Silicon Valley? Creative, I must say. But I'm sure you all have
to agree that its an odd spin on the Goldfinger plot. All in all,
I'd say the plot was the most lifeless part of the movie. It was
just boring, if you ask me.
Best Action Sequence
Many might disagree, but I think the most compelling action scene
in this film was the firetruck chase (which was later reworked
for GE and the tank chase). I am definitely not a fan of it. But,
there weren't many other notable action scenes. Nothing I would
Best Acting Performance
Goes to Christopher Walken. No doubt. No competition either.
Well, I shouldn't say that. Roger Moore was doing a good job
portraying a FYEO-type Bond. The only problem was, he was too
old and the film was not a FYEO-type film.
Poor. I'm sorry, for every good performance (Moore, Walken),
there was a bad one (Jones, Roberts). Just wasn't very good, not
Not John Barry's best. He's known for progressing with the times,
but he progressed a bit too fast with this one. Duran Duran was
cool, but was dated only a few years later. It was a good score,
for 1985, but by 1990, it was dated. Didn't stand the test of
time like the other scores did.
I give credit when credit is due. The plot was not a bad plot.
It was good, if not a little reminiscent of Goldfinger. Max Zorin
was a great villain, and May Day, was a great henchwoman, if not
a little weird. The plot was devious, but unrealistic, which takes
it down a notch.
As said earlier, Zorin is good. In fact, I believe Zorin is the
best aspect of the film.
A nice movie to watch when you're bored. Its enjoyable, but it
fails as a Bond film. Roger Moore was too old to reprise the role,
and the movie reflected the times too noticeably (seems more dated
that a movie like Dr. No, if you ask me).
"A View To A Kill" by Orbis Non Sufficit
A View to a Kill is my all time favorite James Bond film, and
the leading star, Roger Moore (also my favorite to portray the
character) stands up for his last performance as James Bond 007.
So lets start with Roger Moore. I've heard hundred's of millions
of times "he's too old" or "looks like the cryptkeeper".
I tend to disagree, at his age, around 56 (right?) the man still
retains the wit, charisma, and fitness he did when he donned the
tux 12 years earlier in Live and Let Die. Sure there are a few
wrinkles, but as I've said before, James Bond cant stay between
30 and 35 forever, I liked this aspect because it made it a bit
more realistic to me and also to others. Roger, is an amazingly
talented actor, and simply shines in his last outing as James
Then there’s the universally hated Stacy Sutton. Tanya
Roberts is one of my favorite Bond women. They talk about her
constantly screaming and whining for Bond. Now please, enlighten
me, wouldn’t you be doing the EXACT same (if not worse)
thing. They comment on how her acting isn’t up to par, I
REALLY disagree, I think her acting was wonderful and dead on,
a woman standing up, fighting the head of a huge conglomerate
for the honor or her family. And I loved how she corroborated
Zorin's plan, she didn’t blink ONCE when delivering the
explanation. You have this average girl, going through her daily
routine at the office or at home feeding her cat, to suddenly,
being attacked in your house, hanging in a burning elevator shaft,
being shot at, having to be in the presence of the stunning Ms
Jones all day and hanging off the side of the Golden Gate Bridge
(I think she handled it all very well.... I'm sure some of the
men on this site would've been screaming FAR louder than she was).
Here is my explanation of how the blimp "snuck up" on
Stacy from the topic "Stacy Sutton ~ California Girl":
"Now the blimp thing, lets clear this up Presumably if the
explosion was powerful enough to knock her off her feet, the its
most likely powerful enough to temporarily deafen her ears and
make a ringing noise in them, WHICH would then mask the sound
of an approaching blimp!!! AND explain why she didn’t heed
Bond's warning to get down!! (Now that was an INGENIUOS explanation,
if I do say so myself... only took me a decade to figure out)"
Now, Christopher Walken. The man's simply brilliant at playing
an opportunistic sociopath. That laugh of his when he believes
he's about to win is maniacal. He's quite believable in his role
as Max Zorin. My only gripe is that the writers didn’t explore
the background a bit more on his steroid/Nazi plotline.
Grace Jones, my favorite of ALL the henchmen, is simply a bada$$.
I loved her in this film. I don’t think Grace Jones is hideous,
sure, she's quite masculine in a butch-like way, but I really
enjoyed her portrayal of MayDay as a tough Oddjob-like henchman.
That final look of defiance as she looked up at her ex-lover/betrayer
in his blimp in the sky to save the people of Silicon Valley was
remarkable. Grace Jones is seriously under-rated as an actress
in this film, despite her misgivings.
The plot is always talked about as a Goldfinger rip-off. Oh please,
is that the best you all can do?! Both plots are based on the
same premise, yes, the investors meeting to discuss arrangements
for a diabolical plan, but the plot of AVTAK took it to a much
more complex level, incorporating all the geological details (which
i still find quite complicated, haha) and is on a more MASSIVE,
INGENIOUS scale, instead of simply blowing up a tiny building.
Zorin's plan had millions of lives at stake, which made it all
the more suspenseful and climatic. I'm just sad they didn’t
explore the Nazi plot a bit more, but cant have it all. The original
plot of A View to a Kill originally had Max Zorin planning to
have Haley's Comet pummel Silicon Valley, ultimately gaining the
same results. So, I think we got lucky in some respects.
The action, wow, from the pre-titles with the snow skiing till
the final, climatic fight atop the Golden Gate Bridge (my all
time favorite fight, ever), I crave and enjoy every single minute
of it. The fight in Stacy's house, very nicely done, especially
commented with John Barry's action cue.
John Barry once again outdid himself in A View to a Kill, surpassing
his previous score in Octopussy with an even more enjoyable title
song and an amazing orchestral score. The love theme is one, if
not, the best and the action theme is simply cool with the whine
of the guitar and the drums of doom playing. I personally hope
for a remastering of the soundtrack with all the cues in there,
its definitely m favorite James Bond soundtrack.
So basically, if you overlook the whole "Roger's old"
line, A View to a Kill is a REALLY enjoyable film. Its got everything,
beautiful women, exciting climax and complimented by a 5-star
cast. Sure there a fre a few quirks, like the French cab-driver,
but if you overlook it, its great. The fat cop, do they have to
make our police forces that dumb?
Personal Rating 10/10 ~ My all time favorite Bond film. It was
a great way for Roger to exit, with a woman, the same exact way
he was introduced to the series. The final "Ooh, James"
being a almost like a trade mark for Roger Moore's period as James
Bond 007. A perfect way to depart.
"A View To A Kill" by MrJamesBond
The year was 1985, the Bond movie was A View to a Kill, which
was perhaps the best Bond movie to ever come along. While certain
people fell that way, others feel that it is rubbish, and the
worst of the Bond movies. I am writing this as a review of the
movie, and to try to change people’s opinions regarding
Let’s start with the pre-credits and work our way through
the movie. In the beginning of the movie we see Bond in Siberia
recovering a microchip from 003's body. This is only the onset
of the greatest scheme a villain ever had in a Bond movie, but
we’ll go into greater detail about that particular topic
later. Anyway, the pre-credits is a great way to start off the
movie. It involves Bond running, skiing, snow-boarding, and riding
a snowmobile all in one sequence. Many people complain about the
Beach Boys song, but it is a Roger Moore movie and you know there
is bound to be humor. “There’s nothing better than
after the action sequence to get the laugh,” was said by
John Glenn in the FYEO documentary.
The next major part of the movie was Zorin’s stables. During
this part in the movie, Bond tries to get some inside information
on Zorin, but discovers that he is using microchips to inject
steroids into his horses so that he could win races. Bond is quickly
discovered and is almost drowned. I really don’t hear to
many complaints about this part of the movie. While it does seem
to slow the pace down, it is still really good.
This is where the movie starts to shine. San Francisco, where
Zorin plans to flood Silicon valley by pumping seawater into the
San Andreas fault, and then causing a major earthquake that could
flood and destroy Silicon Valley. I love absolutely everything
about this part of the movie. The meeting aboard Zorin’s
blimp is very well done, the fire truck chase is spectacular,
city hall catching on fire is amazing, and the fight on top of
the Golden Gate Bridge is undoubtedly the best sequence in any
Bond film. Adding to that fact, is the fact that the scene is
accompanied by John Barry’s wonderful piece of music, “He’s
Dangerous.” (It is also played during the fire truck chase,
and the pre-credits.)
Many say that Roger was to old to play Bond, no he wasn’t.
He looked amazingly good for a man of his age, and he still played
it as if he were younger. His performance was his best and in
my opinion, he went out with a great movie. Christopher Walken,
what can I say about him, there is only one word that really applies;
brilliant. He portrayed an insane villain to the tee. Tanya Roberts
was also great. She portrayed a strong character, who was intent
on not giving in to Zorin, and she did it very well. Graces Jones
gave her character just the right touch, and was very believable.
Finally, Patrick MacNee. The chemistry between him and Roger was
superb. The acting was again like everything else the best in
From the Eiffel Tower to Zorin’s stables, from the streets
of San Francisco to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, this movie
has it all. How long has it been since you’ve watched it?
Let me tell you a short story. Up until recently, FRWL was the
lowest movie on my list. Why? Because I watched it once or twice,
decided I didn’t like it and didn’t watch it forever.
Then, when it came on Encore’s 72 hour Bond marathon, I
watched it, and it has now moved up on my list. I find this to
be true with anyone who watches AVTAK that hasn’t for a
long time. So, please pop in your AVTAK DVD and watch it.
"A View To A Kill" by James Turner
After Octopussy, it looked as if Roger Moore’s Bond era
had come to it’s end. However, unbelievably Roger Moore
made one last appearance as 007, but from looking through the
many sequences in the movie it’s surprising the film wasn’t
A View to a Kill marked Moore’s ‘bond’ farewell
to the series, but at times you feel like he should have waved
goodbye in Octopussy. His age does become an issue at times but
it is one of those things we have to ignore.
The opening sequence is a reasonably poor affair compared to
the similar sequence seen in The Spy Who Loved Me. At points it
is even too unbearable to watch (snowboarding down a mountain
as "California Girls" plays). Surely the film can’t
get worse…can it?
Tanya Roberts’ character Stacy Sutton is arguably one of
the worst Bond girls to grace the franchise. The acting is pathetic
and all she plays is a damsel in distress throughout. And when
stood next to Moore, she looks like his daughter. Not what we
like to see. The humour is mainly slapstick, with very few jokes
coming from one-liners.
However, the film has many highlights. Christopher Walken’s
Zorin is probably one of the greatest characters to grace the
series, and the finale on the Golden Gate Bridge is tremendously
shot. He plays the role perfectly and his acting talent saves
the film massively. His sidekick Mayday, played by the singer/actress
Grace Jones, remains memorable even today. Patrick Macnee’s
appearance is a particular pleasant one and his death in the film
gives a tragic feeling of loss throughout the audience.
The score is the typical, excellent standard from John Barry,
and music to the finale of the film is really top notch stuff.
Duran Duran’s title song certainly deserved its number 1
hit. And when mixed together, the soundtrack is superb.
Overall, AVTAK is not brilliant. Nor is it terrible. It sits
slightly above average but in all, it is a fun film to watch and
if you can ignore the downsides then the view certainly won’t
"A View To A Kill" by Luds
Following the financial success of the latest four Bond movies
(The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977, Moonraker in 1979, For Your Eyes
Only in 1981, and Octopussy in 1983), Roger Moore and Albert R.
Broccoli had agreed that Moore would return as James Bond for
one last time.
Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, and veteran director of the last
2 Bond movies John Glen reunited once more and used Ian Fleming’s
short story title From A View To A Kill (part of Fleming’s
8th novel For Your Eyes Only published in 1960) for the title
of the next movie. However, 10 time Bond screenwriter Richard
Maibaum and Wilson decided to come up with a new story as the
hi-tech industry was booming and the public was fascinated by
In A View To A Kill (AVTAK), Bond is introduced escaping baddies
in a very familiar situation: on his skis! Retrieving a microchip
from deceased agent 003, Bond makes his way back to London, and
is sent to investigate Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), owned or
Zorin Industries who built the microchip. Bond is sent to Zorin’s
horse stable and poses as horse dealer James St John Smythe. Along
with agent Sir Godfrey Tibbett (Patrick Macnee), Bond finds out
that Zorin is somehow involved with geologist Stacey Sutton (Tanya
Roberts). He later finds her in San Francisco where Stacey explains
that Zorin wanted to buy her land. After defeating Zorin’s
henchmen, Bond learns from CIA agent Chuck Lee (David Yip) that
Zorin is trying to cause an Earthquake in an abandoned mine. Upon
further investigation of the mine where Bond finds the presence
of explosives, Stacey figures that Zorin is trying to flood Silicon
Valley by this earthquake, and gain full control of the microchip
industry. Bond and Zorin henchwoman turned good girl MayDay (Grace
Jones) remove the explosives from the mine and manage to defeat
AVTAK along with The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) are perhaps
2 of the least popular movies of the Moore era, if not the entire
series. Walken’s over the top performance as madman Zorin
and Grace Jones’ performance as MayDay are both disliked
by many Bond movie fanatics. Although many fans loved former Avenger
Patrick Macnee’s appearance in a Bond movie, many were not
interested by the main storyline and feel that Roger Moore’s
age (58 during shooting) was a factor as he looked too old for
the part of 007. Moore’s performance in the movie is nonetheless
excellent. Fans also seem to dislike Tanya Roberts’ performance
as Stacey, perhaps forgetting that not all Bond girls need to
have a strong character. David Yip also managed to portray a decent
ally for Bond.
John Barry’s score fir AVTAK is possibly one of his best.
Although not as spectacular as On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
(1969), Barry’s score is easily better than most of the
previous scores during the 70’s and 80’s. Duran Duran’s
title song is also quite entertaining but was sadly the band’s
last song before their break-up.
Overall, AVTAK is perhaps one of the most underrated movie of
the Bond franchise. While not being one of the classics (From
Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball) AVTAK is nonetheless
an average addition to the series, comparable to Live And Let
Die (1973) and You Only Live Twice (1967).
"A View To A Kill" by Sean
In the world of 007, the 1970’s are known as “the
decade of camp”. Each film from that era featured a megalomaniac
villain with a plan to rule the world (or America). The character
of Bond was drastically reduced to a spectator, who took a second-row
seat in spectacles full of gags, stunts, and gadgets. Fleming’s
once proud creation was no more. With MOONRAKER taking its viewers
to outer space, there finally was a public outcry that forced
a change in the style of Bond films.
The next decade is often referred to as the one that brought
Bond back to Earth. The man largely responsible for the transition
is the director John Glen, who holds the record of working on
five 007 films.
Starting with FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, John Glen established himself
as the most serious 007 director since Peter Hunt. He was far
more comfortable with strong acting scenes and lines of dialogue
than stunts, jokes, and everything that made the 70’s.
A surprising ingredient to FOR YOUR EYES ONLY’s success
was an unexpectedly professional performance by Roger Moore, who
generally has been too much of a clown to come along well with
Glen’s style (in fact, Glen signed on FYEO only because
he expected Timothy Dalton to take over).
As they say though, lightning doesn’t strike twice in the
same place. Consequentially, in the following outing OCTOPUSSY,
Roger Moore was back to his eye-brow raising, and his portrayal
was once again dismissed by contemporary critics (Connery’s
simultaneous comeback had, of course, nothing to do with critical
judgement) as being out of place among Glen’s efforts to
duplicate FYEO’s dark and tense atmosphere.
Since general public and the producer Broccoli loved Roger Moore
however, it was decided to expore familiar terrains for Moore’s
swansong A VIEW TO A KILL one final time. The script was straight
from the 70’s, emphasizing gags, gadgets, and stunts. Ironically
for the 1980's, it proved to be Broccoli’s worst decision
in the entire series when he decided to hold on to John Glen.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with A VIEW TO A
KILL’s script. Sure, it reminds many fans of GOLDFINGER,
but none of the Bond films since OHMSS had an entirely original
There is also nothing wrong with an old Roger Moore acting the
clown one last time (after all, Sean Connery wasn’t much
less of a clown in the critical darling NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN).
However, placing Glen- a serious director- in this circus is
the crucial mistake. Taking everything about A VIEW TO A KILL
in a Shakespearian way is the stab its heart couldn't endure.
Zorin should have been a geeky, Bill Gates-like character- instead
we get the Oscar winner Christopher Walken overacting as if he
were in HAMLET. Tanya Roberts, who has the distinguished honor
to be featured in some of the dumbest roles ever (remember, she
was Sheena!, exclamation mark included), plays a geology professor,
and thanks to Glen’s lack of humor, we don’t know
if the character is supposed to be lame (of course, it is), or
it was miscast. While Grace Jones is awesome as, well, the ugliest
henchwoman to sleep with 007 on screen- did the character have
to redeem herself in the end in such a theatrical fashion?
Glen is particularly uncomfortable with action scenes like the
quartering of the car in Paris and the fire truck chase in San
Francisco that lack the charming camp of a Bondola or an underwater
The obligatory lair battle is straight from INDIANA JONES AND
THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, but somehow manages to come across as much
more serious than the occult counterpart in Spielberg’s
The best scene in A VIEW TO A KILL occurs when Bond takes a bath
with Fiona. This is the only time where John Glen manages to surprise
his viewers by acknowledging that Moore’s Bond has always
been about FUN.
"A View To A Kill" by Overkill
Time to ‘fess up. As a kid I thought AVTAK was great.
Admittedly I was only 9, it was the first Bond movie I saw at
the cinema, I’d only seen four or five of the others by
that point, and my favourite band were doing to theme tune. What
was there not to like?
In the cold light of day, unfortunately, there is a hell of a
lot not to like about AVTAK, Roger Moore’s (overdue) swan
song from the series.
And this is a very big minus, as Moore’s advancing age
overshadows almost everything else in the film, along with some
terrible attempts at humour (the worst since the farcical Moonraker),
a relentlessly dull narrative, a wasted villain and a candidate
for worst Bond girl in the series.
During some derivative snow-based high-jinks in Alaska, Bond
recovers a microchip from the frozen body of 003 which proves
(somehow) that a billionaire businessman, Max Zorin, is attempting
to… do something... to a microchip company by having a microchip
that is not susceptible to Electro Magnetic Pulses from nuclear
weapons (or something, this part of the plot is never fully explained).
So Bond is sent to Paris, seemingly for no other reason than he’s
never been there before, to have a ridiculous car chase whilst
pursuing a murderer who has skydived off the Eiffel Tower (admittedly
a superb stunt). From here he goes to horse sale at Zorin’s
estate (again, seemingly just because we’ve never seen him
ride a horse before).
Then its off to San Francisco to meet Stacey Sutton, a geologist
who is being bullied by Zorin to sell her stake in an oil company
(or something). After some more derivative and pointless action
Bond finds himself in a mine, that Zorin plans to blow up, to
flood Silicon Valley and seize control of the world’s microchip
market (so that’s where Bill Gates gets his ideas from!).
The whole thing ends with Bond, Stacey and Zorin having a fight
on top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Now, whilst there are glimmers there of what a great film AVTAK
could have been, the whole thing just doesn’t work. Bond
is back to being a deus ex machina, rather than anticipating and
investigating. He just finds himself in the right place at the
right time, over and over again.
Zorin, played brilliantly by Christopher Walken given the material,
is not a very exciting villain, and giving him the back-story
of being the psychotic result of Nazi experimentation just shows
how dull the writers felt he was.
Tracy Roberts plays Stacey in the ‘Oooh James’ mould
of Bond girls (see also Britt Ekland) and her only purpose seems
to be to explain Zorin’s plan to Bond.
Much more interesting, and criminally underused, is Fiona Fullerton,
as a rival Russian agent investigating Zorin (he was in the KGB
as well, yawn), but she shows up, shags James, and then we never
see her again, which is a real shame.
Also interesting, but in a very different way, is May Day, played
by Grace Jones. The most compelling the hench-people during Moore’s
era, Jones makes the role her own, overcoming her obvious lack
of acting experience, to deliver a performance that belies the
appalling script. And her character actually develops over the
course of the film, a rarity in the series.
It’s hard to know where the fault lies with AVTAK’s
problems, but it seems that for once (and probably the only time)
Richard Maibaum slipped up. Working with Michael Wilson, the script
is reminiscent of Goldfinger in several ways (even filching the
‘hoods convention’ scene, complete with mechanical
The attempts at humour become grating very quickly (the use of
‘California Girls’ in the pre-credits is probably
the lowest point Bond humour has reached), and the plot disappears
and reappears throughout.
The action, such as it is, is well handled. The pre-credits is
exciting, without ever scaling the heights of TSWLM or OP, the
Paris chase features some superb driving in amongst its schoolboy
humour and the finale atop the Golden Gate Bridge is a nice climax,
despite some dodgy back projection work.
Peter Lamont also created a fabulous mine shaft set of which
we see very little. But the sequences set in it seem tacked on,
culminating in the quite shocking scene of Zorin Uzi-ing all his
workers to death; for me, still the most shocking thing I’ve
seen in a Bond movie.
And the least said about Bond and Stacey’s shower scene
the better…. (I still have nightmares).
It’s never good to go out on a low, but unfortunately Moore
did. That’s not to say that if he’d bowed out after,
say, Octopussy, AVTAK would have been any better. It wouldn’t
have. In fact Moore was probably the best choice for the film
given its reliance on cheap humour. It’s just such a shame
to see a once great Bond deteriorate into smut, sub Benny-Hill
gags and, probably the biggest crime of all, being a bit dull.
But the theme tune still rocks!!!!
"A View To A Kill" by NicNac
The old adage 'If it ain't broke don't mend it' certainly springs
to mind with AVTAK, where director John Glen, writers Michael
Wilson and Richard Maibaum, producer Cubby Broccoli and star Roger
Moore carefully re-tread old ground in an attempt to surprise
no one and deliver a good ol' Bond by numbers.
Borrowing a short story title from Ian Fleming (well almost)
and building a plotline around San Francisco's silicon valley,
AVTAK sounds, on paper, to be quite the forward thinking Bond
movie. The fact that it isn't anything of the kind is one of the
series' major disappointments.
The plot, involving horse doping, Nazi experimentation and a
plan to flood silicon valley is mildly diverting, and gives Bond
plenty of chance to do some real spy work (its very late in the
day before he finally uncovers exactly what is going on).
Moore is perfectly competent once again, although a weariness
has finally appeared in his performance (similar to Connery in
YOLT), which is exaggerated by his aged appearance, and terrible
eye make up.
His support cast includes Christopher Walken, at his psychotic
best as villain Max Zorin, Patrick Macnee, pleasant and humorous
as ever, Tanya Roberts trying to look innocent and vulnerable
(say what...?) and Grace Jones as hench girl May Day.
Grace Jones generally fails to convince us with her tough girl
attitude, but the single most memorable shot of the entire film
goes to her as, near the end of the movie, she triumphantly stares
at Zorin, her revenge complete, and her fate sealed. It's a smart
and nicely directed moment, even if the actual explosion which
follows is a bit under- cooked.
The films action is a mix of good (the Eiffel Tower sequences),
and not so good (the fire engine scene, borrowing heavily from
Mack Sennett comedies somehow, just like the engine itself at
the bridge, fails to get off the ground).
Worst of all is the terrible use of stunt doubles, and the fight
scenes. As Bond unconvincingly beats up the heavies beneath the
stables, we realise we are witnessing the worst fist fight in
Bond history. And it holds the record for about 40 minutes, when
Bond again indulges in another limp risted punch up in Stacey's
We watch the film lurch from one gorgeously photographed location
to another - witness the pre-credit sequence where the viewer
almost suffers snow blindness such is the sharpness and clarity
of the photography.
We endure a bunch of fair to middling action sequences.
We count the wrinkles on Roger's face
And finally we get what we really want. A lively, funny, interesting
scene. Bond and Fiona Fullerton have great fun in their few minutes
together, as the plot takes a break to allow Bond a happy bit
of cavorting in a Jacuzzi with an old squeeze. It's a cat and
mouse game that doesn't last long, but its a little gem that would
probably look more at home in Octopussy.
Overall, AVTAK is nicely shot, and uses its locations intelligently.
Moore delivers, as do the cast in general. I like the way the
plot gradually unfolds in front of Bond's eyes. And it does have
its moments. Scenes like Zorin carefully setting up the fire,
Moore with Fiona Fullerton, etc.
And the money is there on the screen for all to see (unlike TMWTGG
The climatic battle atop the Golden Gate Bridge is pretty damned
But all of this is not enough.
Roger Moore said that the reason he saw it as time to quit was
when he watched the filming of Zorin nastily and nonchalantly
whipping out all of the miners with a machine gun. He declared
that this wasn't Bond any more.
Naturally he made no reference to Old Father Time, or the fact
that without a change of direction soon, the series would be as
flat as a pancake. And that was the real problem with AVTAK -
it truly looked and felt as flat as a pancake.
"A View To A Kill" by Jazz007
A View To A Kill really seems to get reamed by a lot of Bond fan circles but I like it a lot. Yes, it doesn't measure up to the rest of the 80s Bond films, its plot is a dated rip-off of Goldfinger (with the villain trying to corner his particular market), Grace Jones looks like a transvestite on Halloween, and age should have prompted Roger Moore call it quits after Octopussy. A View To A Kill is not a perfect Bond movie and thank goodness the terrifically exciting and Flemingesque Timothy Dalton era followed.
However, I think that A View To A Kill is a fun and well-made movie overall with many positive points. Firstly, the film has its fair share of witty moments, John Barry's score is one of the best of the series; and has a number of neat action scenes that are wonderfully orchestrated by the underrated Bond director John Glen. A View To A Kill is one of the best Bond film options to turn to if one is in the mood for a simple and fun movie to pass the time.
Secondly, it has a pretty good cast of characters. Christopher Walken's Max Zorin villain is a pretty good villain; however, I think that, despite his reputation, Walken's villain is on the weak side because of the lack of ability to take him seriously (I'm aware of my minority status with that opinion). The girls are a hit for the most part; the sight of Grace Jones makes me gag but you have to love Alison Doody's Jenny Flex and Fiona Fullerton's Pola Ivanova. Although a tad screechy and kind of a ditz, I am a big fan of Tanya Roberts as prime Bond Girl Stacey Sutton as well because she is ultimately a huge sweetheart and major cutie. Roger Moore, while a bit too old for the part, is just as entertaining in his last James Bond performance as he was in his first. Moore gives a confident, cool, funny, and in the end all-around good final Bond performance that allows him to end his Bond era with style.
Overall, just like its Bond predecessor Octopussy, I think A View To A Kill acts very well as a sweet distraction for an hour or two.
"A View To A Kill" by James Clark
"Would you be interested primarily in stamina, or speed?" "Well a little of both would be ideal."
June 27th 1984 - the once proudly erected 007 stage at Pinewood Studios, built to house the massive super tanker interiors for The Spy Who Loved Me is on fire. The Bond crew are preparing pre-production on Bond's 14th adventure and Roger Moore's last, A View To A Kill. Couple the devastation and personal loss of the stage with the fact that Moore, coming into his 7th Bond film, looks old enough to play James Bond's dad, and there is justifiable reason to think that Bond 14 is doomed before the cameras have even begun to roll.
With the building of the new stage and the reliability of a series stalwart like Moore leading the film, the crew optimistically begin working on A View To A Kill and like a number of Moore's Bonds it has its moments. There are some thrilling sequences like the burning of City Hall and some great characters, particularly Christopher Walken giving one of the most sadistic and wholly memorable villainous performances of Moore's Bond tenure. For the good points there are the obligatory duff ones: Willoughby Gray as the bumbling Herr Dr Mortner/Hans Glaub; a character whose identity and methods are discovered by Bond but a character that is so underdeveloped and shoddily played it's almost pantomimic. Then there's the two main female characters of the piece. Tanya Roberts is whiny and frustrating as Stacey – she is given a theme of her own by John Barry which is far more than the character deserves: it's no wonder Moore explains in the DVD commentary that there was no chemistry between Roberts and himself. Then there is Grace Jones as May Day who, despite giving a better performance than Roberts comes off as too over the top even for a Moore Bond film. Placing her and Moore in each others arms in bed together is one of the most alarming scenes in Bond history!
Kudos to Moore for deciding with A View To A Kill that it was finally time to hang his hat on Moneypenny's stand for good. At nearly 60 he still remarkably brings good humour and an enthusiastic air to proceedings. As Moore expresses to Zorin himself in the film, "I'm almost speechless with admiration". The one thing you can say for A View To A Kill as with each of the remaining 6 Moore Bonds is that it is entertaining to watch. The plot may be recycled, the one liners may be ludicrously corny but this is the 14th Bond and Moore's 7th – give the writers a break. It is also still an entertaining film, more so than Octopussy. It is still uncomfortable however having Moore unzip the young Mary Stavin's top before the film's opening credits in that predatory fashion – he looks old enough to be her grandfather!
Ultimately, despite the misfires – Nick Nack, Miss Goodnight, Bond in space, Moore's contribution to the series cannot be overstated. His films were also responsible for bringing us some series highs – the parachute jump in the pre-credits of The Spy Who Loved Me and kicking Locque's car off the edge of the cliff in For Your Eyes Only to name two of the best. He is the actor to have played the part the most times of all to date and as former United Artists publicist Jerry Juroe has recognised he has done more publicity for the Bond series than anyone else. While A View To A Kill is most certainly not the best film for Moore to make his final bow it still remains a testament to all that he brought to the world of James Bond on the big screen. As Moneypenny states "Your dedication [...]is most commendable..." James Bond will return, in the guise of Timothy Dalton.
"A View To A Kill" by Prince Kamal Khan
After a triumphant 6th film as Bond with OP, the wonderful Roger Moore agreed to slap on 007's shoulder holster for one last mission. In retrospect, he should have quit when he was ahead.
AVTAK is the most tired entry up to that point in the series. For the script, I wonder if Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson tore up scripts from the previous 13 Bond films, threw them up into the air and pasted them together as they landed. PTS: Bond being chased by Russians in the snow(TSWLM), May Day parachutes off the Eiffel Tower(reminiscent of the parachute jump in TSWLM), Bond gets in a car chase where his vehicle is demolished(double decker bus chase in LALD), Bond spies on villain at his French chateaux(MR), Bond pretends to be a stuffy Englishman(OHMSS), villain plans to monopolize a commodity by destroying his competition(GF), villain a cheater with a horse farm(GF), villain a renegade Soviet acting in defiance of General Gogol(OP), Bond dallying with a beautiful female Russian spy(FRWL, TSWLM), secondary villain switching sides to help Bond(MR), villain captures girl in air vehicle and Bond goes to rescue her with the villain telling his henchman "Go get him!"(OP), etc.
It's really sad because Fleming's From A View to A Kill is a great story and would have made a great introduction for the film where they could've built upon the intriguing plot device of a microchip impervious to a nuclear explosion and given the film an exciting, Cold War era plot like the 2 vastly superior entries AVTAK is sandwiched between, OP and TLD.
AVTAK does have its redeeming features that make it watchable: plenty of stunts and action, the gorgeous locations(especially Chateaux Chantilly, my favorite Bond villain home), Cold War-era ambience and '80s nostalgia appeal, the supporting performances of Patrick Macnee, Alison Doody and Fiona Fullerton. And best of all, John Barry's excellent score. However, the series was clearly showing its tired blood at this point. Not a terrible film, just a mediocre one and the weakest 007 picture made between 1962 and 1997. Thankfully, Timothy Dalton and the incredible TLD was just around the corner.