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View to a Kill

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: View to a Kill

Starring: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken
Director: John Glen
Rated: PG
RunTime: 131 Minutes
Release Date: May 1985
Genres: 007, Action

*Also starring: Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones, Patrick Macnee, Lois Maxwell, Dolph Lundgren, Patrick Bauchau, Fiona Fullerton, Alison Doody, Desmond Llewelyn

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  Andrew Hicks read the review movie reviewmovie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

In a fast chase high atop the Eiffel Tower, James Bond, in 1985's A VIEW TO A KILL, climbs the stairs in pursuit of the killer known as May Day. Just when he's about to capture her, she takes a flying leap to escape. With a striped parachute to break her fall, she glides easily to the ground.

The killer, played by the strikingly tall and ultra-macho Grace Jones, has jet-black hair shaped like "Winged Victory." With Jones's rippling muscles and her sinister and sexy scowl, her acting is best when left to the physical. When she speaks, her limitations as an actress become immediately obvious.

Roger Moore, still at the peak of his Bond form, shows no sign of tiring of the role. (Okay so he's not and never was Connery's equal.) But this is Moore's last outing as the world's greatest secret agent.

Christopher Walken plays a rich Swiss industrialist named Max Zorin, a mean blonde with a big head of hair, who lives in a palace that the French kings would have envied. Even with all his riches, he scams to fix horse races so that an inferior bred horse can win.

Zorin's biggest scheme includes the ending of "the domination of Silicon Valley." So how is he going to wipe out the heartland of American chipdom? Well, just remember it's in California. You can figure out the basic idea.

Walken is surprisingly underutilized and restrained in the film. Why director John Glen didn't let Walken cut loose remains a mystery?

One particularly imaginative sequence in the picture has Bond about to be drowned in a sinking car. He stays alive by sucking the air from one of the tires until the bad guys leave the shore, figuring he must have died.

Bond films delight through their travel views of luscious locales as well as their action. In this episode, in addition to Paris, we have a magnificently sunny San Francisco, albeit mainly the touristy Fisherman's Wharf area. Dozens of San Francisco police black-and-whites bite the dust when they chase a hijacked fire truck with Bond and his female companion, played by Tanya Roberts, going across the city's hills and bridges.

With a strong cast of supporting characters, including Walken, Jones, and Patrick Macnee from "The Avengers" and with Moore in fine form, the movie, nevertheless, is often a snoozer. The action sequences from steeple chases to fast inflating dirigibles are imaginative, but the story never establishes any rhythm or builds much sustained energy. The net result is a story that has us yearning for those much older Bond films that never lost your attention.

A VIEW TO A KILL runs 2:06. It is rated PG for comic violence and sexual innuendo and would be fine for kids around nine and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 9, gave it **, saying it was too hard to follow. His favorite part was Q's little robot.

Copyright 1998 Steve Rhodes

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