To sort of steal from Christopher Nolan, A View To a Kill isn’t the Bond ending Roger Moore deserved, but it’s the one that he got when the film debuted 30 years ago this month.
Producer Albert R. Broccoli had prevailed at the box office in 1983 against a competing James Bond film with Sean Connery, Broccoli’s former star. Broccoli’s Octopussy generated more ticket sales than Never Say Never Again (with Connery as de facto producer as well as star).
That could have been the time for Moore to call it a day. Some fans at the time expected Octopussy to be the actor’s finale. Yet, Broccoli offered him the role one more time and the actor accepted.
Obviously, he could have said no, but when you’re offered millions of dollars that’s easier said than done. There was the issue of the actor’s age. Moore would turn 57 during production in the fall of 1984.
That’s often the first thing cited, such as THIS SUMMARY OF THE MOVIE posted on April 2 by What Culture, an entertainment website that specializes in “click bait” lists.
However, the problems go deeper than that. As we’ve written before, the movie veers back and forth between humor and really dark moments as if it can’t decide what it wants to be.
Director John Glen and screenwriters Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson constantly go from yuks and tension and back again. If the humor were better, that might be easier to accept. Typical example: In the pre-titles sequence, there’s an MI-6 submarine that’s supposed to be disguised as an iceberg but its phallic shape suggests something else.
For those Bond fans who never liked Moore, just mentioning the title of the movie will cause distress. Based strictly on anecdotal evidence over the years, many times admirers don’t mention it as one of his better 007 efforts.
We could critique the movie further, but most fans have heard it all before and, honestly, we don’t feel like going over the same ground here. If you want to experience that, go to a James Bond fan group on Facebook, type in, “I really like A View To a Kill,” and read the responses come in.
Regardless whether you’re a critic of Moore as 007 or a fan, he did hold down the 007 fort through some hectic times (including the breakup of Broccoli with his 007 producing partner Harry Saltzman). It would have been nicer to go out on a higher note than A View To a Kill. But storybook endings usually only happen in the movies.
Filed under: James Bond Films | Tagged: A View To A Kill, Albert R. Broccoli, James Bond Films, John Glen, Never Say Never Again, Octopussy, Richard Maibaum, Roger Moore, Sean Connery, What Culture | 1 Comment »