An elderly Roger Moore fights through his last outing as Bond against a complete psychopath, Max Zorin played by Christopher Walken. Zorin's remarkable winnings at the horse races boils up suspicions and Bond heads to Zorin's estate for an annual horse sale to investigate. Bond finds a secret laboratory where Zorin is putting microchips in the horses and by the press of a button the microchips act as drugs. The story then unfolds into San Franicisco where Zorin plans to start a major earthquake and pretty much restart an empire. Bond and Zorin go head to head until the final battle on top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
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I never really understood the story of A View To a Kill. You think Zorin is doing one thing and then he is doing another, which I guess makes it unpredictable, with Walken the most psycho out of any Bond villain. He is so over the top psycho that it makes this bad movie a lot of fun.
Moore was at the end of his rope on this one. There seems to be a huge age difference between this film and Octopussy. It really pulls you out of the movie. It is fun to think Bond can go until he is 80, but it is unrealistic. In this film you can really tell the stunt doubles, because they are used constantly, although great stunts are everywhere. The Eiffel Tower and chase through Paris and the exciting battle on the Golden Gate Bridge. And you want to see Bond take out Zorin, because he is so crazy he would kill anyone in his path, he isn't as calculated or manipulative than some of the other megalomaniacs, but he is interesting as an egotistical, self absorbed psychopath who thinks he is a genius. Walken's speech about intuitive improv is one of the best lines by any villain.
May Day played by Grace Jones who is Zorin's number 2, is equally as memorable. Her journey through the film is one like Jaws' in Moonraker. She turns good in the end after murdering countless people. Her turn makes more sense since she is betrayed by Zorin whom she loves. To me May Day and Max Zorin save this movie with their great performances and chemistry, with an awkward scary love for each other. On the other hand the scene where May Day sleeps with Bond is confusing, because I don't know why she would sleep with him. At first I thought it was tactical, but it just feels like it is more to set up for Bond's suaveness with the women and his tactic to get out of his situation of getting caught sneaking around. I thought it would be more interesting if she resisted due to her obvious love for Zorin.
The Moore era of Bond comes to an end with this film, probably the worst film out of seven that Moore did. Although some great qualities it definitely feels tired. Moore's witticisms and fighting techniques are more and more outrageous due to his age. They even put another stupid sheriff character in the middle of the movie that we had seen so much of in the 70's Bond for comic relief. Some unoriginal material to get through this one. The title song is the only thing that seems original with Duran Duran rocking out on a classic 80's synthesizer instead of the usual female vocalist. This film does seem like a step back for director John Glen, but he quickly redeems himself with The Living Daylights.
Although the film is incoherent for the most part it has memorable bad guys and doesn't lose that entertaining and fast paced energy that Bond films have. If only Moore had a better plot to go out on than this film.