In the frozen wastes of Siberia, hundreds of Russian machine guns fire away at a familiar figure on skis. Yes, it’s 007 again, leaping across a crevice to freedom in his 14th motion picture, pursued by Russian helicopters and snowmobiles.
But nothing can stop him, not even an avalanche big enough to bury half the world’s polar ice cap . . . not even Duran Duran singing the theme song . . .
This is just the first in the series of challenges 007 must survive to complete his mission in a film titled (for no discernible reason) A View to a Kill.
This Bond looks like a tired Xerox of an old Bond, and everything about it seems recycled. It’s probably one of the worst of the Bond series, though not as bad as ridiculous space-clunker Moonraker (1979).
In this instalment, Bond battles two villains: Christopher Walken as a grinning baby-faced billionaire industrialist named Zorin – who intends to destroy California’s Silicon Valley – and Grace Jones as his karate-chopping sidekick, May Day.
Zorin was the creation of a mad Nazi doctor who had a talent for injecting steroids into pregnant women in concentration camps during World War II. Zorin is the result of one of those experiments – a leering madman with dead eyes who plans to control the world’s supply of microchips.
May Day looks like Queen of the Astro Zombies and has a mean temper – not the kind of gal you want to meet at Studio 54. It is instantly obvious that this duo are up to no good, but it is never really clear why.
The plot has something to do with those microchips – the parts of a computer that are impervious to nuclear damage (apparently). This means that if Russia attacks the world, the man who controls the microchips is the only man whose toaster will still function.
Zorin plans to load up on these babies by destroying Silicon Valley with an earthquake that will wipe out the state of California.
Meanwhile, James gets trapped in a burning elevator shaft, braves a flood on the San Andreas fault, and climbs down the side of a flaming building with a curvaceous cutie on his back.
Pinned underwater in a locked Rolls Royce, he survives by sucking the oxygen out of the tyres!.
For Bond freaks, there are the usual toys; A pair of sunglasses that dilate into telescopic lenses, a credit card that unlocks sealed windows with electronic beeps, and a computer that runs instant identity checks on everyone in the world.
Roger Moore is suave, cool and well-groomed in his final appearance as 007, even when he’s hanging upside down from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Not bad for a 57-year-old who is supposed to still be in his 30s.
Meanwhile, Grace Jones (pictured) hisses like a radiator and always seems to be sniffing uncomfortably, as though she can smell some part of her anatomy on fire.
The men are all fearless, the women brave, strong, gorgeous, sexy, and wearing all the wrong clothes for narrow escapes. Practically everyone in the cast ends up drowned, electrocuted, dynamited, machine-gunned, poisoned and shredded beyond recognition.
Roger Moore is too old for the role, it has a rubbish Bond girl, the script is messy and the scene where Bond seduces the female lead by baking her a quiche is just bizarre. But even a weak Bond film is better than most other action films, and despite all its flaws, A View To A Kill is entertaining and enjoyable.
David Bowie was also considered for the role of Zorin. The Thin White Duke doing battle with 007? – Now that would have been worth seeing!
Sir Godfrey Tibbett
Dr Carl Mortner
Minister of Defence
Film ’85 visited the set of James Bond film “A View to a Kill” in exotic Sussex.