After taking a day to consult the I Ching and speak with various priests and rabbis (unrelated), I’m back to Bond after the moving disaster Moonraker. So here we are: For Your Eyes Only. And we open up on…a cemetery? Bond is bringing flowers to his wife’s grave, which is actually a pretty tender moment for Bond. A priest runs out to tell Bond that his bosses called and they’re sending a chopper to pick him up. It lands and he gets in, but not before espying the priest give him a blessing.
MEANWHILE, Blofeld’s in a wheelchair and neck brace at a portable Bad Guy station, looking in on Bond. Somehow he electrocutes the pilot and the helicopter goes into a nose dive over the Thames. Blofeld gets on the speaker and starts laughing and lecturing Bond on how he’s being flown by remote control, and the stunt helicopter work looks unbelievably dangerous. So James opens the door and stands on the, you know those thingys at the bottom of helicopters that they land on, that thing. This stunt work also looks insanely dangerous, but I guess that’s why they’re stunt men and not safety men. Blofeld’s watching this from a rooftop and Bond tries to gain control of the helicopter from the outside. Man, this all looks out-of-control unsafe, even for stuntmen to carry out.
Stunt work: Not even once.
Bond lets the dead guy free-fall as he gets into the controls, and the helicopter flies through a warehouse (this is all practical effects, so they actually did this insane thing), and Blofeld laughs and laughs while Bond chops out his control. James flies the copter back through the warehouse while a funkadelic “James Bond Theme” plays. He picks up Blofeld by the helicopter foot thingy and Blofeld says something unbelievably strange here as he begs for his life: “I’ll buy you a delicatessen, with stainless steel!” Which, what? Is this some hidden facet of Bond that we haven’t been informed of, that he always wanted his own delicatessen? It’s weird. So Bond drops Blofeld (whose face isn’t seen in this entire sequence because fuck that guy and also they changed the actor out so much that it wouldn’t make sense anyway) into a smoke stack, and I’m guessing we can consider him extinct at this point.
But enough of that: here’s the opening credits sequence, along with the new theme song, a soft early 80’s keyboard ballad with…Sheena Easton singing it? OK movie, it’s your choice. It was the early 1980’s, and she was a pretty big artist back then, but she’s kind of a weird choice to sing a Bond theme song. Maybe history just hasn’t been kind to her like it has Carly Simon and Paul McCartney. The visuals are the regular silhouettes of Bond and naked girls and, I don’t know, boiling water? The song’s kinda meh, but I’m not the biggest fan of early 80’s cheesy keyboard ballads, so maybe it’s just not for me.
My baby takes the morning train/He works from 9 to 5 and then…
Anyway, the movie begins proper on the ocean, where a working fishing boat is observed while a dude in a black sweater and white collar smokes a cigarette. He goes inside because manual labor’s for chumps, finding his way to what I guessed was the bathroom but is actually a secret operations room. Everybody’s very British, as usual, and the black sweater guy (Named Mac? Who cares; he’ll probably be dead soon) switches handcuffed places in front of a radar screen with another guy. He is literally chained to his desk!
But then an alarm is sound because an unidentified object is spotted, and it turns out to be a mine. The ship blows up real good, and Mac goes to destroy the secret radar system but the room floods with water instead. This is why you don’t handcuff your workers to their work stations, people!
Back at the Ministry of Defense, a bunch of dudes in suits repeat that they lost one of their secret radar ships, and in Moscow the Most Russian Dude Ever talks into a red phone. Wait, is this just going to be a retread of The Spy Who Loved Me? I don’t have enough time to process that idea because now we’re in Greece, with two characters flying in a seaplane. Then some guy smiles like a goof when he hears the plane in an office on the ground, and then back up to the plane. Come on, movie, stay in one place for more than 10 seconds!
Anyway, wacky smiling guy goes out to greet the seaplane, and this young lady is let onto their boat while everybody in the bay stops to wave and smile at her. Does she emit a neurotoxin or something? Turns out this is the wacky smiling dude’s daughter, Melina, and they have a nice little family reunion among these absurdly wealthy people. The seaplane comes back around, only it just blows this woman’s parents to smithereens with a machine gun, and they lay dead on the deck. She stares off either thinking of vengeance or imagining how much money she just inherited. It’s a toss-up.
“Should I divest in bonds? No: property. Oh, God, I’m so excited!”
Back at the office, Moneypenny applies makeup in the mirror as she sees a hat fly across the room onto the hat rack, which could only mean one thing: Bond’s back from space, baby! They have the requisite light flirting, and then Bond goes in for business. M is like, hey pop quiz hot shot: how much do you know about the thing that we need? ATAC is their radar system that was sunk, and for some reason this technology is able to order their submarines to attack their own countries, which is a stupid feature to include if you ask me. He gets handed a file that says FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, aaaand there’s the title drop!
In Madrid, he tools around in another Lotus, but it’s not as super-sweet as the last one he was driving, even though it’s still a much nicer car than I’ve ever owned. I wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating crackers, is what I’m saying. Also: I sleep in a racing car. Do you sleep in a racing car?
Most people sleep in a big bed with their partner, but not me! (::Dies a little inside::)
Anyway, Bond is sneaking up to some crazy resort/fortress where there are bodacious 80’s babes all over the place. The music is also distractingly 80’s, and Bond looks through his binoculars, where a suitcase of money is delivered to some guy. Bond gets captured almost immediately, while the dude that just got the suitcase of money identifies him as a secret agent due to his Walter PPK. He has Bond taken away and then belly flops into the pool. Everyone thinks it’s a joke but then the pool fills with his blood, which means someone shot him.
Bond takes this moment to fight some guys, takes a patio umbrella, then uses the umbrella to jump off the high wall to safety. I’m…pretty sure that wouldn’t work, but Bond has no time for trivial concerns like physics and resistance, so he flees while being fired upon. But then he comes across Melina, who’s the assassin that what killed that dude. Then run through the forest and they almost get to his Lotus, but some bad guys are trying to break into it. A sticker says “burglar protected” but the thug says fudge that, hombre, and smashes the window in. This makes the car explode. So Bond’s got to find another way out of this crazy jam.
They get to Melina’s car, which is a goofy looking thing, and Bond hesitates about getting in (style and all) but does anyway because the only other option is being massacred. They zoom away and he asks what the hell she’s doing there, and she gives a dead-eyed line reading about how they killed her parents. They’re chased and fired upon, and I’m just going to skip the description of a car chase because it’s a car chase and if you’ve seen one Bond car chase, you’ve seen them all. This one’s set in Spain, so I guess it’s nice to see them zooming through a small villa. The chase music’s pretty smooth, as well. They get away, Bond drops his famous greeting, and SCENE.
In a hotel room, Bond inquires about Melina’s state, but she’s still looking for revenge. She delivers each line like someone has taken her hostage and is forcing her to say them, and I still can’t get over her dead eyes. So she leaves for vengeance, and Bond leaves….The End? Back at the Ministry of Defense, his superiors are like, nice job breaking it, hero: you were supposed to question that dude that got shot. Now we’ll never find out where the ATAC is and this is why we can’t have nice things. But Bond’s like nah bro, dig this: I saw the moneyman, and if we can identify him….but they cut him off and say use one of Q’s magical devices to identify him, doy. They harrumph him out of the room.
“Nobody’s said anything but ‘harrumph’ for the past 20 minutes, so I’m just going to leave.” “Harrumph!”
Bond drops in on Q, who has a bunch of crazy gadgets being developed that are there for Bond to quip away at. I always like it when Bond is a dismissive ass towards Q, and Q can’t do anything but harrumph away. This Identigraph Machine (hoo boy) is another wildly silly invention, but what the hell? It’s a James Bond film and they need to get the plot going somehow.
So with this magical machine they get a photo identification of this guy, an enforcer named Locque, and Bond gives the info to the fellow at Ministry of Defense. So Bond’s off to Italy in a much swankier automobile than the somewhat dorky-looking Lotus he was driving earlier. I paused the movie to look up this car and it’s a Lotus Esprit Turbo and is the same make of car as before, only red. Maybe it just looked dorky to me earlier because the previous one that blew up was white. Anyway. It’s another Bond adventure/vacation as he pulls up to a ski lodge.
“Time for my vacation! I mean mission! Oh hell, why not both?”
James gets to his room, tips the bellboy well because class, and checks out the stunning—I mean absolutely gorgeous—view he has from his balcony. Steaming up the bathroom, he sees a location and time to meet his contact written on the mirror, and a suspicious-looking dude in a hat and glasses goes up to him at said location. They exchange the secret code words, and this Italian man gives some info to Bond about Columbo, a big-wig industrialist/kingpin in the underworld. Bond is then introduced to Kristatos, his contact, as they watch a figure skater that this dude is sponsoring. She meets Bond and gets goo-goo eyes at seeing him. She asks Kristatos if Bond would accompany her to some silly thing she wants to do. He says sure, whatever, I won’t be a creep, I promise.
Anyway, these dudes chit-chat about Columbo, also known as “The Dove” in the Greek underworld, and Kristatos used to be tight with him but they had a falling-out. A Zamboni machine spins around, which reads as foreshadowing to me, while Bond gets spied on by an Evil-Looking Guy (Locque? Probably, if that shitty Identifying Nonsense Machine was right). In town, Bond spots Melina going into a crossbow shop, and he listens in on where she’s staying. He ducks into a flower shop to hide but spots some dudes coming after her on motorcycles so he knocks them silly, with one crashing through the flower shop window.
Bond’s like, why are you here? She says she received a telegram from Bond that the man she’s looking for is here, but he’s like lady, I didn’t send you no telegram. Now let’s get you out of here before you’re murdered. Melina’s like, why are you here, then? and guesses that the man they’re both looking for is here. He tries to talk her out of her vendetta, saying hey look let me just do this, OK? There are forces at work here that you don’t understand. But he capitulates and says why not just go back to your hotel and wait. It’s actually a nice Bond scene where he doesn’t smack a woman around but treats her like a human being with feelings.
When he gets back to his room, he hears somebody inside, but it’s that darn figure skater looking for some action. She looks and acts about 14 and jumps into his bed naked. But Bond is again an actual gentleman at this point, refusing her advances and telling her put your damn clothes on, OK? Once dressed, she force-kisses him and Bond gets a look on his face and probably for once feels like all of the women he’s forcibly kissed over the years.
“So this is what receiving unwanted advances feel like? I’m a monster.”
They go skiing together instead, and the girl (Bibi? Let’s say Bibi) also has a crush on like every other guy she sees. They observe a dude shooting as part of that insane sport where you ski and shoot, the biathlon, and tries to get his attention, but he blows her off. Then Bond has to split, but she’s all pissy-eyed that he’s too busy to engage in statutory rape. He leaves and gets stalked by that dude they just watched ski and shoot. This guy takes a few shots at Bond, who ducks behind a tree as this guy, who looks like the villain in every ski comedy film, takes shots at him.
He zooms down the hill to escape but there are even more guys looking to shoot him. The ski stunts are great, as they always are in Bond films, and as a travelogue of places I’d like to vacation, this one is similarly tempting. Bond mixes in with some skiers but his skis give him away. As they pile into an elevator, Bond looks kind of worried. This elevator’s headed up to a ski jump, and Bond is down one pole. He gets to the top and says whelp, I guess I gotta do this crazy thing or else be murdered immediately instead of eventually. So, literally at gunpoint, Bond puts on his skis and goes down the jump while all of the bad guys take aim. But nope, a dude comes out the side and punches him in the kidney. Bond still makes the jump, however, and is now chased down the slope by two guys on motorcycles. The chase music is wildly funky and 80’s synth-tastic.
Describing a ski chase is almost as futile as describing a car chase, so I’ll spare myself just a tiny bit of carpal tunnel and say: the skiing stunts are cool, as are the motorcycle stunts. As usual, this all looks terrifying and insanely dangerous for the stunt men involved. At one point a guy is flips his motorcycle (which was intentional), and the motorcycle seems to (completely unintentionally) land on his foot. Ouch!
Sure, a high-speed motorcycle chase on snow, easy-peasy. Why not just set them on fire while you’re at it?
Well, I do have to say this: Bond is skiing down a bobsled track, with the two motorcyclists in chase on the track as well, also looks completely insane and dangerous. The blonde bad guy runs out of ammo and picks up and throws a motorcycle at him, but it doesn’t reach Bond. So he just goes back to his hotel. Bond shows up at an indoor ice skating rink to ask questions to Bibi about that blonde creep that tried to kill him, and she’s annoyingly infatuated with him. Meanwhile, some hockey players skate onto the ice. Her evil coach says it’s “time for her rubdown” (gross), so she leaves while Bond is left on the ice with these masked hockey players. They check him into the wall and start attacking him with their skates and sticks. So Bond gets behind the wheel of the Zamboni machine (See? I told you it’d come back!) and checks them into the goal.
When he gets back to his Lotus Turbo, he finds his Italian contact dead with a pin of a dove in his hand. Then we CUT TO Greece. Wait, what? OK. That was fast. He meets Melina and they go shopping together. I guess this is the vacation portion of Bond’s mission. They wander through a charming Greek market and watch two man dancing around like it’s Zorba the Greek or something, and then take a charming stroll through a park overlooking the ocean. Is this a spy mission or a romantic comedy? He asks if she has any more information, but she says she hasn’t gone into his study since his passing, and Bond says that’s cool: I’m going gambling tonight.
And there he is, wearing a tux and playing baccarat: A Bond in his natural habitat. He humiliates a dude into betting a million pounds on a hand, and Bond deals. But this dude is no match for Bond, who always wins at cards. He should have watched a few Bond movies before playing against him. Bond wins the million pounds and the cock-eyed fool loses his shrewish dame. All in all, a familiar night for Bond.
A million-pound hand of baccarat. Or as Bond calls it, Tuesday night.
He sits down for a meal outside with Kristatos, and Bond also shows him up on choosing wine. Kristatos says Columbo sends heroin to this place to refine, and Kristatos thinks Bond is from the British narcotics board. Has nobody in this movie ever seen a Bond film before? At least it’s nice that Bond’s not recognized by everybody immediately like in some of the other films. Anyway, Kristatos says that Columbo is sitting right there, while the shrewish woman in blue from before is his mistress and shields for the house.
Back in his office, Columbo listens to the secretly taped conversation between Bond and Kristatos and eats some nuts. He comes back to dinner outside, and the woman in blue pours a drink on him. Bond says hey, this may be a good opportunity what with the dame and all, and Kristatos is like, it’s obviously a trap, dude. But Bond never cares about imminent in favor of hitting on a woman. He offers her a ride home and she accepts. Meanwhile, Melina heard the whole thing, since she was sitting right behind them at a gaming table. She shoots a dead-eyed look at his back.
So Bond and…lady…are chauffeured back to her place, and she invites him in for champagne and oysters so he smugly sends the car back. CUT TO the two of them in robes next to a fire, just having a great middle-aged time. Bond figures out that this is a setup, but he also doesn’t care because he has a serious problem. They walk on the beach and I start thinking that Alan Alda’s going to show up to talk about his relationship problems when suddenly, dune buggy attack! The woman runs off like a goose by herself and the Jocque runs her over and oh man, is that a brutal kill! Her head cracks his windshield and everything! Bond gets held at gunpoint, but zing! an arrow to the back fixes that problem. But the guys that “saved” him end up working for “the dove” and he gets a gun butt to the head. This guy must have massive internal head injuries due to concussion. He’s been knocked on the head like a dozen times in this series so far.
So there’s The Dove, who plays back his conversation with Kristatos about having to kill him, and The Dove says yeah I smuggle a lot of crazy shit, but it’s not me, it’s Kristatos who does the heroin smuggling. He lets Bond in that Kristatos has been a double agent since The War, and The Dove says he’s using you to take me down, brah. Bond leans back and listens but still doesn’t trust this guy. So The Dove pulls a gun on him, but psych! He’s just handing Bond the weapon in case he needs it. So whatever, Bond takes a drink and they’re off to Albania for more double-secret spy stuff.
“Cheers! To good. Or evil. Whatever. Either way, I’m drinking.”
The next night, they observe Kristatos’ shady dockside dealings with Jocques in a managerial role. They go all Pirates of Penzance on this boat, and Bond says sure, I’ll kill people for this guy that until yesterday I suspected was a major heroin smuggler. I’m already here, so why not? This goes on for a while, with dudes flipping each other over and shooting at each other and such until they invade the warehouse. Um, where’s all of this headed?
They find neat-looking diving equipment (betcha we’ll be seeing that suit again!) and sneaky-sneak around until crushing more dudes with these barrels full of opium. Jocques looks on, somewhat concerned, but he’s got a lot of paperwork to fill out so he’s really more focused on that. More bang bang shoot-em-ups occur and Bond just lobs a grenade(!) at a dude. Meanwhile, Jocques blows up the facility and drives off.
Bond jogs up to the pass, I suppose, and fires his gun at the dude’s car, but this guy’s in a car, not a middle-aged Bond, so he’s gaining distance quickly. Bond again gets ahead of him, somehow, and shoots him. The car’s dangling off of a cliff, and Bond walks up and kicks the car over the cliff. That’s some cold-blooded shit, James!
Pictured: Some cold-blooded shit.
Now we’re (oh no) underwater, where Melina is doing archaeology stuff, and Bond swims down to say hey. They swim off to find a place to make out and drop off an air tank (foreshadowing!) then make their way onto their boat. Bond says it’s Kristatos, and we get a foreshadowing parrot repeating stuff that her father said before. Bond starts looking through his files, which point to a place in the sea where the ATAC wreck may be. He says let’s do this thing chicken wing, and they start their underwater adventure in this crazy-looking mini-sub:
The “James Bond Theme” here is suitably underwater funky (what does that even mean?), and now I’m thinking about how much I’d enjoy having a play set of all of these James Bond vehicles. For my nephew, of course….yes, for 6-year-old him and not adult me. (Shifts eyes side to side quickly). Bond and Melina are in silly yellow jumpsuits and get ready to go scuba diving. Their diving helmets are cool-looking, as well. Meanwhile, we see Kristatos (who looks much more evil now) is just above them on a boat. Bond starts checking out the sunken wreck, and it’s more slow-moving “Bond underwater” footage, which is kind of snooze-inducing. Also, Roger Moore suddenly looks really old in these scenes. Anyway, Bond spots the ATAC machinery and goes to destroy it. But we get Stalker Cam, so something wicked this way comes.
Bond jimmies the ATAC controller loose, but oh shit! It’s that awesome underwater suit that we saw before! Its claw hand has Bond seeing stars and it grabs Melina, smashing her oxygen line in the process. The claw gets the literal grab on the controller, and Bond sets the explosive timed charge on the back of the helmet. Meanwhile, James and Melina swim as fast as they can (which is to say, not fast at all), and James and the guy in the cool suit play the Smash Game inside this sunken ship. Bond gets cut but grabs the controller while the guy in the suit’s like, what’s that ticking sound? And then we have a pretty cool underwater explosion.
They get back on that neat mini-sub, and it looks like job well done! Let’s have champagne and oysters. But nope, the underwater vehicle from The Abyss shows up to salt their game. It rips out their electrical equipment and pokes holes in their sub, and it looks like they’re sunk (Thank you! I’ll be here all week). The Bad Guy Sub starts trying to drill a hole in their bubble top, but he gets pushed into the side of the sunken ship, where they leave this guy stuck/to die. Then they float away like it ain’t no thing.
They get back up to her boat, where a mystery hand is at the controls. I bet everything’s fine! But of course it’s not, you goose: Kristatos and Co. are on-board and they just take the ATAC from him. Bond says, hey let the girl go, OK? We’ll pay you. But Kristatos is all about his rep and he has his men start knifing away her clothes. Kristatos tells his henchmen that they’ll be going to…a place I’ve never heard before…and Bond and Melina are tied up to each other, and soon they’ll be drowned. Kristatos gets on his swank yacht and Melina voices her concerns, but Bond says hey I haven’t died yet in one of these movies, have I?
“It looks bad now, but in three or four scenes this will all just be an unhappy memory.”
Looks like they’ll be dragged to their deaths in the water, which is awful, but Bond is still pretty cool and collected, even though he gets his back shredded by some coral. Oh God, is Kristatos going to rip them apart on the coral? That’s horrifying, not to mention ecologically unsound. But Bond takes the brief reprieve from being drowned and dragged to his death to cut his binds open on the coral. Meanwhile, Melina spots some sharks and Bond’s like, yeah yeah sharks, I deal with them every other movie. Did you know I once saw a fellow bite one to death? Long, crazy story. But for another time: we’re almost dead.
So Bond frees his hands and he graciously spins around so that only his back gets torn apart by coral, but the sharks sense the blood in the water, and while the boat turns around he puts the rope around a large coral reef, which snaps the rope due to the force of the boat. Also, one of Kristatos’ henchmen falls in the water and gets eaten by a shark. Kristatos decides to run them over with his boat so they dive deep into the water to escape. Fortunately, Melina stashed an oxygen tank in the water by the ruins (Hey, remember that? It came back, too!), so they take some gulps of air while the sharks start circling. Kristatos says aww fuck it, they’re shark nibbles now, let’s leave.
They climb back up on Melina’s boat, and that parrot is still there repeating whatever. But hey! The parrot that I figured was going to come in handy eventually repeats some stuff that comes in handy! CUT TO a Greek wedding(?), which is festive but kind of pointless, and Bond walking through it in a brown suit and sticking out like a sore thumb. He strolls into the church and starts snooping, walking into a confessional booth. But wait! It’s M as a priest! So funny. Anyway, M is like, why do you keep fucking up, James? Bond’s like nah, I got this: that super-common last name the parrot said as a clue to where Kristatos went? I got a guy that will help me on that, cuz.
So we’re up to some beautiful Greek countryside and an old monastery on top of an island that’s now Kristatos’ personal fortress. This ragtag team of seven are going in ancient Greek-style to take this fucker down.
Melina’s Men: Only on USA. Characters welcome.
Bond is climbing the sheer face of this crazy mountainside retreat, and then we see Bibi doing ballet moves and she’s wondering what the hell they’re doing here instead of practicing. She says fuck this, I’m a brat and am leaving, and Kristatos says I’m going to kill your trainer with the trainer standing right there. Kristatos is a tough boss! Bond gets his way up the mountainside, and seriously, is Roger Moore about 48 in this? He looks too old to be doing this kind of thing. But I guess if we were to believe William Shatner could climb a mountain in Star Trek V, this is practically a documentary.
Just as Bond gets to the top, a henchmen kicks him off the side, and he free-falls hundreds of feet until his climbing rope catches. Again: unbelievably dangerous stunt work in this film. Since his catch is about to let loose, Bond uses his shoelaces to disperse the weight while a foolhardy henchman starts lowering himself to knock it loose. This is a pretty tense sequence that’s done rather well, and I applaud the Bond franchise for putting some much-needed tension here. Also, climbing the side of a mountain is not something you would ever catch me doing, and even watching this sequence is freaking me out a bit. Just as the henchman is about to knock the last grappling hook loose. However, James tosses a throwing knife at him which makes him fall off the side of the mountain.
Bond gets to the top and signals to his cadre of pals to join him on the invasion. He lowers a silly-looking basket elevator for them to get in to join him, and that’s also another thing you would never find me in. This thing looks like something they bought from Pottery Barn. Meanwhile, a henchman is at the door of this crazy elevator room(?), and he peeks into the window to see what’s up. Bond, using his advanced spy training, simply hides from eyesight and signals that they should kill that guy. Which Melina does with her crossbow. This Bond Girl has a really high body count in this movie!
“What’s that, voice inside my head? Keep killing? You’re the boss!”
Bibi and her trainer are packing her stuff up while Kristatos is getting nervous that the dude buying the ATAC from him is late. This band of heroes go to show these fools what’s up, and it’s kind of funny because the way they’re all sneaking around looks like Clue. They intercept the trainer, who says hey I’ll help you guys take this maniac down, and now she’s joined this ragtag group of patriots (I don’t know, my adjective well is starting to run dry at this point).
They find some henchmen taking a snooze like the fucking Seven Dwarfs, so they just hold them at gunpoint while Bond and his Greek friend keep moving. Bibi goes to Kristatos and asks where the hell her trainer is, and Kristatos smacks her in the face. See, Bond? That’s what villains do, not the good guys! To be fair, Moore’s Bond in this entry has been possibly the most sensitive towards the women around him as any of the other previous Bonds. Looks like he’s learning!
Bond crashes through the stained glass, and while Blonde Bad Guy goes to shoot Bond, Bibi knocks his hand away, so she gets another slap for that. Again: bad guy=the one who smacks women around, not the good guy! Bond pushes that blonde dude out the window, and his dummy falls off the cliff. Then Kristatos tries to run away with the ATAC, but the Greek guy runs after him, grabbing at his feet. Meanwhile, the guy buying the ATAC gets off his helicopter, and Bond gets his hands on the device. He tries to stop Melina from killing Kristatos, but before she can, Bond’s Greek friend throws a knife into his back. While the Russian buyer looks to get the device, Bond says fuck that and tosses it off the side of the cliff. Bond says detente, comerade: neither you nor I have it. The Russian buyer just kind of laughs this off and flies away. How ecumenical of him!
Back on Melina’s boat, Bond and her make out while M and Q and another dork try to get through to Bond to say good show, old sport. Melina still has dead eyes, but Bond doesn’t have time to look at them because he has to talk to the office. Bond hilariously puts his speaker watch in the parrot’s food dish, and Melina says, “For your eyes only” and strips.
Two title drops in one movie? I’m in heaven! Title Drop Heaven! ::swoons::
The prime minister thinks the parrot is Bond and she thanks him for his service. However, the parrot just…parrots…stuff at her, and this must be some mean anti-Thatcher comedy but because I’m an American I kind of don’t get it. She was widely disliked, right? Anyway, they make fun of her husband, which is another joke I don’t get. Then we see Bond and Melina’s silhouettes swimming naked in the water while the soft theme song jam starts playing while the credits roll and THAT’S THAT.
- The woman who played the annoying character Bibi was an actual figure skater who also had a role in Ice Castles, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. Really? Because she could barely speak her lines in a way that resembled human speech in this movie.
- The strange Blofeld line about buying Bond “a delicatessen. In stainless steel!” was so odd that I just had to figure out what the hell that was about. From TV Tropes’ YMMV page for this movie: “It was apparently the film’s producer, Albert R. Broccoli, who came up with that line, which is supposed to be based on Mafia slang he picked up during his youth in New York City.” I’ve lived in New Jersey for 24 years—a state not unfamiliar with mob-related business and weird mafia slang—and I have never heard this phrase before. Whatever, that guy’s name is Broccoli, so.
- This movie had a number of amusing alternate titles for foreign release, including: On A Deadly Mission (Germany), From A Lethal Viewpoint (Sweden), and Top Secret (Finland).
- Blondie submitted a theme song for this movie, and while I like Blondie a lot, it sounds kind of flat.
I enjoyed this film enough but was mostly relieved that it wasn’t just another over-the-top crazy flick like Moonraker was. Mostly what I enjoyed was this portrayal of Bond, who was possibly the softest and nicest Bond has ever been towards women. From the opening scene where he’s visiting his wife’s grave to not immediately trying to sleep with Melina to actually rejecting Bibi’s advances (the first time he did that in the whole franchise if my memory serves correctly), this is a nice Bond. I don’t know, the Bond-shaped tumor in my brain is starting to play tricks with me.
As I’ve said in these recaps before, the best Bond is when he’s a gentleman: where he has noble intentions, treats the women around him with respect, and saving the world is his first priority–not getting some strange while doing his job. Moore is his most gentlemanly in this one, and even though he does some vicious stuff in this (like pushing that car off the side of the cliff), none of it happens to the women in this movie. So that’s nice. Similarly, Melina had a lot more agency than most Bond Girls do, and it’s cool to see a woman kicking ass with a crossbow and isn’t completely dependent on Bond to save her. I’m a 21st century man, after all!
This wasn’t really the most exciting Bond adventure; I get bored of car chases after a while, and the stakes seemed small for a Bond film. While they returned to the Cold War as a fertile backdrop for the adventure, it was mostly unspoken of in favor of focusing on the bad guy proxy. Which is fine, but still: not big enough stakes. But at least it’s the bad guy hitting women this time and not our hero.
Not horrible like Moonraker, but not stellar like The Spy Who Loved Me. Extra points for Bond being a “good” Bond, but there wasn’t a lot of flash involved. There was some great stunt work in this one, which I always appreciate, including that insane helicopter cold open (although that was a pretty cheap way to dispose of a major villain like Blofeld), more great stunt skiing that’s starting to feel like a standard trope that should be included in Bond Bingo™, and that wildly dangerous-looking mountain climbing sequence. Too often, it would wander off into boring sequences involving Bond and Melina, or Bond and the Countess, and reminded me of the more boring stretches of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It was middle-of-the-road Bond, but that’s a vast improvement over the complete insanity of Moonraker. Two and a half out of four Bonds.