Logline: 007 investigates a mad industrialist who plans on destroying California’s Silicon Valley in order to monopolize the world’s microchip supply.
Nearly two years ago, I began revisiting and reviewing Roger Moore’s Bond films beginning with Live and Let Die (1973). I have seen both the highs and the lows of Moore’s thirteen year tenure as 007. During this time, the English actor died at the age of 89. I have finally arrived at Moore’s seventh and final appearance as Bond – A View to A Kill. Though it is generally regarded as one of the worst 007 films, A View to A Kill has its strengths particularly in villainous turns from Christopher Walken and Grace Jones.
Spanning over fifty years, the Bond franchise has its loyal fans whose views on the films vary greatly. However, most Bond fans will agree that A View to A Kill is one of the worst Bond films. The main criticism most often cited against the film is Moore’s age. He was 57 at the time and Moore himself joked about this aspect stating he was “only about four hundred years too old for that part.” I think most Bond fans and Moore himself knew it was time for a new James Bond. Enter Timothy Dalton.
A View to A Kill is deeply flawed but entertaining. The film feels tired and lacks any of the vivacity of Moore’s best Bond films. Moore seems to sleepwalk through the majority of the film and Tanya Roberts makes for a terrible Bond girl. Her performance is as stiff as they come.
Despite these shortcomings, there is a lot to appreciate in A View to A Kill. The film opens with a great pre-title sequence in arctic Russia. Bond travels across this icy landscape on skis, a snowmobile, and finally, an improvised snowboard. As stated before, Walken and Jones are a delight to watch and steal every scene in which they appear. The chart-topping title song by Duran Duran is great and my favorite Bond theme of all. There are some impressive action sequences, particularly the fight atop the Golden Gate Bridge at the film’s climax.
While I recognize the distaste surrounding Moore’s final appearance as Bond, I can also appreciate certain aspects of it. It is far from Moore’s best Bond film (that honor I’d bestow upon The Spy Who Loved Me), but it is certainly not his worst.
Rating (out of ****): ***