BondMovie ReviewsCountdown to Spectre: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Keith NoakesOctober 30, 2015

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.

When a British spy mysteriously sinks in foreign waters, the world’s superpowers begin to undertake a hectic race to uncover the ship’s cargo, a nuclear submarine control system. Now Agent 007, James Bond (Roger Moore) along with the beautiful Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) are thrusted into a riveting adventure as they rush to join the search and discover who killed her parents, and potentially prevent global devastation.

With all that happened in the previous film, Moonraker, this film offers us a welcome change of pace. This one isn’t as flashy, there isn’t as much action, and the story isn’t too silly like in previous incarnations (Diamonds are Forever, Moonraker). If you’ve been following this series, I’ve seen a lot of Bond films so far. The majority of these films have their own opening themes (except for Dr. No and From Russia with Love). Some are great, Live and Let Die, Goldfinger, Nobody Does It Better (from The Spy Who Loved Me) and some are not so good. The theme from this film, For Your Eyes Only, was one of the not so good ones. It just seemed like a bad 80s pop song which just seemed out of place to me. Now the plot in this film is relatively straightforward compared to the last few films, Bond and co. are just trying to figure out how the ship sank and how to get the control system on it before everyone else does. I was able to get that pretty early on but I was happy to see that without giving anything away. there was more to it than just that. From a car chase in Cuba, to a ski chase in Northern Italy, and a bunch of underwater stuff off the coast of Greece, the story took the film to many beautifully shot locales. Despite being in Italy for a little too long, I found each location to be exciting. The car chase was good, the ski chase was good but ran a little too long (and the cheesy 80s style action music didn’t help either), and I did not think they were underwater for nearly long enough. I will not elaborate on these in order to not give anything away. The film also has a villain (as most Bond film do) but like I said there was the more to the story, I will not give anything away about this either. The opening scene of the film gave us some good things as well as some bad things. The good was that it was nice to see the film acknowledging events of past films by different Bond actors. The bad being what they do with a beloved character of the franchise which, without giving anything away, made sense and did not make sense at the same time. There is more to this story but I will not be covering it here. Roger Moore as Bond was still good here with his calm, confident demeanour which I found entertaining to watch. All of the other acting was decent with the exception of a young female figure skater who I found annoying. Overall, this another decent entry into the Bond series with a good balance of action and story. I always found that Bond films are always better when the film isn’t bigger than Bond himself and this definitely fits the bill.

Score: 7.5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.

Next: Octopussy


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