Ian’s Bond Education: Part 3
The Man with the Golden Gun
I was a little worried that I was gonna hate every Roger Moore film, but I didn’t hate this one. I kind of liked the simple story of Bond vs. a hit-man idea. It felt scaled back in a good way. Though there was some ridiculous parts, like the cutting-edge, hair-brained idea of “solar” power. Like that’s a thing.
There is one moment which I really hated in this movie, which of course is the return of the Louisiana sheriff. Honestly, he just happens to be touring China? And joins Bond for a car chase, just because? As if car chases in general aren’t awful enough, we have to have this guy back.
But it was cool having Christopher Lee as the titular villain. All in all, it wasn’t terrible.
The Spy Who Loved Me
The Bond producers clearly tried to win me over to the Roger Moore films early in this one by inducing a ski chase in the per-credit sequence. Well played, Eon films, well played. This is most definitely the best of the Moore era thus far. I’m not sure what else is in store for me later, but Spy Who Loved Me goes into the “Bond films I like” category.
Why? Well apart from the ski chase, there’s quite a few other cool things, such as the underwater evil headquarters. I also like Egypt as a setting. But mostly its because the “fun” of the Bond films is present, without getting over-the-top goofy. Moore seems to have really struck that chord just right with this one.
But its not all good. Jaws is intimidating, but also kind of ridiculous. I mean, he gets hooked to the magnet by his teeth. And he bites a shark. although, watching him rip up that van was pretty sweet.
Yet the movies biggest problem is that its simply too long. The ending in particular really drags and takes forever to get to the point. They could have easily trimmed a good half hour off of this. Nonetheless, its the best I’ve seen since Secret Service (which coincidentally also had skiing).
This is one of the worst Bond flicks thus far. The story is wildly disconnected and it all ends with a garbage space battle. Let me explain.
Why is it disconnected? This story jumps all over the place and really seems to have no ties to scenes or ideas that came before it. We start with a space shuttle getting stolen, which is cool, and Bond goes to the research facility in California to investigate. So far so good, the movie is about an evil plot in space, things are making sense. Then we start taking wild diversions and end up in Venice for some reason. Actually there is a reason, so we can have a motorized gondola chase.
Then we go to Rio I guess, and we get yet another boat chase this time in the Amazon. I actually kind of liked this one. Then he starts exploring some magical garden, fights of snakes, etc. But regardless, it seemed like they just wanted Bond in as many exotic locales as possible. And that’s fine, that’s part of what Bond is, but it felt so blatant here that it didn’t work. They should have been more focused in locations that made sense for the overall story.
And by the way, when people make fun of Bond movies for having ridiculously needless plots for trying to kill him off, Moonraker is a rich source for that criticism.
Okay, then we get to the space stuff. Aside from the fact that Bond going into space is stupid just as a general idea, it gets worse. The Villain plot to kill off humans and repopulate with beautiful people is taken to seriously (as accented by the music. Then the Americans come (I can’t remember how they found it) and engage in a battle similar to the underwater battle from Thunderball. Except with way more lasers. Oh, the lasers! Honestly, what a crap scene.
And then there’s Jaws. I don’t know what they heck was with his character at the end. So, so awful.