Sunday, November 09, 2008

007 days of Bond: For Your Eyes Only

After some utterly ridiculous "world domination" Bond films, it was back to reality in this Bond excursion and it pays off.

This is Moore's only real attempt at a serious Bond film. Octopussy comes close, ignoring the silly Cuba opening and the slap-stick comedy that is played throughout. The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker may have been smash successes, but they stretched Bond to it's breaking point with two back-to-back stories about meglomaniacs who want to kill off just about everyone outside a select few - to begin again.

Karl Stromberg, the main villian in The Spy Who Loved Me is underwhemling and his goal is silly - complete destruction of The United States and Europe. His goal is to being anew in a underwater kingdom - completely blissfully unaware that the radiation that would decimate the world would kill of oceanic life. In the same vein, Hugo Drax is the main villian of Moonraker, and like Stromberg, he wishes to create a new world for a select few. In Moonraker, the goal is to kill off the planet with a nerve agent from a highly toxic Amazonian plant - from Space. The series was at a breaking point - gone were the days of down-to-Earth Bond pictures - Bond was now in Space.

For Your Eyes Only rectified this as they brought the 007 series back to its roots by stripping away the more silly, over-the-top elements, leaving a bond film that almost resembled the literary Bond. The film opens with a relatively somber moment in the series, placing flowers on his dear departed Tracy's grave.

The supporting cast of Carole Bouquet, Topol and Julian Glover are wonderful. Glover, who I've always liked as an actor, plays the role perfectly.

The film revolves around a plausable plot where Bond must recover a British-intelligence communications device (ATAC) from a ship that has sunk in the Ionian Sea. Both Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover) and Milos Colombo (Topol) are fingered as the Russian spy. Bond must recover the ATAC before the Russians do.

There are probably only two aspects of this film that I don't particuarly like. The film's score doesn't hold up as well today as it may have in the past. While watching the film many moments scream "Rocky" more than anything else. That's probably because Bill Conti wrote the score to Rocky. Then, we come to Lynn Holly Johnson, the first "bond girl", but not final in the film.

The thing that many people I've talked to about is how the ending seems anti-climatic. It's not - it's perfect. A sublte ending to a (much more) subtle film.

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