Talk about a good set-up!
You've got a cool title, a kickass Duran Duran theme song, Christopher Walken, Grace Jones, all in a Bond film! How is this not widely known as THE best 007 flick out there?
I'll tell ya:
Yeah, you know what's not cool to have in a Bond film? An extensive amount of time spent talking about or riding horses. I mean, I like the countryside and the pooey smell of stables as much as anyone but...
Remember that scene in Goldfinger where Bond is playing golf with the titular villain? Now imagine if that scene was about an hour long.
Alright, I know it sounds like I'm panning A View To A Kill pretty harshly, but don't get me wrong: I like the movie! Christopher Walken's Max Zorin is a cool villain, Grace Jones is as striking as ever as henchwoman May Day, I like the opening ski scene, as silly as it is, and the third act is actually pretty darn decent. You've got a chase up and down the Eiffel Tower, Bond and Bond girl Stacey Sutton (a forgettable Tanya Roberts) escaping from a burning building in the US then getting away in a stolen fire truck, and of course the thrilling finale on the Golden Gate Bridge. It takes a while to get to all that latter stuff but when you do, it's great. When you think about it, the film keeps getting better and better so that's one way to look at it...
Even then, though, A View To A Kill does have its moronic moments.
"Wow! What a view!"
"To a KILL!"
Actual lines from the movie, people.
The whole ski opening is as ridiculous as you'd expect, with Roger Moore's way more flexible stuntman doing literally all the work before snowboarding around to the sound of surf music. I'm guessing snowboarding must have been new and "rad" "to the max" at that particular point in time. To give you an idea, the scene ends with Bond entering an iceberg boat and getting laid in it. Then, of course, there's the whole horse-race-fixing underworld plot we're being made to sit through. Expect plenty of crude one-liners, the weird vision of Grace Jones and a crazy-old Roger Moore doing it and tons of classic Walkenisms.
"I'm happiest... in the SADDLE!"
I love Max Zorin, he has a blimp and everything.
Overall, A View To A Kill is hardly the best 007 effort out there, it's not even the best Roger Moore flick but it's by no means as bad as it's often made out to be either. Sure it has its rubbish horsey moments but apart from that it's entertaining and definitely has its plus points. The cast, with the exception of a decidedly bland Tanya Roberts, is loads of fun and Patrick Macnee makes a memorable appearance as Bond's colleague/pretend porter. If you're a Moore fan, you'll probably enjoy this one, otherwise approach with caution but keep an open mind. If you can forgive a bit of horsing around and appreciate the lols, you might just enjoy it.
Super-strength Grace Jones, come on!
That's gotta be worth something!
Genius computer scene, huh?