Friday, 17 February 2012

BlogalongaBond / A View To A Kill: Occasionally Starring Roger Moore

Well thank Christ that's over. It's not that the last seven Bond films haven't been fun - not one of them was as bad as watery snoozathon Thunderball - but let's be honest: Roger Mortis has finally set in. This incarnation of cinema's favourite secret agent is no more. This is an ex-Bond.

It's not even Rodge's fault (he graciously noted that he was "only about four hundred years too old for the part") - the poor bastard had been trying to escape since 1979, but Cubby Broccoli never had the balls to choose another Bond. As a result of that cowardice, and combined with the fact that Moore is nearly three years older than Sean Connery, James Bond went from a prowling, 32-year-old sex puma in 1962 to a shuffling, 57-year-old sex tortoise in 1985 without ever making reference to his own advancing years or behaving accordingly. I'm all for equal opportunities for the elderly, but not if it means watching a man old enough to be my dad making saucytime with a girl ten years younger than me. Sorry Dad, but that's just wrong.

I wouldn't have minded so much if Bond had got it on with anyone of a similar age to his own, but Broccoli and his various writers and directors simply refused to acknowledge that the character ever aged. Look at this graph, in which the red bars represent Roger Moore's age throughout his tenure, while the green bars represent the ages of the actresses with whom he was required to simulate carnal intimacy:

The Roger Moore Paedograph
I mean that's just embarrassing for all of us. By A View To A Kill, Moore was so ancient that the amount of work put in by the hair, make up and lighting departments deserved awards for flattery, as these stills demonstrate:
But enough of this blatant ageism. Roger Moore's seniority is far from the only problem with A View To A Kill: Tanya Roberts is far and away the worst Bond girl ever; there's a Frenchman called Mr Aubergine; we're expected to believe that Bond recorded himself snoring for hours as a cover for sneaking out of his room at night; Grace Jones tries a Russian accent for her first line then doesn't bother again; there's the series' most nonsensical mention of the film's title in casual dialogue; comedy incompetent cops are back, from whom Bond attempts to escape by melting into the crowds in a massive, unwieldy fire truck with its siren blaring, and we're forced to watch the least sexy sex scene in Bond history.
You're not the only one rolling your eyes, mate

I haven't even mentioned the worst thing ever to happen in a Bond film ever, because I can barely bring myself to, but suffice to say it's difficult to listen to The Beach Boys these days without wincing in pain.

The thing that stands out the most about A View To A Kill, though, is the frequent attempts to make us believe that a near-pensioner is executing the film's typically amazing stunts. It's almost as if director John Glen knew he'd never fool us so he just didn't bother trying, allowing so many obvious shots of stuntmen to slip through the edit that it's a wonder they weren't all credited as James Bond in the end crawl. Let's take six completely random shots of Bond in action in the film and see how many of them actually feature Roger Moore:




Fairly certain that's Vladimir Putin.

Not even close.

I think this guy fixed my boiler last winter.

Extrapolate these findings and the shocking truth becomes clear: Roger Moore never actually appeared in A View To A Kill at all. Yet it still made pots of cash at the box office, and for that we must be grateful, because it convinced Cubby Broccoli that he could make a successful Bond film without Rodge. Taking this to its logical conclusion, he decided to hire an actual actor for the next film - but would this brave new dawn actually just mean more cock jokes and teen-shagging pensioners, or would it kick the living daylights out of the series, resulting in the greatest Bond film to date?

Take a wild guess.

Duran Duran's theme song
Simon Le Bon's lyrics might sound like the ramblings of a madman and the baffling video is a perfect example of why pop stars shouldn't attempt acting, but the song itself is a fabulous burst of fluoro-pop made doubly welcome by the fact that it's the first Bond theme in over a decade that isn't a soppy ballad. John Taylor's nimble basslines and Nick Rhodes' excitable synthesisers are at complete odds with the clunking codgertoss that follows, but for three minutes and ten seconds A View To A Kill is back-combed mullet-raising entertainment.
Bonus LOL: Whoever chose the image for the 7" single label gave us a cock joke worthy of Rodge himself, though it only became apparent when you placed the record on your turntable:

Patrick Macnee
Casting Britain's other Greatest Secret Agent alongside Roger Moore was a stroke of genius. Macnee had been winking at Bond throughout The Avengers, and finally he got his chance to join in the fun. In a perfect world there would be a spin-off series of films starring Moore and Macnee as Bond and John Steed in their 80s, fighting crime, attempting to nob 20-year-old girls and forgetting where they parked the car. Although to be honest, A View To A Kill isn't far from that already.

Uh... the length of Roger Moore's
and Grace Jones' legs in this poster?
I've run out of amazing things to say about A View To A Kill. Those legs are very long though.

BlogalongaBond will return with The Living Daylights

What the hell is BlogalongaBond? I'll tell you.
Further BlogalongaBondareading here


  1. Roger Mortis might just be the most clever and accurate nickname I've ever heard.

  2. The Suit strikes again with groin-grabbingly brilliant puns and sympathetic cynical jabs.Love reading your work.The highlight for me though is definitely the Putin shot. Everyone knows he does his own stunts. Maybe he could play a Stephen Berkoff-esque mad commie general in the Bond 24?

  3. Pretty sure the NOT Sir Rodge in the penultimate pic is Rowan Atkinson ala Blackadder! Nice work, keep it up :D

  4. No kind words about Christopher Walken? I've really been having trouble motivating myself to review this month's instalment, but I pretty much agree with you- even this wasn't as bad as Thunderball.

  5. The Credulous Suit is thinking Moore was getting more. Love on a reel is not real. It is more tongue in cheek than cheek to cheek. Moore ended up playing a parody of himself as Bond which hardly matters because that still left a way to go for Johnny English. Bond is for escapist fun not the coincident and hyperbolic idolising and denigration. Bond is on a par with Punch & Judy not Milton and Shakespeare

  6. After watching a women's cycling event in which the clear winner was the amazing slow motion detail delivered in HD TV, the predictable mellow drone that is The Incredible Persuit's obsession with Moore's maturity and the gold medal youthful fitness of his conquests seems Moore boring.

    Were The Avengers secret agents? I thought they were in the Yellow Pages under A for Avengers or R for Revenge (see Avengers) or V for Vigilante (see Avengers)

  7. The multi-talented Incredible Suit works hard to get reviews.
    :The Incredible Boilersuit drove a steam train for 'Back to the Future'
    :The Incredible Countersuit delivered a document in '12 Angry Men'
    :The Incredible Jesuit has a bid for the lead role in the film of the same name.
    :The Incredible Jumpsuit has skydived onto red carpets.
    :The Incredible Lawsuit has sued to secure interviews.
    :The Incredible Missuit would change gender to seduce leading men.
    :The Incredible Nonsuit went undetected for 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'.
    :The Incredible Pantsuit went fancy pants for 'The Devil Wears Prada'
    :The Incredible Playsuit dressed as a wolf for 'Where The Wild Things Are'
    :The Incredible Pursuit ran miles chasing a balloon for 'Up'.
    :The Incredible Snowsuit did icy interviews for 'Chalet Girl'
    :The Incredible Spacesuit floated in the void for 'Moonraker'
    :The Incredible Sunsuit was in the wrong costume for 'The Shining'.
    :The Incredible Swimsuit made it to 'Muppet Treasure Island'.
    :The Incredible Tracksuit ran faster than a replicant for 'Blade Runner'.
    :The Incredible Wetsuit spent ages in vain looking for the 'Catfish'.

  8. For the record, and considering how many people moan about Roger Moore's age in 'A View To A Kill', none of the kids that this movie was aimed at complained about it. In fact when I first saw this movie at age 9 I was absolutely thrilled. I didn't think "Jeez, should he really be boning a woman nearly 30 years younger than him"? I still think it's a great Bond film even now in my 30s and it's all as perfectly believable as any of the others. In fact it's a classic. What's not to like about a film that has it's penultimate scene set on top of the golden gate bridge in San Fransico?

  9. I should also add that I think Moore left the franchise much too early. He should still be playing Bond now.

  10. The names Mortis...Roger Mortis.

    some random obs after watching watched AVTAK this sunday on itv

    -Mortis pulls some absolute stonking birds in this one its like they were pulling out all the stops for Mortis' swangsong - the sub 80s blonde, Fiona Fully, and the beaut Tan Roberts (christ wot a stunner she is in this) and theres even a barely legal Elsa from Last Crusade

    - the underground mine stuff and David Yip give it a Temple of Doom vibe - esp when May Day lowers Bond into the pit (mustve been filming it as TOD was in cinemas) Mortis even looks abit Indy at times (white dinner jacket like Ford in Doom opening, and theres abit of an Indy look to him in the mine stuff). Octopussy had some Raiders stuff in it too so no doubt the Bond makers were looking at what Spielberg was up to

    -Barrys score is great I miss those grand sweeping scores of the Mortis era. Nothing was more 'Bond' than some of the Barry tracks. Every time I hear a Barry tune on the radio it just sounds 'bond'(even if its not from bond) and I imagine a bronzed golden haired Mortis swanning about in some exotic location silently stalking some beautiful woman whos young enough to be his grand daughter.

    -Zorrin scared the shit out of me when I was a kid and to be honest he still does now, an absolute psycho nut job possibly the worst any Bond has gone up against. there were times I feared Mortis might not make it though!

    -casting Steed as a fellow agent was possibly the best casting in the entire series. Mortis seems genuinely annoyed when Steed gets offed

    -im fairly certain the brutal violence would get a 15 today (R in the states)

    -the end Golden Gate bridge fight is my all time favourite fight in the whole of the series. brutal...mortis is in the fight of his career.

    -Mortis: 'drat ive dropped the soap'...Stacey: 'I'll get it'....Mortis: 'THAT is not the soap' (wot a way to go out the series...lucky Mortis)

    -lastly just found this which made me LOL quite hard (esp like the way he put in the Mortis 'ooohs!')

  11. Pardon the Colombo but one last thing – I thought Mortis seemed especially relaxed in this. Almost as if winning the battle of the bonds last time gave him increased uber confidence. Hed taken on Connery and won. its almost like a cheeky victory lap with a quick bath with Fiona and shower/soap drop with Tanya and he 'got off' eventually