Love 'em or hate 'em, the Roger Moore years were certainly worth a watch.
I mean, look at the above poster.
Why would you NOT go and see that?
Ah Moonraker. I had forgotten this entire film but I had a feeling that re-watching it might just prove it to be so bad it would actually tower above Never Say Never Again and On Her Majesty's Secret Service as the ultimate best worst Bond movie. The very idea of 007 IN SPACE sounded ludicrous but kind of awesome so I was really looking forward to revisiting this one properly.
Hm, how do I put this...
Isn't THAT bad.
I mean, don't get me wrong, it's silly, but not in the hilarious "bad movie" way I was expecting. The main problem with Moonraker isn't it's OTT plot but rather that the build-up to the whole space thing is crazy-boring. You know where the movie is going right off the bat, you've seen the poster! And yet it's like the film spends 90 minutes fumbling in its pockets, looking for its keys in order to unlock the sci-fi climax. Even the whole horses subplot in A View To A Kill was more lively than that! And that was pretty densely dull. Thankfully you do have Jaws popping up once in a while, a Bond girl called Goodhead (subtle) and a terrific villain in Michael Lonsdale's Hugo Drax to keep things from putting you to sleep completely. Oh, and the usual Roger Moore blend of broad, not funny jokes and shit-tons of eyebrow-raisin' is also present, which is good if you like that sort of thing but otherwise...
WHEN'S SPACE ALREADY?!
The whole movie sees Bond investigating the whereabouts of a lost space shuttle, it all eventually leads him back to the most obvious choice: Hugo Drax, the guy who looks like a bond villain, talks like a Bond villain and clearly orchestrated the entire thing. We could have skipped the entire "whodunit" plot, since we know from the offset who's to blame, and just spent our time chasing him down and kicking ass in space but no.
We HAD to see Bond get laid in Venice.
Anyway, as it turns out, Hugo Drax's brilliant plan was actually kinda epic.
Absurd and completely insane but epic nonetheless.
The idea was to take a bunch of young Aryan-types to a hidden space station then launch these spaceballs filled to the brim with deadly orchid farts to Earth, destroy EVERYONE expect nature and animals (lol) then go back and start a new world with some blonde-haired, blue-eyed "master race".
Now I'm not saying that was a good plan or anything but the guy was pretty darn close to getting it done!
Hugo Drax doesn't f*** around!
If it hadn't been for 007, the whole world would have just gone... boom. This is why I quite like Moonraker now: it's not just that something is at stake like one city or whatever, no, everything is at stake here. That's the kind of scale we'll probably never see again in a Bond film and I'm honestly quite impressed that they went for it full-on and just about pulled it off. That last half-hour really is as grand as it gets, spy movie-wise. People travel to space in that flick like they're driving around the block to pick up ham and cheese baguettes. Because the movie's in a rush to fit it all into that last half-hour, things happen super fast and it's great. The US learns that some shit is going down in outer-space, they send a team in a shuttle an hour later armed with laser beams and everything. I should point out that those sequences look surprisingly good, the effects are still pretty cool for the most part and the film should be applauded for trying something epic, new and daring with the franchise, definitely.
Those who like their Bond a bit more... down-to-Earth will probably laugh that one off but if the idea of 007 shooting at spaceballs in a shuttle right over the Earth's atmosphere while wearing a silver jumpsuit sounds like fun then I'd say give it a go. You might want to skip to that last half-hour, though. By all means stick around for the traditional opening credits sequence but you won't be missing much if you do just skip to the space stuff after that.
Not one of the better Bonds but certainly THE biggest in scale and that frankly makes Moonraker a bit of a must-see.
Besides, Jaws gets a girlfriend!