Roger Moore is the Bond actor in this movie. Unlike most of Roger Moore’s other movies when he is dealing with voodoo cults, midgets, underwater fortresses, outer space fortresses, amazon women and blimps, this movie is much more grounded in reality.
The movie is about a device on a ship that is sunk by a mine. Some people try to recover the device, but the people are killed and their daughter sets out to have revenge. James Bond also tries to get the device back and ends up working with the woman named Melina Havelock. This is a clever plot because for a while James Bond is working with somebody who actually turns out to be the villain later on in the movie.
The action in this movie is great. It starts out with a teaser short of Blofeld trying to kill James Bond in a helicopter. However, James Bond manages to retake the controls for the helicopter and kills Blofeld by dropping him down a smokestack. Since this is the last time that we see Blofeld in an official Bond movie and not an unofficial remake such as Never Say Never Again, James Bond actually probably manages to kill Blofeld this time. We also get an exciting escape in a small car owned by Melina when James Bond’s car blows up. There is also an exciting chase scene when James Bond is being chased by a couple of people on motor bikes at the winter Olympics. He does some great stunts such as going down a ski jump while fighting somebody on the jump. He gets punched but manages to remain skiing and knocks the other guy down once they reach the bottom. What is even more incredible is probably one of my favorite action scenes in a James Bond movie now when he goes into a tobaggan chute and actually manages to ski without poles while going what must’ve been fifty miles an hour in that chute. He also ducks down underneath a bridge. I know that Roger Moore, who was not known for his great stunt work in his Bond movies, was not the one who did that, but whoever the stunt man was who did that was an incredible skier. Give the guy a medal.
This movie is also actually, really funny, particularly when this blonde girl named Bibi Dahl, what a lame name, tries to sleep with Bond. After having Bond sleep with so many women in his movies, it’s kind of funny to see him actually turn down a woman who wants to sleep with him and pretty much throws herself on him. We get some hilarious dialogue between them when James Bond tries to convince Dahl that sleeping together is a bad idea. There are some great lines such as “Don’t you ever come up for air?” “That’s why I’ll win the gold medal. Breath control.” “Yes, you can’t lose.” James Bond is a gentleman sometimes and sleeping with teenagers is probably not on his to do list.
The best suspense in this movie is the under water scenes. We get three scenes that are all pretty suspenseful. When somebody in a diving suit creeps up on James Bond and Melina who are trying to get the device from the sunken, it’s actually pretty creepy because the villain is breathing heavily and sounds like Michael Myers or some kind of slasher. Then when James Bond and Melina have defeated the guy in the diving suit, they try to go to the surface in their under water ship, but they are attacked by a bigger ship and their ship is almost destroyed. This is also suspenseful because you get a feeling of claustrophobia, you worry that if their ship is sunk they will drown and there are lots of noises and flashing lights to make the scene somewhat unsettling. Finally, when James Bond and Melina are being dragged through the water, you do not know if they will escape the rope in time.
James Bond has an ally in this movie named Columbo, who does some smuggling. Like Kamal Kahn in Living Daylights, he is definitely one of Bond’s shadier allies, but he is also a good one. He helps take down some guys in fights, and he has a great fight in the end with the boss villain when Columbo is trying to keep him from escaping up some stairs. The stairs fight I thought was directed really well. I felt exhausted just watching them go at it.
The woman in this movie is great, too. Her name is Melina Havelock and she is a Greek woman who is avenging her parents’ deaths with a crossbow. She manages to kill a couple of people. She also manages to save James Bond once and keep another villain quiet before they are discovered sneaking into the fortress. She is one of my favorite Bond women, not so much for her sparkling personality, quite frankly she is actually kind of flat, in the personality department and not the chest department, but she is one of my favorite Bond women because of her great weapon of choice. I think she is the only Bond character I have ever seen use a crossbow as their primary weapon, but that weapon would go on to be in Nightfire just because she used it. Also, her revenge vendetta is pretty cool.
The villains on the other hand are incredibly average. I like how this movie kept them realistic after having guys with hooks, midgets and big guys with sharp teeth fight James Bond in movies just prior to this one. However, I felt they needed a little more character depth or personality to make them really memorable like Franz Sanchez in License To Kill, who is a great example of a realistic villain who also managed to be very memorable due to his personality and actions. There is a boss villain named Cristatos, who does not do much except give orders. There is a big Russian guy who puts up a good fight against Bond until he is knocked out of a window. Finally, there is a guy with glasses who is another villain that is good with guns.
The theme song for this movie is really not that great. The vocals are pretty I guess, but what makes this a weak Bond song is how incredibly average it sounds. It sounds incredibly generic, like white noise.
Some of the settings for this movie are pretty good. I like how a chase scene happened at the winter Olympics. It made for some great moments during the chase scene because the winter Olympics are actually incorporated into the chase scene with James Bond going down a ski jump and skiing down the tobaggan chute. I also like the final setting in this movie when James Bond and some other people storm the fortress on top of a mountain. When James Bond climbs up the mountain it makes for another very suspenseful scene, particularly when one of the villains discovers him and tries to knock him off of the mountain.
Part of what makes this Bond movie one of the more down to earth ones is that he has an incredibly low number of gadgets in this movie. Really the only tools he uses are the exploding car that James Bond later jokes they are somehow putting together again. Also, he uses his gun a lot in this movie. When it comes down to it I think one of James Bond’s most signature weapons is just his Wofler PPK hand gun. When he uses that a lot in the movie, it’s good to see.
This is definitely one of the more grounded James Bond movies. They probably made it this way after the complete ridiculousness of the previous James Bond movie called Moonraker. They really couldn’t have gotten more outlandish than having James Bond fall out of an air plane, Jaws falling in love and the boss villain’s base being a fortress in outer space. This movie reminded me of both of Timothy Dalton’s movies with how it is probably the only Roger Moore movie that ever seemed to be realistic. No wonder Roger Moore didn’t really take his role as james Bond seriously since most of his movies were really screwy. I do like how unique most of Roger Moore’s Bond movies were with their humorous outlandishness. However, this one down to earth Moore Bond movie was a nice breath of fresh air compared to the other ones.