1985 in Film – A View To A Kill

Release date: May 24th
Box office: $50,327,960 (US)

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: what a Bond theme. You may have differing opinions on the quality of Duran Duran but as far as Bond themes go? Top five easily, and certainly the most iconic since Live and Let Die, which is interesting as that was Roger Moore’s first run out as James Bond.

When Moore first signed on to the franchise he was 45 and slotted into that jet flying leisure suit wearing Martini drinking era that was still around in the 70s. But by 1985 Moore was in his late fifties, fully embodying how Bond was now perceived: out of date.

A View To a Kill is then Moore’s swan song in the role, his final raised eyebrow and double entendre as Bond. His run of Bonds was a bit uneven with highlights like Scaramanga as well as lowlights like Bond dressed up as a clown. View can’t exactly be called a return to form but it doesn’t let the side down either.

You could probably say this is mostly thanks to the villains. On one hand you have Christopher Walken as the blonde haired megalomaniac looking to destroy Silicon Valley, then on the other you have Grace Jones as his muscle. They make a great pair and hold up their end of the film well. The evil plot seems a bit daft but in that warm comforting Bond villain kind of way.

Moore, basically, does his usual Bond schtick. By this point, seven films in, Moore has wrung everything out the character that he possibly can. Thankfully he’s charming enough to stop this from becoming too annoying. Sure he is showing his age with the amount of stunt doubles being used but he knows what he’s doing and how to use it to the best of his abilities. There are some good set pieces in there as well as, nothing that would become as iconic as some of the earlier Bonds but memorable enough.

As an end of an era Bond film there doesn’t feel like any closure to it, Bond goes off with the girl at the end as usual. Moore’s time as Bond was certainly a monetary success with only The Man With The Golden Gun earning under $100m at the box office. In fact of the top five most watched films the top is Live And Let Die’s premier in 1980. The quality of the films may have been up and down but the people liked them and liked Moore.

But how many of them liked seeing him in bed with Grace Jones in 1985? It was definitely time to move on, admittedly something that would take the franchise about ten years to properly do. The Moore Hangover would totally derail Dalton’s chances at Bond whilst Moore would fade off into retirement.

Still, for many people, especially those of my age, this was the first Bond film that they properly saw so it will also a strong nostalgic value. The old dog may have been on his last legs but at least when the Moore era Bond ended it did it with style.

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