(Review originally written at 1 September 2006)

It's no secret that this movie was made only because to the sudden and unexpected huge success of the science-fiction movie "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope", that changed the genre for ever. "Moonraker" wasn't planned as the 'next' Bond movie. In the late '70's the Bond movie and character started to get outdated. In an effort to make the Bond-series popular and more fitting and 'hip' for its time and foremost to also cash-in quickly of course, "Moonraker" was created. The end result is a mixed bag of memorable Bond moments, set in a incoherent story consisting out of unlikely moments and disjointed sequences.

By no means "Moonraker" is an horrible movie. It still entertains and provides some good and typical Bond moments which we basically all grew up with watching and love so much. It might very well be so that this is the Bond movie with the most memorable sequences in it. The opening sequence is also definitely one of the most memorable Bond ones. However as a whole the movie just isn't quite good enough and falls short. This movie definitely isn't the most consisting one out of the Bond series, mostly because of the reason that the sequences don't always connect with each other. Its basically the one well made sequence after the other, without always making an obvious connection.

The premise of the movie sounds good but the story gets more and more ridicules and above all improbable, even for a Bond movie, as the movie progresses. Especially from the moment on when Bond enters space the movie and its story starts to go downhill rapidly. The movie gets highly unconvincing from that moment on, although it definitely still has some good moments after that point. I don't know, I guess its just the fact that the Bond character doesn't work in space that causes the movie to get unlikely and not convincing enough.

But like I mentioned before, the movie is still entertaining enough. Show me a Roger Moore Bond movie that isn't entertaining...Roger Moore is my favorite Bond because of the fact that his movies are the most entertaining ones (although they also are far from the best Bond movies) to watch over and over again, which is definitely mainly thanks to Moore's more comical and less serious approach of the Bond character. He had fun playing the character and that must have inspired the rest of the cast and crew because it really shows on screen. The movie itself really does have some great and entertaining moments as well. Most of the action is really good, until the end, when the special effects kick in. It's good enough for 1979 standards, especially when considering the resources the creators at the time had to their disposal but nevertheless it still means that it just isn't convincing enough all. It all adds up to the reasons why at the end this movie falls flat. Don't get me wrong its still good and entertaining enough to watch, after all I think I must have seen this movie a dozen times already but the movie and its story just isn't of very high quality, especially when compared to the other Roger Moore Bond movies.

But the movie still also does have more than enough good points to consider this a above average entertaining-flick. The fact that the usual Bond regulars show up again is definitely an huge plus. Bernard Lee makes his last appearance as M and Geoffrey Keen reprises his role of Sir Frederick Gray for the second time. Their roles are probably a bit bigger than they normally are in a Bond movie. Also of course Desmond Llewelyn and Lois Maxwell are also present again, as well as Walter Gotell as General Anatol Gogol. But the biggest plus of the cast is Richard Kiel who reprises his role of the hit-man Jaws, with his metal teeth, after "The Spy Who Loved Me". He provides the movie with some of its very best moments. Unfortunately it always was the last Bond movie he ever appeared in. Also the production design and always reliable good John Barry musical score are a big plus. The John Barry scores always provide the Bond movies with a certain extra.

There also is little wrong with the important Bond element; the villain. Michael Lonsdale plays an excellent and memorable villain. Perhaps the very best and most memorable of all Bond villains, I kid you not. He and his character deserved to be in a better Bond movie. That way his character would have been an even better and also more memorable and appreciated Bond villain. I just have a weak for Michael Lonsdale, he is a very underrated but above all very underused actor.

It has more than enough good elements and sequences to please the fans and the more casual viewer. It's just too bad of the disjointed and improbable story, which causes this movie to be one of the more incoherent and lesser Bond movie.


Watch trailer

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
Newer Post
Older Post

No comments:

Post a Comment