MTV Movies Blog is currently running what we call the Bond-a-Thond. Every week 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.
A View to a Kill (1985)
Plot: When a top secret microchip ends up in the hands of the Soviets, Bond is called on to investigate the chip’s manufacturer.
Title Meaning: Max Zorin uses the line the describe the view from his personal blimp, and it doesn’t make any sense.
Song: “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran
Bond: Roger Moore, his final appearance as 007
Villains: Max Zorin, a wealthy microchip manufacturer, played by Christopher Walken, and May Day, his enforcer and lover, played by Grace Jones
Bond Girl: Stacey Sutton, an oil heiress, played by Tanya Roberts
“Bond, James Bond” Occurrences: 2
Card Games: 0
Cigarettes Smoked: 0
Tuxes Worn: 1
Kills By Bond: 5
Most Creative Kill: Mortner attempts to throw dynamite at Bond while the blimp is stuck on the Golden Gate Bridge, but loses control of the bomb when Bond cuts the air ship loose.
Gadgets: Bond uses special sunglasses that do something to make people disappear from view. It’s never really clear, but they look cool.
Mental State of Miss Moneypenny: In a gambling mood
First Occurrence of Sex: 6 minutes in
Sexual Partners: 4 (Agent from opening, May Day, Pola Ivanova, Stacey Sutton)
Most Unrealistic Moments: Roger Moore was 57 when he made this movie, so pretty much every stunt and act of seduction looks unrealistic.
Most “Bond” Moments: “I got off eventually.”
Place in Bond History: “A View to a Kill” brought two eras in Bond history to an end. It was the final of Roger Moore’s seven films as 007, but “A View to a Kill” also ended Lois Maxwell’s run as Moneypenny, a role she owned for 23 years.
…And thus ended the age of Roger Moore.
For those who take issue with Moore’s performances as Bond, “A View to a Kill” makes for a convincing closing argument. Widely considered one of the worst entries of the series, the final Moore film puts too much faith in a tired plot and an even more haggard-looking leading man, with Christopher Walken’s bizarre Max Zorin as its only saving grace.
Can we put a moratorium on Bond storylines that involve powerful businessmen attempting to either monopolize or destroy a particular industry by stockpiling a product? I’m pretty sure that’s what Zorin tried to do, but he’s also KGB spy, but he’s also a superbaby. Things get a little unclear, but what is never in doubt is that Walken makes for a great Bond bad guy. He brings all of the menace and idiosyncrasies that he’s known for, but is given almost nothing to do.
Looking back on Moore’s run, it’s difficult to condemn his entire characterization of Bond. The character is subject to the time he lives in, and Moore’s take is at least partly a result of that. But by the time “A View to a Kill” rolls around, there’s little to say in defense of Moore. He is simply too old to be convincing as a physical threat and a sexual force, the two essential Bond characteristics.
The Bond-a-Thond will return next week in “The Living Daylights.”
What do you think of “A View to a Kill”? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!