Countdown to Spectre: A View to a Kill (1985)

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.

After recovering a microchip from the body of a deceased colleague in Russia, Agent 007, James Bond (Roger Moore) discovers that the technology has the potential for disaster. While looking into this, Bond is led to Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), the head of Zorin Industries. Soon Bond must face off against the villainous Zorin and his tough Amazonian bodyguard, May Day (Grace Jones), who are scheming to cause massive destruction that will eliminate the competition.

So this is Roger Moore’s last Bond film. No, he didn’t come back for more like Sean Connery did. So far last Bond actors’ films, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (George Lazenby, one and only film) and Diamonds are Forever (Sean Connery) have not done so good. OHMSS (the name is just so long) was just too different for me and Diamonds are Forever was just too silly and complicated. I will say that this one has done better than those. The plot in this one was simple, Christopher Walken’s Max Zorin, who was an intelligent, psychotic (there’s a backstory to this but it wasn’t overly important) rich tech guy and the villain in this film, just wanted the microchip industry to himself by destroying Silicon Valley. It took a little while to get there because of another subplot which was covered for too long than I would have liked but when it did, I got it. Walken’s villain Zorin (who was the best Bond villain since Christopher Lee’s Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gunis as confident as he is evil, psychotic, and menacing. I thought he was very good here as he simply commanded the screen despite limited screen time. I found Tanya Roberts’ Bond girl Stacey Sutton a little whinny and annoying. Grace Jones’ May Day was a very good henchman/henchwoman but she didn’t get to do very much here. Roger Moore was great again here despite his age. He still has charm, still had some good quips, and did a decent job at keeping up with the action. The film did have some decent action from a ski chase in the North (not as good as The Spy who Loved Me but okay and also features a strange use of the song “California Girls”), car chases through Paris and San Francisco, a finally battle involving a blimp and the Golden Gate bridge, and a few others. These were very entertaining to watch and the soundtrack helped to create excitement. I have to mention that this is the last film for Lois Maxwell (props for being a Canadian like me) who has played Miss Moneypenny since the beginning. I’ve always enjoyed her performances and I thought she always had good chemistry with whoever played Bond. Overall. this was a great entry in the series and a decent send-off for Roger Moore. A great story and a great performance by Walken definitely puts this up there with some of the best.

Score: 8/10

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Next: The Living Daylights

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