When a British spy ship is sunk in the Ionian Sea, James Bond
is assigned to recover a weapons system known as ATAC, which
can control - or cripple - the UK's submarine fleet. 007 must
contend with a formidable foe known as "the Dove", but he
does have the lovely and talented Melina, the daughter of
a murdered scientist, on his side...
the high-blown fantasy of Moonraker, this movie brings
Bond quite literally back down to Earth. As the documentary
features explain, debut director John Glen and writers Richard
Maibaum and Michael G Wilson forgo the usual reliance on gadgets
- a policy decision that is graphically demonstrated by the
destruction of 007's Lotus Esprit. The creative team also
attempt to restore Bond's harder edge. There is a limit to
how far this added grit can take effect with Roger Moore still
in the role. Witness how Bond kicks the villainous Locque
(Michael Gothard) over a cliff, but only after Locque's car
has already begun to fall. However, we do see the seeds of
a style that would reach fruition in the (sadly underrated)
Timothy Dalton films.
is also the movie in which Moore's age really begins to show,
so we should be thankful that 007 has the decency to resist
the sexual advances of the youthful Bibi Dahl (Lynn-Holly
curious aspect of this movie (and also its successor, Octopussy)
is that while certain scenes strive to ensure that the story
is taken more seriously, other elements seem to get sillier.
On the one hand we have the tense rock-climbing sequence and
the scene in which Bond and Melina (Carole Bouquet) are dragged
across coral reefs, while on the other we have Janet Brown's
comical impersonation of Margaret Thatcher and Blofeld offering
Bond "a delicatessen in stainless steel". The latter was actually
a popular mafia commodity during the roaring '20s, and so
is a valid bribe, not that the majority of the viewing public
can be expected to know that.
aforementioned coral-reef torture sequence is lifted from
Ian Fleming's novel Live and Let Die (the subsequent
Licence to Kill would also borrow from this book),
while the short stories "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico"
also provide plot elements and character names for the largely
No review of this movie would be complete without mention
of Bill Conti's disappointingly lightweight musical score.
His disco-style mixes of "The James Bond Theme" work quite
well, but his other "action" music actually distracts the
viewer from the visuals rather than heightening one's appreciation
of them. An interesting extra feature that we don't get would
have been an alternate soundtrack by the likes of John Barry,
Marvin Hamlisch or David Arnold. Even stock music would have
sufficed, as the original trailers testify. Congratulations
to the makers of this DVD's menu screens for finding some
relatively catchy excerpts to play in the background.
on a musical note, this is the earliest of the Bond films
on DVD to include a pop video among its special features.
In this instance, however, the "video" to Sheena Easton's
song is merely Maurice Binder's title sequence but without
the titles. Interestingly, this reveals some naughty bits
that the credits were intended to cover up, so one wonders
whether this video was ever shown on Top of the Pops!
Essentially the same sequence is presented as the "textless
titles" in the 007 section of the 007 Mission Control
addition to the usual features, and no fewer than three audio
commentaries, there are also animated storyboard sequences
for the snowmobile chase and the underwater retrieval of the
ATAC. New to DVD are two deleted scenes and a multi-angle
view of the death of Locque, all of which are introduced by
the director. Never-before-seen location and underwater footage
is presented in the featurettes Bond in Greece, Bond
in Cortina and Neptune's Journey.
with its predecessor, For Your Eyes Only is a decidedly
mixed bag. As such, this is for dedicated fans' eyes (and