Wednesday, 7 March 2012

BlogalongaBond #14 - A View To A Kill (1985)

(Here is a link to a revised version of my IMDb review of A View To A Kill, May 2003
... and with apologies for this being almost a week late)

There is little to be said about a film that is conspicuously inferior to those that came both before and after. The cancer at the heart of A View To A Kill is not that of the punch-drunk height of 1980s capitalism - although the foul scene of new wealth squeaking around the exquisite grounds of Chantilly does plenty on that score. No, it is Roger Moore's age which is beyond that of the character.

Yet there is something worth salvaging from the film. Certainly Alan Hume's photography of the aforementioned French estate and of the scene at Ascot (yes, complete with My Fair Lady reference, thanks Lois Maxwell) is superb. John Barry also returns the goods, although an early romantic scene with Tanya Roberts' Stacey Sutton, in which he re-works Duran Duran, sounds dangerously like it has the same melody as a contemporaneous Flake advert:





For me the true draw of the film is the casting of Grace Jones as Mayday. The woman brings an uncategorisable belligerence and its attendant frisson to the set. Her acting is haphazard but not self-indulgent, though her style is. She plays a thug whose muscular, sweaty ebony body is at the very least distracting and, at best, dare I say it, irresistable. She makes Christopher Walken's loony Zorin seem possible, and though she invokes the franchise staple of Jaws with the venegful henchman act at the close there's no way the butterfly burlesque of the Eiffel Tower stunt preamble would have worked without her; certainly no-one would have thought to try and pull off the sequence in a burqa. She's possibly the coolest thing that ever happened in a Bond film - and I'm glad I waited until a week after the View To A Kill February deadline to come to that conclusion, since The Guardian seems to agree with me.

Ms Jones, we tip our expensive, gaudy hat and invite you to sing a brilliant electro single about anal sex to mitigate the horror of having had sex with Roger Moore at all:

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