DVD
James Bond
A View to a Kill
Ultimate Edition 2-Disc DVD Set

Starring: Roger Moore
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: 16.99
MDR53588UE
Certificate: 12
Available 17 July 2006


An investigation of a horse-racing scam puts James Bond on the trail of a power-hungry industrialist who wants to monopolise the world's microchip market. With the aid of beautiful geologist Stacey Sutton, 007 discovers that Max Zorin plans to destroy California's Silicon Valley, killing millions in the process...

This was the final Bond adventure to feature Roger Moore as the world's most famous secret agent - and, quite frankly, it was not before time. Though this is an enjoyable film, you can't help feeling a bit sorry for Moore as he gasps and fumbles his way through the film, managing to look perhaps even older than his 57 years. It is remarkable and ironic that the older Sir Roger gets, the more he looks like Bob Holness, who himself played Bond, many moons ago, on the radio! Moore hams it up throughout, delivering such instantly forgettable lines as, "Call me James. It's five days to Alaska," which will have even the keenest Bond fan wincing with embarrassment. He fails to convince as either an action man or a ladies' man.

Having said that, 007 does become something of a new man in this movie. In a precursor to the all-too-brief reign of Timothy Dalton, Bond cooks a meal for his love interest, Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts), and does not attempt to have his wicked way with her at the first available opportunity. Instead he considerately tucks the snoozing woman into bed.

The rest of the supporting cast add a great deal of value to the film. Christopher Walken and Grace Jones are each as mad as a box of frogs in their roles as the evil Max Zorin and his henchwoman May Day, and are huge fun to watch. Patrick (The Avengers) Macnee, who played Watson to Roger Moore's Holmes in the movie Sherlock Holmes in New York, provides amiable assistance as Sir Godfrey Tibbett.

As usual, director John Glen supplies some splendid action sequences, which involve snowboarding, a chase with a fire truck, carnage within some impressive mine sets and a gritty fight atop the Golden Gate Bridge.

Though the movie is supposedly based upon the Ian Fleming short story "From a View to a Kill", scriptwriters Richard Maibaum and Michael G Wilson only make use of the title (and not even all of it) and the French setting. It's a pity that they didn't ditch the title as well, then we would have been spared May Day and Zorin's rather stilted declaration, "Wow, what a view..." "...To a kill!" The rest of the plot is original, though the Ascot horse-racing scenes are markedly similar to a section of John Gardner's 1981 Bond novel Licence Renewed.

The previous DVD release of this film already boasted an impressive array of special features, including an audio commentary, two documentaries, a deleted scene and the amusing pop video to Duran Duran's title song. Macnee, the usual narrator of the "making of" documentaries, is replaced here by Rosemary Lord - perhaps the makers were concerned about his objectivity! The Ultimate Edition adds an extra commentary by Sir Roger Moore, a set report from the BBC's Film '85 series, test footage of the butterfly act, three additional deleted scenes and three multi-angle views.

A View to a Kill was the first Bond movie that I ever saw on a cinema screen. As such, it holds a special place in my affections. This is an entertaining yarn, and a great one for any actor to bow out in. It's just a pity that Moore looks so haggard.

Richard McGinlay

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