James Bond Review: #15: Moonraker


     A choice sure to cause some disapproval, not for being low on the list, but rather for being so high up. But it’s my list, so fuck it. Our snobbishness aside, for a certain generation this combined two of the most amazing things ever: James Bond and Star Wars. Doesn’t that sound so cool? Yeah, it does. The 70s truly were a wacky time for cinema.
     The space shuttle Moonraker, built by industrial millionaire Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), has been highjacked mid flight, and there’s no traces of it anywhere. 007 (Roger Moore) is sent to investigate and it sends him to the Amazon where he discovers a plot for global genocide. With returning henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel) on his trail, he enlists the help of Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) to put a stop to Drax and save the world.
     Yeah, the plot of this installment is pretty fucking crazy, and if you look at it like that, it’s quite a bit of fun. Moore at this point is settled quite well into the role, and there’s even confidence as to how he inhabits the role. What made this film move up in my listings is that 2/3 of the movie is very good, and even engaging. When Bond goes into space, well, that’s when lunacy hits with its laser battles. Laser battles. In a Bond movie.
     The biggest thing I can criticize about the movie without a bit of snark is that Moonraker has the exact same plot, beat by beat, as the previous movie The Spy Who Loved Me. Just replace the world’s oceans with space and you get the same thing. Jaws is even in the fucking movie, it’s almost like the filmmakers weren’t even fucking trying. I guess that Star Wars money was way too tempting to pass up (this was the highest grossing Bond until GoldenEye). By all accounts, Bond has no business being up in space, her Majesty has no jurisdiction in space I don’t care how British she is. Regardless, it’s a lot better than I remembered it being, even if I didn’t think much of it to begin with.


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