A View to a Kill (1985)

The pre-credit sequence involves one of the most spectacularly ill-advised jokes of the entire series—Bond snow-surfing to the tune of a bad 80s re-recording of “California Girls”—and the rest of the film involves what looks, in hindsight, like one of the other most ill-advised decisions in the series’ history, i.e. Roger Moore’s choice to come back for one more go at being Bond after deciding to quit after Octopussy; alas that, for him and many others, his last film was his worst. Here he’s visibly too old to be doing this sort of thing, the wrinkly forehead does him no favours. Not that this mattered a damn to me when I saw the film in 1985 (must’ve been school holidays or something), I was, what, 11 years old and my critical faculties (if I have any such now) were not exactly… developed. 25 years ago I was probably perfectly happy as long as Stuff happened. And in fairness, Stuff surely does happen in this film: a car chase with an ever-decreasing car, a horse chase, a fire truck chase (the thing I remembered best about the film; like For Your Eyes Only I possibly haven’t seen it since that time at the cinema), shit blowing up, all of that. Again, though, it suffers from an oddly weak villain; surely the offspring of a Nazi scientific experiment who’s since defected from the KGB, particularly a supposedly psychotic one, and particularly one played by Christopher Walken, should be more interesting than this one? (As you can, they were evidently going for the fantastic angle again after the return to espionage of the last two films.) But it’s not that bad, just not as good or distinguished as some of the others in the series… which was about to undergo another major change as Roger Moore finally made good on his long-stated intentions to quit the role. Bit of a shame, cos the Moore era had some charms of its own. But the Dalton era was about to begin its short life, though that’ll be a story for the next two weeks…

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