For the fifth time, Roger Moore strides onto the screen as British Secret Service Agent 007, James Bond.
After the sloppy sci-fi schlep Moonraker, the James Bond franchise took a giant and grateful step back towards its roots with For Your Eyes Only, the 12th Bond film.
For Your Eyes Only was considerably better than the previous Bond film as the producers decided to make a film closer to the old days of secret spies. The gadgets were kept at a happy medium and in a much less campy manner.
Check that. The cold open was very much full of camp as, apparently, Bond’s old enemy Blofeld made another appearance, only to get killed with the help of an over the top helicopter trick. This did not match the tone of the rest of the film, but it was a nice shout out to anyone who wanted the camp in a Bond film. It was just enough for my tastes.
In this film, Bond must find a communication device, known as an A.T.A.C., which went down with a British spy ship before the Russians. During the adventure, he meets a woman named Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet), who is out for revenge on the people who murdered her parents.
I really enjoyed For Your Eyes Only. It returned the franchise to a much better place. Sure there are still jokes and over-the-top antics, but they are not played for total camp or slapstick humor. This felt like a spy movie again instead of a parody of one.
The action sequences are crisp and entertaining. I talked about how I thought I had remembered a ski scene in this movie during the movie, The Spy Who Loved Me, and I had. The ski scene was very well done and more extensive than in The Spy Who Loved Me.
How many times does Bond have to avoid some giant predatory animal in one of these movies? We have seen piranha and giant snakes before. This movie was, at least, the third time that sharks make an appearance in the Bond films.
Roger Moore was starting to look his age here. He was fine during this movie, but it was clear that his days as James Bond was going to be coming to an end sooner rather than later.
The ending scenes of the Bond franchise, especially during the Moore years, seem to be fairly similar with Bond getting the girl, literally as his bosses try to talk to him. It has grown to be a bit repetitious.
This was also the first film that M was not on screen. Bond’s long time boss was said to be on leave during this filming because the actor Bernard Lee had died of stomach cancer before they could film his scenes. Out of respect for the actor who had been in the previous 11 Bond films, producer Albert R. Broccoli refused to recast the role.
This film featured one of my favorite, most underrated Bond themes. For Your Eyes Only was recorded by 80’s diva Sheena Easton and the rich vocals and sultry voice fit beautifully with the tone of the film.
This was a welcome return to pseudo-seriousness after the stupidity of Moonraker. For Your Eyes Only was a huge success and one of the most under rated of the Bond films.