Moonraker (1979)

Article 5024 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-20-2015
Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Featuring Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale
Country: UK / France / USA
What it is: James Bond movie

James Bond undertakes an investigation having to do with the hijacking of a space shuttle being flown to England,

As I’ve said before in this series, I don’t really “get” James Bond; I’m not a devotee of the series and I don’t really feel very strongly about it. However, the breadth of coverage being what it is, I’ll be watching all of them because its reliance on gimmicky gadgetry usually has it pushing up against the science fiction genre. This is perhaps the entry from the series that most falls within the genre, with the plot eventually involving a hidden space station orbiting around the earth and a storyline involving the possible eradication of all human life on earth. It’s not a favorite of Bond fans, and I’m going to make some guesses why. Though the Bond films are essentially parodies of spy films, the tone of the parody should be sly and sexy; if it becomes blatantly comic, it destroys the tone, and the gondola chase scene as well as the moment when Jaws gets a girlfriend break that rule. Drax is merely an adequate main villain, and the only memorable henchman is Jaws, who unfortunately is a retread from THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and isn’t particularly well used here. There’s also only one really truly memorable action sequence here, and that’s the one before the credits role. I know some people don’t care much for Roger Moore as Bond, but I more or less accept him in the role, but then, as stated earlier, I’m not a big fan of the character. I suppose I could claim that the final battle at the space station strains credibility, but the Bond series does that on a regular basis; however, I do find it strange that they feel compelled to use laser blasters as weapons of choice in space but not on Earth. At any rate, this isn’t the series at its most compelling.

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