Anthony's Film Review
A View to a Kill (1985)
Moore goes out with a decent bang in his final Bond film...
Roger Moore's seventh and final Bond film was one that could have already featured another star actor. Released twelve years after his first Bond film, Live and Let Die, Moore at this point in time definitely looked too old to play James Bond. However, it doesn't mean that his performance is weak. A View to a Kill, in my opinion, is not necessarily a bad movie as many would actually claim. It has an intriguing plot and enough moments of suspense for Roger Moore to leave the Bond series in a blaze of glory.
This time, Bond's mission takes him into the emerging age of computers and information technology. A microchip developed to resist the radiation of a nuclear attack has been leaked from its manufacturing plant after being purchased by Zorin Industries. Bond's investigation into the activities of Max Zorin goes from a horse race scheme to a grandiose plot to destroy Silicon Valley. With the help of a geologist named Stacy Sutton, played by Tanya Roberts, it is a race against time before a catastrophe could allow Zorin to monopolize the market of microchips.
Besides Roger Moore, the other actor worth noting is Christopher Walken. His claim to fame in Bond history is that he is the only Oscar-winning actor to play a Bond villain. He had received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his tragic role in The Deer Hunter from 1978. Since then, Walken has played a variety of roles involving mentally disturbed characters, even though later on he would simply be known for humorous monologues in short scenes. The role of Zorin is another chance for him to play someone psychotic. He doesn't do a bad job with this one, though I would have liked a more menacing portrayal of Max Zorin.
What I do like about the film are the action scenes, particularly the scenes at the San Francisco City Hall and the Main Strike mine. I remember seeing this movie for the first time as a kid and how I felt the suspense of a fire in an elevator shaft and the film's climactic fight. The humor in the action scenes is not excessive. Most importantly, the film is perhaps one of the more darker Bond films out of Moore's seven, enough to swing my rating for this film over to the positive side.
I would like to digress for a moment to mention something about the film's locations. France is a nice location for A View to a Kill. So is San Francisco, California, United States. It is mainly because I myself am a native of California and am familiar with the Bay Area. I have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and walked by the San Francisco City Hall. This is the only Bond film that has a location I have been to myself. Any location for a James Bond film is nice, but a Bond film taking place in a familiar location, especially one in the United States, always sticks in my mind.
In conclusion, while some Bond fans would put A View to a Kill at the bottom of their lists ranking the Bond films, I would put this one somewhere in the middle. It's not exactly The Man With the Golden Gun, so it leans towards the higher side. Another reason to praise this Bond film is that the title song by Duran Duran is the only Bond theme to ever reach #1 in the US charts. That along with interesting plot and characters makes A View to a Kill a fun ride all the way through. Again, it's just the way for Roger Moore to finally hang up his tuxedo and turn in his license to kill.
For more information about A View to a Kill, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of the following:
Official James Bond Films
Unofficial James Bond Films