Take a Drink: for boats
Take a Drink: whenever Bond says something surprisingly smart…
Take a Drink: …as opposed to the puns of course. Oh, the puns…
Take a Drink: for helplessness and life skills failures
Take a Drink: for shrieking sound effects
Take a Drink: for arrows
Take a Drink: Bibi slap!
Do a Shot: play spot the nipple- there are at least two!
By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
As I look back at Oberst and my Roger Moore-era Bond reviews, I see that we’ve almost exclusively given them Four Beers. Similarly, it’s really hard to differentiate them by any more than basic plot concerns and villains. Let’s do that now:
For Your Eyes Only is quite down to earth in that regard. Bond is tasked with recovering a nuclear submarine McGuffin which has sunk off of Greece before the Russians do. A recently orphaned daughter of marine archaeologists seeking vengeance, the Greek mafia, and some Olympic hopeful athletes get tangled in the typical 007 web.
This was supposed to be a return to a grittier, leaner, Fleming-style 007 tale, but it opens with Bond dropping a wheelchair-bound Blofield down a smokestack from a helicopter. I, for one, am okay with that. Some of the best scenes in the film are his visibly uncomfortable reactions to the come-ons of a teenage figure skater, or his “burglar protected” Lotus.
Well, that’s one way to handle the problem…
The other essential hallmarks of a Bond success, the action and the gorgeous locations (if you’re going to stick primarily to one country, Greece is about as good a choice as there is) are all spectacularly present. The too close to vertical hillside car chase stretches belief as to how much a stunt driver would actually consent to attempt, and the climbing sequence on the stunning Meteora monastery cliffside is as breathtaking a climbing sequence as has been put to film.
Who needs a matte painting when places like this really exist?
One last raise of the glass to the return of Roger Moore’s mean streak. I won’t spoil it, but one scene in particular is about as cold as the franchise has ever gotten.
The 80s were upon Bond, and the franchise embraced the decade with open arms. One awful Sheena Easton ballad and two egregious product placement scenes with the most 80s car this side of a DeLeorean- the Lotus- later, and I know I was done with them. Too bad the cloying soundtrack wasn’t…
One side effect of this more straightforward plot approach was the need to, you know, give a shit about plot. As a result, the middle section sags, punctuated with weird stabs at contemporary cultural relevance like a head-scratching hockey rink battle.
It’s a hat trick of stupid!
A couple more things that stood out. One scene involves Bond and his vengeful Bond girl Melina Havelock (if that’s a double entendre, I’m not getting it) leaving a scuba tank behind for no discernible reason. Later, when they need it most, but could not have possibly foreseen, there it is! That’s the mark of a writer who can’t be bothered to care thaaat much.
Also, at one point Bond visits a grave that tries to establish some series continuity and instead muddies the waters significantly. Why does the Bond franchise keep flirting with some sort of half-assed continuity?
Just… stop trying.
While For Your Eyes Only tries for something ostensibly a little more highbrow, I actually prefer the no-holds-barred silliness of a Moonraker. This installment is undoubtedly better crafted, however, and so the Roger Moore-era scales balance the same: