Countdown to Spectre: Moonraker (1979)

This is the next installment in my look back to the James Bond 007 series in anticipation for the new installment, Spectre coming out on November 6th. If you are interested in any of my earlier installments, click here.

Agent 007, James Bond (Roger Moore) blasts into orbit into an action-packed adventure taking him to such locales as Venice, Rio de Janeiro, and of course outer space. When Bond must investigate the hijacking of an American space shuttle. he and the beautiful CIA agent Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) find themselves locked into a life-or-death struggle against evil, power-mad, industrialist, billionaire Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) who plans to destroy all human life on earth in order to replace it with his own super race.

So this film puts Bond in space for this one which is a first for the series. The series has dealt with space-related issues in the past but we’ve never actually gone there until now. I will say if you were ever into gadgets in the series, then you’ll like this one as it had the most gadgets I’ve seen so far. Also this is probably the most action-packed Roger Moore Bond film I’ve seen thus far. Based on that, there appears to be a lot going on here but there unfortunately appears to be one thing missing from all of this, a plot. All of the things I mentioned are great and all but they are seemingly distracting from the lack of a plot. I found it a little hard to follow as most of it just appeared to be Bond and other running around from place to place. I could not deduce a connection between these places so it just didn’t make sense to me. They also went about doing this in a very silly way (I can’t remember it ever being sillier). I just found that the overall story just didn’t make any sense to me. I did not like the villain in this one either. I found Hugo Drax to not be very evil and actually quite boring. He just did not seem very menacing as he was just a crazy rich guy who likes space. And it’s kind of hard to see him as a real villain when you never really knew what his whole plan was until far too late into the film. Michael Lonsdale was okay as Drax but he just seemed like a taller, fatter Peter Dinklage to me. Roger Moore was still very good here as Bond as I am starting to like him more and more in the role. He’s just so confident bordering on arrogant and just cool and unfazed by everything and that is starting to become infectious. I found this really came across during the action sequences as he just looked really cool to me. Lois Chile’s Holly Goodhead was a little forgettable to me as I found that she didn’t bring forward anything new and I did not think she added anything to the story. She just seemed like a passenger for everything. Richard Kiel was also back here as Jaws and I thought he was good for the most part but I was not a fan of the direction they took the character. I did enjoy the special effects in the film, the opening scene with the fight in the sky looked surprisingly real and I thought the space stuff was good despite it getting sillier near the end. I finally understood the story just before the end but I did lose it again from there until the end. Overall, this is quite possibly the most involved film yet but it unfortunately falls short because the story just can’t quite keep up with everything else.

Score: 6.5/10

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Next: For Your Eyes Only


Categories: Bond, Movie Reviews

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