Bond-a-Thond #12: ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (1981)

MTV Movies Blog is currently running what we call the Bond-a-Thond. Every Wednesday we’re taking a look back at a single (official) Bond film, giving you the vitals and seeing how it holds up, right up until the release of “Skyfall” on November 9. Feel free to watch along with us and share your thoughts or just kick back and enjoy the Bond.

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Plot: When a piece of top secret tech sinks with the spy ship carrying it, Bond must retrieve the device before it is sold to the highest bidder.

Title Meaning: Melina speaks the title to Bond after disrobing.

Song: “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Easton

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Bond: Roger Moore

Villain: *Spoilers* Aris Kristatos, a well-respected Greek informant, played by Julian Glover

Bond Girl: Melina, the daughter of two slain archaeologists, played by Carole Bouquet

“Bond, James Bond” Occurrences: 1

Martinis: 0

Card Games: 1

Cigarettes Smoked: 0

Explosions: 4

Tuxes Worn: 1

Kills By Bond: 13

Most Creative Kill: In the opening sequence, Bond drops a man who looks like Blofeld into a smoke stack using a helicopter.

Gadgets: Identigraph, which draws an extremely accurate portrait of a suspect

Mental State of Miss Moneypenny: Creatively prepared

First Occurrence of Sex: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Sexual Partners: 2 (Countess Lisl von Schlaf, Melina)

Most Unrealistic Moments: Bond opens an umbrella to help slow his fall during an escape.

Most “Bond” Moments: After instructing Melina to conserve air during a scuba mission, Bond makes a signature quip.

Place in Bond History: “For Your Eyes Only” marked the first film in the series to not feature Bernard Lee as M, who died the year of its release. The movie was also a conscious attempt to literally and figurative bring the franchise back down to Earth. After the smashing success of “Moonraker,” “For Your Eyes Only” kept the plot and its implications fairly simple. Bond isn’t trying to save the world; he’s just trying to keep a piece of Western technology out of Soviet hands.

Review: “For Your Eyes Only” does us all the favor of leaving the zero gravity gun fights of “Moonraker” in the past, but this much more grounded Bond tale fails to inject any flavor or life to compensate for the refreshingly straight-forward narrative. The little color we do get comes in the form of a repetitious parrot as a plot point and a bizarre cameo by Margaret Thatcher. (It’s not actually her.)

The Olympic village setting does, however, allow for some more creative stunt sequences including a signature Bond ski chase down a bobsled track. Caroel Bouquet’s Melina gets more motivation and self-device skills than a typical Bond girl, but her near-deadpan performance leaves your memory as quickly as an arrow shot from her crossbow.

With every Roger Moore Bond film that we take in for the Bond-a-Thond, the sweet release of Timothy Dalton draws closer and closer, and we’re looking forward to it. Yeah, we’re a little desperate.

The Bond-a-Thond will return next week in “Octopussy.”

What do you think of “For Your Eyes Only”? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!