Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A View to a Kill (1985)

I like this one better than Octopussy, and I admit I saw it more than a couple times in the theater when it premiered, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its share of issues.  However, it has humor and a far more interesting bad guy to offset the lameness.  The fact that I saw it more than once in the theater might also have more to do with the fact that Duran Duran did the theme song than anything else. 

Anyway, A View to a Kill.  Kind of a plot similar to Goldfinger.  Mad industrialist Max Zorin intends to cause a giant earthquake in the Bay Area that will flood Silicon Valley, thereby making him the sole provider of microchips.  Impossible, but fun, and I can go with it.  Christopher Walken plays Zorin, and he amuses me no end.  Of course, when is Walken not amusing?  Some people can chew up the scenery and it’s just normal, not over the top, and he’s one of them.  Zorin makes me laugh just about every time he's on screen, in a good way, and this movie sorely needs that. 


Grace Jones plays May Day, his lead henchman (henchwoman?).  I can’t say I liked her much when I first saw this back in '85, but I quite like her nowadays too.  She’s as impossible as the plot, but a good match for Zorin and the film in general.  They’re all crazy!  And soooooo 1980’s.


What I don’t like.  Tanya Roberts as Stacey Sutton.  See, you can tell she’s a misstep right off the bat with such an blah name.  Her character just makes me cringe.  She can’t really act, she runs around screaming and crying for James, and I just can’t take it.  So far, she’s definitely my least favorite Bond girl.

This movie does has some nice action sequences.  I love the zeppelin and the fight at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.  That’s pretty amazing.  There’s a chase up the Eiffel Tower with a character parachuting off, followed by a pretty cool car chase.  And the flooding of Zorin’s bomb site is well done.  However, this movie also has a rather stupid “escape from an elevator in a burning building” sequence followed immediately by an even stupider fire truck chase.  I HATE that fire truck chase. 

Overall, this movie has a few strengths, and it’s more amusing than not, but it’s nothing to rival the great Bond movies either.  And, I admit, I can’t really watch the Eiffel Tower chase without superimposing Duran Duran’s video for A View to a Kill over the movie. 

Favorite parts:  Russian agent Pola Ivanova, played by Fiona Fullerton.  I love her, even if she has a tiny role.  I always wanted to get my hair cut like hers, except in the 80’s my hair was long.  Zorin’s zeppelin.  The fight on top of the Golden Gate.  James Bond with a cat on his lap.  Moneypenny at the horse race.

Music:  Good score, not great
Theme song:  Well, I love it, but I almost love it more as a Duran Duran song than a James Bond theme song.  It’s hard to remember it does go with the movie.
Credit sequence:  Holy neon makeup, Batman! 
Bond girl:  Um, no.  Just no on Stacey Sutton.  But I love Pola Ivanova.  And I’ve grown fond of May Day.
Bad guys:  Love Zorin.  Best part of the movie.
Overall personal rating:  2 out of 5


  1. I've seen this one! And I remember it! Okay, no, I remember Walken being hilarious and the stuff on the Golden Gate Bridge. Again, I wouldn't have been able to describe the plot if you paid me. Hmm.

  2. James Bond movies have always been a favorite of mine since I was a kid, but "A View to a Kill" is undoubtedly the one I hate most. Cool blog, your Hamlette sent me here, I'm following.