Food & Adventures

Monday, 14 October 2019

Project Bond: For Your Eyes Only

"The Chinese have a saying; Before setting off for revenge, first dig two graves".
For me Moonraker was the low point of the James Bond franchise and I went into For Your Eyes Only hoping it would be a return to the glory days. Roger Moore returned for his fifth Bond film in 1981 along with Desmond Llewellyn as Q and Lois Maxwell as Miss. Moneypenny. Joining the regulars were Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock, Topol as Columbo, Lynn-Holly Johnson as Bibi Dahl and Julian Glover as Kristatos.
The opening scene sees Bond visiting the grave of his dead wife only to be called away to take a helicopter back to Mi6. The helicopter is sabotaged by a bald man in a grey Nehru jacket stroking a white Persian cat and when Bond gets the upper hand could he have finally killed off Blofeld?

The main plot of For Your Eyes Only comes straight out of James Bond paint by numbers. A British Missile System is missing after the ship carrying it is sunk after accidentally hitting and old naval mine. Minister for Defence Sir Frederick Grey tasks Mi6 Chief of Staff Bill Tanner (no M this time as the actor Bernard Lee has recently passed away) to put his best man on the job of finding it before the Russians.
Bond meets Melina Havelock in Greece who is looking for revenge as her father was assassinated when he was trying to find the Missile System for the British. He also makes contact with Kristatos, a Greek Business man with a lot of connections who tells him a smuggler called Columbo may be involved. Bond then meets Kristatos' Protege, and young Ice skater called Bibi Dahl who is immediately smitten with Bond.
There are lots of twists and turns with double crosses abound, car chases and ski chases. Bond's mission takes him from Greece to Italy and Albania. Bond finally tracks down the Missile System to a Monastery and destroys it right as the Russians are about to get it.

There are a lot of redeeming qualities to this film, The chases are fun especially the one through the Winter Games events. The double double-cross from Kristatos and Columbo was an interesting plot device. That being said the film just felt like it was a bit meh, by this point Roger Moore is just going through the motions as Bond. Melina is a forgettable Bond Girl who doesn't bring much to the film and Bibi Dahl is just straight up annoying and only seemed to be included to shoe horn in the winter games scene. Julian Glover does his best (I love Julian Glover in everything by the way) but the characters are just too generic and don't have the gravitas of earlier Bond Films.

While not as bad as Moonraker, For your Eyes Only is still a long way from the highs of films like Goldfinger and The Man with the Golden Gun. I'm hoping that the films at the end of Roger Moore's tenure pick up in quality.

Project Bond will return with Octopussy

Well, That's all for now.

S

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