A View to a Kill

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Looking at it coldly and objectively, A View to a Kill is a lousy Bond film. After all, it features a geriatric 007, a vapid heroine, a dull plot and it's full of lame attempts at humour. But perhaps because of this it ends up being absurdly entertaining – it's certainly a million times more fun than shitfests like Die Another Day, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.

The first hint that A View to a Kill is going to be a rather strange Bond film is in the opening ski chase. Not only do you have an old geezer performing outrageous snowbound acrobatics via poorly disguised stunt doubles, but The Beach Boys begins playing when Bond starts snowboarding. It has you shaking your head in disgust in how jokey everything has become, but then something even stranger happens – Bond escapes the damn Commies by floating off in an aquatic, iceberg-shaped loveshack with a blonde bimbo stationed inside. Suddenly you can't help but grin – the idea of an aged Roger Moore boning his way back to civilisation is just too wonderful to resist.

Another glorious moment of insane weirdness is when Bond sleeps with May Day. Trying to cover the fact that he's been snooping around, he appears naked in her bed. And then in a bizarre attempt to look casually alluring he leans on his elbow and asks May Day where she's been. It's a pulling technique your dad might use – if I get naked and horny, poontang is a cert. But of course, this being Bond, it works. And I love the way Moore rolls his eyes like May Day is sucking out his brains as she feasts on his dentures. Oh and there's a wonderful line of dialogue between Walken and Moore the following morning. "You sleep well?" "A little restless, but I got off eventually." God bless you Roger Moore.

And god bless Christopher Walken, too, for is there a more fun Bond villain than Max Zorin? Well, maybe there are a few that are more fun, but it's undeniable that Walken is a joy to watch. Just take the scene where he shoots and drowns hundreds of miners while cackling like Hank Scorpio on crack. This is how mental Bond villains should be. And I also love the kinky relationship he has with May Day. There's one scene where they're practising martial arts. It starts off serious, but then things take a turn for the pervy – Zorin tries to kiss May Day, and she tries to resist, but pretty quickly they're gearing up to a do a sweaty, bi-racial, psychotic variation of the horizontal bone dance. It's a pet theory of mine, but I stand by it – all the best Bond villains are sexual deviants.

But although the villains in A View to a Kill are good value, its heroine Stacey is fucking hopeless. All she does is get in trouble and scream "James!" in a very annoying breathless squawk of a voice. And she doesn't bring out the best in Bond either. There's even one scene where Bond cooks her quiche. Quiche! A man who kills and shags with reckless abandon cooks some empty-headed cunt the most gay meal a man can cook. And then later he tucks her in for bed! What is this? Bond shouldn't be tucking her in for beddie-byes; he should be fucking the bejesus out of her.

One of Stacey's worst scenes is in the fire sequence. All she does is squeal and scream and dangle helplessly. Plus she even cries, "James, don't leave me." Darling, I wish he would. I wish he'd let you burn your tits off. But because Bond is Bond (and smells an easy lay) he rescues the vapid bitch, much to the delight of a crowd of onlookers - James descending with a unconscious woman is played like a cinematic riff on the song 'So Macho'; Moore, with his leather jacket and ironed out wrinkles, is an 80s, geriatric personification of the brave but caring alpha male; a man who will rescue his damsel in distress and then put on some Bryan Ferry while having sex with her.

To further exemplify what a rotten human being Stacey is, there's a scene where the bland blonde bimbo gets captured by the villains in the speedy and highly agile vehicle that is a large blimp. Seriously, what kind of person would get captured by a blimp? Someone who was deaf and blind perhaps. And even someone who was wheelchair bound. But anyone who can run left or right shouldn't get captured by one of the noisiest and slowest vehicles there is.

But although the ridiculous Stacey gets him into it, the final Golden Gate bridge fight is good fun. I mean, how could you not enjoy it? It has an old man with Margaret Thatcher-style helmet hair and poorly disguised wrinkles fighting with a blonde mentalist. It's one of the oddest showdowns in cinema. But while the fight itself ends on a high with Walken cackling like a madman as he takes the plunge, it descends into head-shaking banality as Stacey screams "James!" and Zorin's mad scientist 'father' shouts "Max!" Seriously, half of the dialogue must consist of the characters shouting each other's names.

But while I'm talking about the Golden Gate bridge fight, I feel obliged to point out that Zorin's blimp is disguised as a Portakabin. How brilliant is that? The villain's getaway vehicle disguises itself as the depressing spectre of a million building sites.

Another subject for mirth for me was a fight in Stacey's house between Bond and a bunch of Zorin's heavies. All it really consists of is unspectacular punches and kicks, but in every other shot you can see Moore's stunt doubles – some of whom look nothing like him. The best example is in a shot where all Bond has to do is punch someone and protect a vase – I swear the stunt double has a 'tache.

Yet another example of amusing stunt work is in the poor Paris car chase. All the long shots feature stunt doubles who look nothing like our glorious Rog. And all of them have to wear Shredded Wheat hairpieces.

But then again, Moore's Bond has always been less about the action and more about the pussy. That and raised eyebrows. Just watch the fire engine chase for the best raised eyebrow in cinematic history. It's so good I can finally understand why blond tarts aplenty drop their knickers when a geriatric Bond comes-a-calling.

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