A View to a Kill (1985)

view to a kill poster 1985 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Not good but enjoyable

Moore is too old

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A View to a Kill

Studio:  Danjaq/Eon Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):   May 22, 1985

MPAA Rating:  PG

view to a kill roger moore tanya roberts james bond

Seriously, Grandpa…back off (and what where your eyes are lookin’)

An industrialist named Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) has a plan. He and his henchman Mayday (Grace Jones) have drawn the attention of MI-6, and James Bond (Roger Moore) and Sir Godfrey Tibbett (Patrick Macnee) have been assigned to investigate it. When Godfrey is killed, Bond sets out to take down Zorin. Bond finds himself on his way to California and teamed with a woman named Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts) who has her own bone to pick with Zorin.  Bond discover that Zorin has a mad plan for Silicon Valley and thousands and thousands could be kills if he succeeds.

Directed by John Glen, A View to a Kill is a James Bond 007 spy action-thriller.  Following Octopussy in 1983, the movie is the fourteenth entry in the James Bond franchise and takes its title for a short story in Ian Fleming’s 1960 novel For Your Eyes Only.  The main theme song “A View to a Kill” performed by Duran Duran, and the movie was met with largely negative reviews.  Tanya Roberts was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Actress.

view to a kill roger moore james bond eiffel tower

My doctor says to avoid steps…falls can be dangerous too

I can’t sugar coat it, A View to a Kill isn’t very good, but I do have a soft spot for it.  I think it or For Your Eyes Only was the first Bond movie I saw so even if it is a weaker entry, it shaped my perception of Bond in some ways.  Even though it isn’t one of the best Bond films, I still think it is an entertaining Bond.

Like many Bond movies it feels like the path to whole last sequence is long and drawn out.  The Eiffel Tower, the horses, and the eventual move to the United States is where the movie starts picking up its plot and pacing.  The entire last sequence involving the mine and the blimp are pretty good (though totally unrealistic in a typical Bond fashion…I especially like it when the blimp sneaks up on Tanya Roberts).  It is kind of what you’d expect from a Bond villain and a Bond movie.

view to a kill mayday bomb

I think more movies should have Grace Jones riding a bomb

The big problem is Roger Moore who looks and feels tired.  He extended his Bond run way too long and at fifty-seven, it is creepy with him hitting on young women and bedding people like Grace Jones and Tanya Roberts.  Moore’s lack of athleticism and age makes much of the movie even more ridiculous since it is a much more physical Bond than the previous entry.

What does work in the movie is Grace Jones as the fun and crazy Mayday and Christopher Walken as the over-the-top sociopath Zorin.  It was also nice to see Patrick Macnee get to relive his days as John Steed on The Avengers in a way by his role as an MI-6 agent, but Tanya Roberts was a pretty awful Bond girl.  The movie is the first role for Dolph Lundgren and all the other Bond regulars do come back for the movie.  There is a mini cameo by Maud Adams in the Fisherman’s Wharf scene which has her appearing in three Bond features.

view to a kill christopher walken golden gate bridge

Ask me if it needs more cowbell one more time, old man!!!

The action of the movie is quite strong, but once again ruined by Moore’s age.  The big finale on the Golden Gate Bridge (as promised by the poster) is pretty exciting and worthy of Bond (though not everything has aged well in the world of special effects.  I do like seeing Bond hitting America every once in a while since it is a change up from his normal locations (and it is always good to see the Dunsmuir House from Phantasm and Burnt Offerings).  The opening sequence is often credited for helping to popularize snowboarding.

A View to a Kill is a bit of an unfortunate Bond. If someone like Timothy Dalton or even Daniel Craig had been in the movie, it would hold up much better.  Fortunately, Moore hangs up his 007 status after this movie.  On a side note, I don’t really get the title.  A view of a killing…a killer view?  It doesn’t make much sense, but I love that they try to work it into the script like it does.  A View to a Kill was followed by Timothy Dalton’s premiere as Bond in The Living Daylights in 1987.

Preceded By:

Octopussy (1983)

Followed By:

The Living Daylights (1987)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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