Rewatched Jun 17, 2012
Steve Grzesiak’s review:
And back we go to the silly Bonds again.
Roger Moore really wasn't given as easy a ride as you might think. The changes of tone from one of his Bond films to the next must not have been all that easy to work around, and I'm not entirely convinced that he WAS at his happiest when the series was at its absolute daftest. Here he puts in by far his flattest performance to date, and I don't think it is necessarily to do with his advancing years.
In fact, they try and compensate for that fact by giving him what I think was the second oldest Bond girl yet (Maud Adams was 38 at the time this film was shot) because, let's face it, it was starting to become uncomfortable seeing Moore with the usual twenty-something Bond girls. No, he just looks slightly tired by it all, and you can't really blame him because this really is a very stupid film in places.
Actually, it's perhaps not even quite as unbelievable as Moonraker, but that film had far more charm and exciting action scenes, as well as an excellent main villain. This has Louis Jourdan not even trying to be slightly Indian, Steven Berkoff hamming it up to insane levels, Vijay Amritraj completely out of his depth as a Bond sidekick, and Q piddling around in a hot air balloon. Still, nice to see him out and about, eh?
It does have its moments. The pre-credits scene is great fun, as is the Knife Throwers v Secret Agent In Clown Costume scene right after the credits, but it starts to unravel quite quickly save for a pretty good chase through the streets and the "GET OFF MY BED!" line still makes me giggle. Clearly all those Stewart Lee DVDs haven't completely matured my sense of humour after all.
It also throws in a leech, a tiger, some elephants, a snake, some spiders, a crocodile, some snake charming, tennis references, sword swallowers and even a gag about curry. IT'S SET IN INDIA, YOU KNOW.
This was my second favourite Bond film as a kid. I'm happy to say that I've grown out of that now. But you know what made me cross about watching Octopussy? Knowing that A View To A Kill is next....