Director: John Glen
Cast: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones, Patrick Macnee, Alison Doody, Fiona Fullerton, William Gotell, Robert Brown, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell
Film matched beverage: Christopher Walken cocktail
Synopsis: On this mission, Bond’s target is a Mr. Max Zorin, a successful industrialist. It soon becomes evident that Zorin’s interests go beyond simple fraud at the horse races. Indeed, he has links to a former Russian project which has resulted in him being altogether less than stable.
I preempted my thoughts on this film in my previous review for Octopussy. The most prominent thing that comes to mind while watching this film is the word why. Why did Moore have to have that one film more?? He was simply too old to convincingly play the role of a dashing, seductive agent any longer. Add high def to this image, every line around the eye all too evident, this reflection is just increased.
This is not the sole reason I have a decreased level of enjoyment in this film. Just like the second film in the Mission: Impossible series, a large part of the start of this film is based around the glamour of attending the races, and the joy partaken in buying and selling thoroughbreds. For me, this is all just incredibly boring. Perhaps this is due to my own experience of the races, which is more about Australian bogans dressing up to look classy rather than being an event of any class in the first place. Regardless, as a plot device, it simply does not grab me.
Things do improve once Bond’s cover is shattered. There are some suitable action sequences, some very clever spy play. Not all is good though. Roberts is a Bond girl more of the screaming ilk than some of the more powerful ones we have seen in the past. It is nice to have her juxtaposed by Grace Jones’ May Day, however this character is indeed the other extreme, and is as a result more than a little intimidating.
In the end, this is a serviceable Bond flick, but in the end, the lasting impression is a film that is, in comparison to other 007s, boring, and one that features a Bond too far past his prime. High Def only highlights this aging, and as a result, the fun of high def action can’t compensate.
2.5 stars out of 5
Christopher Walken Cocktail recipe
1 part melon liqueur (Midori)
0.5 parts lime juice
0.5 parts lemon juice
10 parts lemonade
Stir rum, melon liqueur, and juices together in a collins glass. Add lemonade and stir in sugar for fizz.