Watched Jul 01, 2012
Silent J’s review:
Continuing my journey to see every single 007 film before the release of Skyfall, I just got finished watching the twelfth Bond film, For Your Eyes Only.
Roger Moore gives arguably his best outing yet as James Bond. Ever since his first outing in Live and Let Die he managed to get better and better in each film and this is no exception. He just continues to impress and I hope he continues this streak until his last outing. He is more charming, he is funnier, and here he shows a more ruthless side of Bond we rarely seen in Moore's Bond. This appears evident in a scene where he has a choice to save or let die a henchman and the results are pretty shocking coming from the wise cracking Bond we've seen over the past five films. He can be serious and funny depending on the tone of the film, though his funny side has been slightly toned down for a more serious outing. There is a more matured Bond in this film. In this film, he is able to resist his own urges and look at his age. His timing works for every minute he's on screen from his sharp delivery to that look in his eyes.
The main Bond Girl in this film is Melina Havelock played by Carole Bouquet. Melina is a very different Bond Girl and a very good one. She is on a mission to avenge the death of her parents. This character is interesting enough that you can imagine her holding her own in her own film. In fact, she's so different from past Bond girls it's like she did have her own film but somewhere along the line ended up in this film. She is a well layered character fully realized by a fantastic performance from Bouquet. She has an intelligent and complexity to her that makes her not only strong willed, but one of the most interesting female characters in the entire franchise. The film doesn't dwell on her character as long as I hoped, but I guess that's what adds to her mystery. We know too much, we may not have cared so much. My only big problem is Lynn-Holly Johnson's role as Bibi. She's annoying. I get she's supposed to be annoying, like an annoying thorn in Bond's shoe and he's trying to resist urges from her, but her voice and just her prescence irritated me.
What makes For Your Eyes Only different from any other Bond film is that it's never 100% clear who the main villain, the man who killed Melina's parents, is until the end, adding a new kind of mystery to the film. There are a few suspects who each stand a convincing threat to Bond. There's Kristatos, who is provided a fantastic and sinister performance by Julian Glover. Kristatos henchmen, Emile Locque and Eric Kriegler, played respectively by Michael Gothard and John Wyman. Both give solid performances and while neither is as memorable as someone like Oddjob or Jaws, both are formidable foes for Bond. Each villain in this film possesses a believable threat to Bond and keep you wondering just how is Bond gonna get out of this one. There's also Columbo, played solidly by Topol, who later joins forces with Bond. I liked the character of Colombo. He's a fun character and a good ally for Bond.
I loved the action sequences in this film. Very exciting and there was always a moment where you are left on the edge of you seat wondering how the hell is Bond gonna get outta this one. I really liked the opening. Not only because it's a great and exciting action sequence, but I liked the beginning where Bond puts flowers on his late wife's grave, calling back to her death in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Makes me believe that even with all of the shagging he's done in the past, Tracy is the only woman he ever has and ever will love and he will always remember and care for her. It's a nice touch. The ski chases and underwater scenes are superbly directed and very exciting. The cars were pretty cool. This is just a really fun film with a lot of thrills throughout.
This is Moore's best Bond performance thus far and while it may not be his best Bond, it comes very close.