How interesting! I have always thought of this as my favorite Roger Moore Bond film. But this viewing... I was wondering why. I really love a few key scenes, and the rest... I want to skip to the good stuff. I do love quite a few of the characters, though, and as I'm really learning about myself: characters are key. Overall, though, this is still a very strong film of the Roger Moore Bonds.
This movie has some funny history with me. My parents saw this one in the theater, but my sister and I did not, for some unknown reason. There was a Good Guys store in the local mall. When this movie came out on video, it was playing on their televisions non-stop, so whenever we went to the mall, we’d idle outside the store, and watch another segment (without volume, mind you). Sometimes, we caught the same scenes over and over, and we developed in-jokes about how we always caught the same parts. My mom would explain what part of the film we were at, if it was new. This might be why I like parts of this film, but not the whole. I never saw the whole film until much later. The parts we stood around for in the mall and watched over and over are still my favorite parts to this day.
The plot is simple enough - Bond's trying to recover the lost ATAC device, a British defense communication system, before the Russians get a hold of it.
So, what do I love? Topol as Colombo. Carole Boquet as Melina. Julian Glover as Kristatos. I just love the three of them. Colombo and Kristatos have all kinds of history, and it makes me laugh, because it means my favorite part of the film has nothing to do with Bond! My favorite part is the (glossed over, but still there) betrayed friendship angle and the final (too short) showdown between Colombo and Kristatos. Just never gets old, that theme. Thank you, Ben-Hur and Messala.
I love Melina. I think she’s gorgeous and hello! She carries a crossbow! How can I not love that? I am extremely fond of characters who use arcane weapons.
I particularly like the opening with the helicopter and Blofeld. I love when Bond and Melina get dragged through the water. And I love the final assault on the monastery. I think the whole ski chase is pretty amazing, however, it is a really odd scene. I mean, why does Bond just take off after Kriegler anyway? Because Bibi has a crush on him? He doesn’t know the guy, there should be no reason to suspect he’s working with Kristatos or Locque or anybody, but off Bond goes. Nonetheless, it is a spectacular chase, with some yowza moments. Like the ski jump, and the bobsled run. I also really like the underwater footage. Some of that is pretty spectacular too.
What do I dislike? The ice skater has to be one of the most annoying Bond girls EVER. The movie is rather long and filled with a million unnecessary chases. I always tend to forget about the whole Countess section because, again, it just seems to be random filler and not really relevant to the plot. I also tend to forget about the attack on Kristatos’s warehouse, though it leads into one of my favorite parts, where Bond pushes Locque’s car off the edge. I’m rather fond of Bond’s Italian contact, Ferrara, who Locque has brutally killed, so when Bond tosses the little white dove pin in the car and coldly kicks the car over the edge, I’m ready to cheer. (Yes, I tend to be fond of a lot of Bond’s contacts/other agents... and they always seem to get killed too. Hmph.)
Favorite parts: The pre-credit helicopter scene. Kristatos attempt to feed Bond and Melina to the sharks. The ending at the monastery. Bond dispensing with Locque. Anytime Melina uses her crossbow. When the Citroen flips over and it just takes a couple guys to turn the tiny car right-side up again. General Gogol’s cheerful exit. Columbo knocking out the wounded bad guy when Melina’s not looking.
Music: Lousy lousy and lousy.
Theme song: Yawn. Boring.
Credit sequence: More like a music video than a Bond credit sequence. Not a fan.
Bond girl: Love love love Melina! Bibi is just too annoying for words. The Countess is here and gone before we ever get to know her.
Bad guys: Kristatos is rather laid-back, but he is cool and sly and duplicitous and I like that.
Overall personal rating: 4 out of 5