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Moore is Less in A View to a Kill.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, A View to a Kill 1985Richard Maibaum,  Michael G. WilsonJohn GlenRoger Moore, Christopher WalkenIan Fleming Bitter,Bitterometer,meter A View to a Kill(1985)
 

Roger Moore’s take of Ian Fleming’s narcissistic hero James Bond is likely topped by better interpretations from 007’s old and new. Yet the charmingly fluffy Moore holds a soft spot in my heart. One of my first clashes with the generational gap between my dad and I was over Roger Moore. He loved Sean Connery as the suave spy, and only saw Moore as the T.V actor from “The Saint.” “How could there be another Bond?” I was a confused 5 year old, still innocent to the grim realities of recasting. As I got older I would catch those TBS Bond marathons in basic cable, and while Sean Connery was ultra-cool as 007 in the likes of “DR. No” and “Goldfinger,” I still sided with Moore’s eyebrow-shifting acting.

Unfortunately, even for a likable gentleman like Roger Moore, sometimes you overstay your welcome. “A View to a Kill” is arguably one of the worst Bond movies, an unceremonious bow for the longest tenured Bond. Set in the gorgeous Bay City of San Francisco, Bond must stop Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), who sets up a diabolical plan to blow up Silicon Valley. Zorin, aided by his henchwoman May Day (Grace Jones), attempt to derail Bond while causing mayhem in the Golden State. Bond must also protect Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts), a young heiress and the only person obstructing Zorin’s evil goals.

“A View to a Kill” features talented people at their worst. Even a bad actress like Tanya Roberts can sneak by when better actors like Christopher Walken tank this badly (to Miss Roberts’ credit, her leers of “JAMES” when in peril reveal an ingénue sexuality that is both cheesy and hot). Walken is a total ham as Zorin, who spends most of this movie in maniacal laugh mode. His overacting is as ballooned as those hugely framed glasses he borrowed from George Burns. Perhaps Walken thought he was on the set of an SNL skit, which is what this uninspired film directed by longtime Bond alum John Glen ends up being.

Grace Jones is sorely wasted as May Day. Jones is a perfect actress for a Bond girl role in the 1980’s, an eclectic mix of punk and cyborg designed in Andy Warhol’s Factory. May Day could easily wipe the floor with either Bond or Zorin, but then she’s turned from a badass to a kitten when Zorin betrayals her. This movie could at least have the decency to have May Day go out swinging, but instead she finds redemption in an awful kamikaze act. May Day, just like “A View to a Kill” disintegrates in a cloud of smoke.

Ultimately, there is both sadness and relief that “A View to a Kill” was Roger Moore’s last. He was well into his 50’s in 1985, and no camera trickery could make you buy the illusion that it’s really a stunt double hanging on the edge of The Golden Gate Bridge. Even the best element of this movie, Duran Duran’s sync-pop tune “A View to a Kill,” seems meant for a darker, edgier Bond. Moore’s sensibilities fitted a Bond franchise that existed just to raise the spectacle of the prior film, which should have made the grandeur of “Octopussy” the proper adieu. Still, while Moore is inevitably compared to the idol-worshiped forerunner Sean Connery, the humor, grace, and dignity that Moore brought to 007 will always be loved. Hey, at least Moore can say he wasn’t in “Never Say Never Again.”

Trailer:


Pics:
A View to a Kill1985Richard Maibaum,  Michael G. WilsonJohn GlenRoger Moore, Christopher WalkenIan Fleming  A View to a Kill1985Richard Maibaum,  Michael G. WilsonJohn GlenRoger Moore, Christopher WalkenIan Fleming  A View to a Kill1985Richard Maibaum,  Michael G. WilsonJohn GlenRoger Moore, Christopher WalkenIan Fleming  A View to a Kill1985Richard Maibaum,  Michael G. WilsonJohn GlenRoger Moore, Christopher WalkenIan Fleming  A View to a Kill1985Richard Maibaum,  Michael G. WilsonJohn GlenRoger Moore, Christopher WalkenIan Fleming 

Credits:
Directed by: John Glen
Written by: Richard Maibaum, Michael G. Wilson
Based on work(s) by: Ian Fleming
Cast: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken


Source of the Bitter: John Rojas

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