Pros: Mostly entertaining movie.
Cons: Some slower spots.
The James Bond movie series has been around for decades and has managed to stay popular. The Bond movies continue to change, which is probably part of why the movies have stayed so popular. After going in a completely different direction for Moonraker, things were changed again with For Your Eyes Only.
A fishing trawler that is actually a British spy ship sinks. The ship has a special system, the ATAC, that the Ministry of Defense uses to communicate with British submarines. If the system would fall into the wrong hands, the submarines could be made to attack friendly targets. The British government contacts Sir Timothy Havelock, a marine archaeologist in Greece, to search for the ship. Before he has a chance to do much, he and his wife are killed in front of their daughter Melina. She vows to track down the people responsible to get revenge.
MI6 assigns James Bond to investigate and recover the ATAC. James meets Melina when she interferes to carry out her revenge vow. James's investigation leads him to Aristotle Kristatos and Milos Columbo. James learns that there is an attempt to recover the ATAC for the KGB. James tries to convince Melina that revenge isn't the answer while also resisting the advances of Bibi Dahl, a young figure skater.
For Your Eyes Only is the fifth Bond movie with Roger Moore and the twelfth in the series overall. The title comes from a collection of short stories by Ian Fleming. The characters and plot comes from two of the short stories in the collection. The movie also includes elements that were inspired by some of the other Bond books. In October and November of 1981, Marvel comics released a two issue comic book adaptation of the story.
For Your Eyes Only has a fairly simple plot without as much going on as has been done in some of the other Bond movies. The main focus is on James and his attempts to find the ATAC before it falls into enemy hands. Melina's quest for revenge ends up connected to James's mission, which does cause some minor complications at times. I wasn't really bored by the movie, but it wasn't as interesting as the plots of some of the other Bond movies have been. The sequence that takes place before the opening credits does acknowledge Tracy, something that hasn't been done since On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The sequence also has James dealing with a man that isn't called by name, but seems to be Blofeld trying to do in James yet again.
Action turns up in several scenes of For Your Eyes Only. There is a bit of action in the sequence before the titles when James deals with a man who seems to be Blofeld, though there isn't as much action as there has been in some of the other Bond movies. Since Moore is older in this movie, the fight scenes don't seem as believable. At least one of the fights takes place in shadows, which may have been done to help hide the fact that a stunt double was standing in for James. James and Melina end up in a car chase right after they first met. The chase was done well. Melina is also involved in some of the action because of her desire to get revenge. She is very handy with a weapon that looks like a crossbow. The violence isn't anything extreme or graphic, something that makes sense since the movie is rated PG.
Woman are still interested in James throughout For Your Eyes Only. Bibi, the young figure skater is very obvious with her interest in James from the moment they meet. She keeps trying to seduce him, even going so far as to jump into his bed. For once, James resists. It was kind of odd to seem him turn down a woman, but it was also nice at the same time since it showed that he had some scruples. Bibi is a lot younger than James, though I'm not sure exactly how old she is supposed to be. Her interest in James isn't that believable, and it seems more like she is just desperate to get away from Aristotle, the man paying for her training. She calls him uncle, but I don't think there is any actual relationship between them. James and Melina end up having a more intimate relationship.
James remains the same as he's been, though he does show some real emotions once. Roger Moore is fine in the part, though his age is starting to make him less believable in the part. M is missing from this movie because Bernard Lee, the actor who had been playing him, died. Q ends up with slightly more to do. I think the Minister of Defense also had a slightly larger part as a result and another MI6 employee was added as well. Miss Moneypenny is around in a few scenes, still flirting with James.
Melina survives the attack that killed her parents. She becomes determined to get revenge no matter what the costs. She isn't developed much beyond her need for revenge. She does show some interest in James. Carol Bouquet is fine in the part, though nothing special. Bibi is a young figure skater who develops a crush on James as soon as they meet. She tries to go after him, but he turns her down. She seems to be a bit of an air head, though she seems nice enough. She is slightly irritating at times with the way she acts. Lynn-Holly Johnson isn't anything special in the part.
Aristotle is paying for Bibi's training and he acts very possessive of her. Aristotle is a business man who has also been an informant. He gives James a lead that turns out to be wrong. Aristotle seems to be nice at first, but all that changes once more is shared about him. He's a decent villain, but not that memorable. Julian Glover is fine in the part. Colombo is a Greek smuggler who becomes involved in what is going on. He ends up helping James and Melina. Colombo is more of a flat character, so Topol didn't have a lot to do in the part.
Carol Bouquet - Melina
Julian Glover - Aristotle Kristatos
Lynn-Holly Johnson - Bibi
Desmond Llewelyn - Q
Lois Maxwell - Miss Moneypenny
Roger Moore - James Bond
Topol - Colombo
John Glen - Director
For Your Eyes Only has been released on DVD a few different times. I have the two disc version that is part of the Ultimate James Bond Collection. There are commentaries with the director, actors and crew and a newly recorded one with Roger Moore. Deleted Scenes & Expanded Angles has the director talking briefly about the scenes in question. The first deleted scene is really just a slightly longer version of a scene that is in the movie. The second deleted scene has a short exchange between James and Melina that was left out of the finished movie. There are expanded angles for a third scene. The director talks about using the different angles for the filming and then there is an option to watch the scene with the different angles.
Bond in Greece shares information about the portion of the movie filmed in Greece. One of the producers is heard talking in a voice over about things in general connected to this movie, like the decision to make a more realistic movie after Moonraker. Some footage of the filming of certain scenes is shown. Some people are identified in the footage. A few cast members are discussed along with Pierce Brosnan, who the producers met for the first time. Issues with one of the locations was talked about as well. Bond in Cortina has the same producer talking in voice over about filming in Cortina. He talks about adding in winter sports and the filming of some of the action scenes are discussed. Some footage from the filming was shown. Neptune's Journey has the producer talking about the underwater sequences for the movie while some footage of the filming of those sequences is shown.
The Interactive Guide Into the World of For Your Eyes Only has different icons that will cause different scenes from the movie to play. Every other Bond movie in this collection has included this extra. Inside For Your Eyes Only is focused on the making of the movie. Various cast and crew members as well as some of the producers talk about the movie. The creation of the story is talked about. The casting of some of the characters is talked about. Pierce Brosnan is also mentioned in this featurette and how the producers thought he could make a good Bond. Filming of certain scenes is discussed. It is an interesting featurette.
Animated Storyboard Sequences includes the storyboards for two scenes. The storyboards shown are the originals for the scenes. There isn't any narration, though some music is playing along with the storyboards. Sheena Easton Music Video is the For Your Eyes Only music video. It is just the opening credit sequence minus the text. This is the first Bond theme song to have a music video made. The original trailers and tv spots are also included on the disc.
For Your Eyes Only is entertaining, but it isn't one of the more memorable Bond movies. It is an average entry in the series, but it is still worth watching. Fans of the series might like something about it.
This review is part of elvisdo's 2009 Funny Pages Write-Off since a comic book version of the story was released by Marvel.
Dr. No ~ From Russia With Love ~ Goldfinger ~ Thunderball ~ You Only Live Twice ~ On Her Majesty's Secret Service ~ Diamonds are Forever ~ Live and Let Die ~ The Man With the Golden Gun ~ The Spy Who Loved Me ~ Moonraker ~ For Your Eyes Only ~ Octopussy ~ A View to a Kill ~ The Living Daylights ~ Licence to Kill ~ Goldeneye ~ Tomorrow Never Dies ~ The World is Not Enough ~ Die Another Day ~ Casino Royale ~ Quantum of Solace ~ James Bond: The Secret Life of 007 ~ Never Say Never Again ~