After appearing in six Bond movies, Roger Moore was getting to the point of wanting to leave the movie series. He was on the verge of leaving a few times, but he kept coming back. A View to a Kill would be his last Bond movie.
James Bond is on a mission to Siberia to recover an agent's corpse and a microchip. Once back in England, Q is able to inspect the chip and discovers that it has been made by Zorin Industries and something has been done to the chip so that it would not be damaged by a nuclear explosion like other chips. Bond starts investigating Zorin. A meeting with a French private detective at the Eiffel Tower goes badly with the detective dying. James sees May Day, a woman who works as Zorin's bodyguard, for the first time then as well. James continues to investigate, which causes him to meet Stacey Sutton, a state geologist. Stacey's oil company has been taken over by Zorin. She starts trying to help James while Zorin plots to do something that will destroy Silicon Valley and give him a monopoly on microchips.
A View to a Kill is the fourteenth James Bond movie. It is the seventh, and final movie, to have Roger Moore play Bond. The name for the movie came from one of Ian Fleming's short stories, though the movie isn't actually based on one of the books or short stories. At the end of the credits, it says that James Bond will be back, but it doesn't say in what movie like has been done in many of the previous Bond movies.
The action in A View to a Kill starts within the first few minutes during the sequence before the title when James is still in Siberia for his mission. Once James is trying to find out what Zorin is up to, it doesn't take long for James to end up in a fight at the Eiffel Tower with May Day. There is also a rather unique car chase through Paris. James ends up in other action scenes throughout the movie. The action scenes do help to keep things interesting and keep the pace moving. The action scenes are done well. Zorin is also involved in some of the action scenes, though he tends to do things from a bit of a distance most of the time. The minor violence that turns up in a few scenes isn't that graphic.
The small amount of mystery in A View to a Kill is cleared up very early. It doesn't take long for James to figure out that Zorin is up to no good, though it does take him a bit longer to figure out exactly what Zorin is up to. There is some minor suspense in a few scenes that doesn't make the movie suspenseful overall. The plot is interesting without being that complex. Since computers were becoming more popular when the movie was made, having computers and microchips involved in the plot makes sense. Some of the things that happen, like James escaping in a submarine disguised as an iceberg or the chase in a fire truck are a bit silly, but they still manage to work overall for the plot.
At the end of the sequence before the opening credits, James meets a beautiful young woman. It seems like she is helping him on that part of his mission, but it is never explained for sure. It is made very clear that they are going to have sex. When James is staying at Zorin's undercover, he's sure that Zorin is a bad guy, yet James still willing has sex with May Day. Shortly after that, James encounters a female Russian spy he already knew. The two of them have sex in a hot tub. James is flirting with Stacey when they meet. It does take slightly longer, but they have sex as well. That makes the sexual partner count for James in A View to a Kill four. It almost seems like as the actor playing James gets older, they have to bed more women.
James remains the same and Roger Moore is still fine in the part. He is getting a bit old for the part by the time of this movie though. M, Q, and Miss Moneypenny all turn up again in a few scenes without a lot to do. The British Minister of Defense also turns up in one or two scenes.
Max Zorin is the main villain for the movie. He manufactures microchips and he devises a plan that will destroy Silicon Valley and give him a monopoly on the chips. He is also a former KGB agent who is considered a psychopath. He does make a good villain. Christopher Walken goes a bit overboard at times, but it works for the character and the movie. May Day is Zorin's aggressive bodyguard who is very loyal. Grace Jones is fine in the part. The character is a bit strange at times, but she fits with Zorin.
Stacey is a geologist working for the state who inherited an oil company that Zorin took over. She can't stand Zorin and continues to try to get her company back. She ends up working with James. Stacey is a bit of a ditz and an annoying character. She tries to act all tough like she can take care of herself at first, but when there is an actual threat, she just starts screaming for James to save her. She is mostly useless as a character. Tanya Roberts is very annoying in the part and not the least bit believable as a geologist.
Robert Brown - M
Grace Jones - May Day
Desmond Llewelyn - Q
Lois Maxwell - Miss Moneypenny
Roger Moore - James Bond
Tanya Roberts - Stacey Sutton
Christopher Walken - Max Zorin
John Glen - Director
There have been a few DVD releases for A View to a Kill. I have the two disc version that is part of the Ultimate James Bond DVD collection. There are commentaries with the director and members of the cast and crew. One of the commentaries is a newer one recorded by Roger Moore. Film ‘85 BBC Report shows some of the filming of a few important scenes from later in the movie. Members of the cast talk about the movie and some of the characters. The director talks about trying to make things more exciting for the audience and more modern. He does end up giving away a spoiler.
Original Promotional Featurette shows the filming of a few scenes and a few locations are discussed. Some of the cast and crew talk about the movie and the cast is talked about. The filming of a few scenes is discussed along with a few of the stunts. The Streets of San Francisco has some deleted footage that was filmed in San Francisco while the director talks about filming in the city. Float Like a Butterfly Test Footage has the director talking about getting the idea for the butterfly scene. Some of the test footage shot for the sequence is included as well as some of the finished footage from the movie. Deleted Scenes and Expanded Angles has four deleted scenes that wouldn’t have added much to the movie. The director does talk about the scenes and give some explanation for why the scenes were cut. There are three scenes with different angles. The Interactive Guide Into the World of A View to a Kill has several icons that will play shot segments from the movie.
Inside A View to a Kill is the same type of featurette on the making of the movie that the previous Bond DVDs have had. This one does have a different narrator. It talks about the Bond movies in general before getting into things specific to this movie. The development of the story is talked about along with the casting. Some of the cast and crew talk about the movie. The filming of some important sequences are talked about while some footage of the filming is shared. The 007 stage caught on fire and was destroyed just as the movie was starting to be filmed. The decision to rebuild is discussed along with the difficulty of filming around the construction. Some of the stunts are talked. Moore’s decision to leave the series is also talked about. Moore felt he was too old to continue playing the character. The featurette ends with several people talking about Moore while clips from his Bond movies play.
The Bond Sound - The Music of James Bond is focused on the music from the Bond movies. Clips from the different movies are shown while people talk about the music created for the movies. Most of the featurette is focused on John Barry. He composed the music for several of the Bond movies. He is featured talking about writing the music and some of the singers talk about recording the songs. Some of the other composers who created music for some of the other Bond movies are also briefly talked about. Some of the theme songs aren’t even mentioned for some reason. A View to a Kill music video by Duran Duran has footage from the movie along with scenes featuring the band. There are some cheesy special effects in the video. The original trailers and television spots are also included.
A View to a Kill has some issues, but it is still an entertaining Bond movie that is worth watching, especially for fans of the series or Roger Moore.
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 ~
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