A View to a Kill (1985)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Glamorized Spy Film  |   Run Time - 130 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Scott Engel

007 films have a strict set of rules and are best viewed within those parameters. That being said, Roger Moore's final turn is a mixed bag. John Glen again takes the helm as he did with every Bond film of the Reagan/Bush '80s and decides to take James to new heights, literally, by having him ski off cliffs, jump off the Eiffel Tower, and hang off the Golden Gate bridge. In between, the aging Mr. Moore is clearly done with the series and mails in a performance so thin he can't even pull off his wink-at-the-camera take on the character. Dual bad guys Christopher Walken and Grace Jones are one of the most inspired casting choices and sinister villains in the series to date. Sadly, as has been the case with later Bond films, they spend minimal time onscreen and are given little more to do than deliver awful lines. Imagine Mr. Walken being allowed to take Max Zorin to a crazy, campy extreme and the possibilities are limitless. Another disappointment is the lack of Bond gadgetry, none here at all. But the film is not a total bust; one of the more interesting aspects is Grace Jones, who kicks more ass than almost any other female in the series up through that time. Other moments include the always enjoyable Q (who gets the plot going after comparing two microchips on a micro-comparator, get it?) and the typical over-the-top locations and set pieces. Many have accused this film of being a rip-off of the superior Goldfinger, which may be true, but producers have never felt they needed to apologize for Bond plots. And why should they when A View to a Kill can boast a theme song by MTV darlings Duran Duran? Try and top that, Mr. Connery.