Review: A View to a Kill (1985)

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A View to a Kill (1985)

Directed by: John Glen | 127 minutes | action, thriller, adventure | Actors: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Grace Jones, Tanya Roberts, Patrick Mcnee, Patrich Bauchau, David Yip, Fiona Fullerton, Manning Redwood, Alison Doody, Willoughby Gray, Desmond Llewelyn, Robert Brown, Lois Maxwell, Walter Gotell, Maud Adams, Dolph Lundgren

With ‘A View to a Kill’ the Roger Moore era ends. He was the face of 007 for twelve years and seven films. Roger Moore has not managed to make Sean Connery forget, but he has added more humor to the character of James Bond.

Unfortunately, little of this can be found in this film. The film comes across as rather uninspired. The story is not worthy of James Bond. It’s more like a typical action movie. In addition, the acting performances of only a limited number of actors are of such a level that they stand out in a positive sense.

Roger Moore plays creditably. Given his age, however, he is no longer able to create a dynamic James Bond. He no longer comes across as credible as a top British spy. It was therefore a wise choice of him to stop after this film.

In the supporting roles, Patrick Macnee, as Sir Godfrey Tibbett, stands out in particular. Patrick Macnee made a name for himself with his performance as John Steed in the English TV series ‘The Avengers’. In ‘A View to a Kill’ there are a number of references to the character of John Steed. An example of this is the arrival of James Bond and Sir Godfrey Tibbett at Max Zorin’s castle, with James Bond walking around with an umbrella. John Steed always carried an umbrella.

Christopher Walken shows with his portrayal of Max Zorin that he has more to offer than this character allows. He too falls prey to the mediocrity of the script. He showed that he can act in the film classic ‘The Deer Hunter’.

Unlike Christopher Walken, who can do more than he is allowed to show, Grace Jones and Tanya Roberts, the ‘necessary’ female beauty in this film, cannot act. They do not convince in any way. Grace Jones, as Max Zorin’s evil accomplice May-Day, only looks angry and talks like a boatman. Tanya Roberts is an innocent dumb blonde who is allowed to show some form of intelligence at the end of the film. They both fail to hold the viewer’s attention.

Lois Maxwell, on the other hand, has managed to hold the attention of both James Bond and the viewer for years with her portrayal of Miss Moneypenny. The curtain falls for her too with this film. Lois Maxwell suggested that she still wanted to play the part of M as boss of 007, but she was informed that a woman would not be accepted in this role. Later, against expectations, Judi Dench would successfully fulfill this role.

The observant viewer will spot an old acquaintance of James Bond as an extra in the film. This is about Maud Adams. She previously starred in ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ and ‘Octopussy’. She visited Roger Moore on the set in San Francisco and he wanted her to have a cameo in this movie.

All in all, Roger Moore deserved a better goodbye. ‘A View to a Kill’ is not representative of his performance as James Bond, but a 007 who surrenders his ‘licence to kill’ after seven films is certainly worth seeing.

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