Monday, May 27, 2013

Moonraker (1979)

Moore-Dalton James Bond Movie #4

Synopsis: It's The Spy Who Loved Me with lasers and shit.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “In a decade when movie fans packed theatres to see hits like Star Wars, it seemed only natural that the world’s foremost Special Agent should also blast into space. Moonraker took James Bond beyond the stratosphere, breaking the all-time box office record for a Bond movie.” [, even the marketing materials admit this movie was made just to cash in on the Star Wars craze.]

What Did I Learn?: Even 7-foot-tall professional killers with razor-sharp metallic teeth can have feelings, too.

Really?: Oh God, where do I begin? I realize the Bond films are supposed to be escapist fun, so maybe I can overlook "Holly Goodhead", or a Venetian gondola that transforms into a hovercraft, but a multinational corporation building a space station without the superpowers knowing about it, or a laser-blaster space battle in 1979?

Rating: While the stunts and special effects are certainly impressive, I've never liked Moonraker. For me, this movie has always been the epitome of everything that went wrong with the Bond franchise: too many gadgets, dopey humour, and ridiculously unbelievable criminal conspiracies. Moonraker is an uncreative rip-off of The Spy Who Loved Me (which is itself a remake of You Only Live Twice, but never mind), right down to the inclusion of Jaws, and the obligatory scene of slack-jawed yokels staring in disbelief as Bond drives his amphibious vehicle from water to land. TSWLM had some great chemistry between Roger Moore and Barbara Bach, yet Lois Chiles provides a wooden performance. Moreover, the plot - such as it is - seems more like an excuse to string a series of action sequences together than an actual story. Sorry, but I cannot recommend this movie. 4/10

Would it Work For a Bad Movie Night?: Take a drink every time Bond jumps to a conclusion based on minimal evidence and his hunch pays off.

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