Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Favorite Era: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

With the Halloween stuff out of the way, now we can get back to drooling with anticipation as the U.S. release for Skyfall draws closerI'll be examining a few of my favorites from the series over the next week or so and eventually, I will end up reviewing all of the films in the series.

For now, we're starting with For Your Eyes Only, film number 12 in the series and Roger Moore's fifth.  It's a more down to earth story, much needed after the admittedly entertaining excess of Moonraker, providing a straight-up spy thriller loaded with action and cool moments as 007 tries to get to a bit of military hardware before the Russians do.
  • First off, you gotta love that poster.  It's just awesome in its simplicity.
  • Bond enters the 80's with a great gun barrel theme done by Bill Conti.  I dig the score of the film more than most seem to.  It's pretty heavy on the synth but it's still a very good bit of work.
  • Love the pretitle sequence with Bond hanging on for dear life to a remote controlled helicopter.
  • Great main title sequence with Sheena Easton doing the song.
  • After the over the top stunt sequence, the film settles nicely into a relatively dark thriller kicking off with the sinking of a British spy ship carrying our MacGuffin for the evening and the brutal murder of the Havelocks in front of their daughter Melina (Carole Bouquet).
  • The film is very well directed by John Glen who also edited and did second unit work on a few other films in the franchise.  Glen also directed the other four Bond films released in the 80's.
  • The action in the film is simply awesome with my favorite being the ski chase fifty minutes into the film.  there have been a few skiing sequences in the series but this one is the best with Bond being chased around a resort being used for Olympic training.  Naturally, he ends up on the bobsled run at one point.
  • I also enjoy the car chase about twenty five minutes in which sees Bond's usual gadget laden vehicle blown up, leaving him to escape in Melina's distinctly less flashy compact car.
  • Julian Glover makes for a fine villain, the sneaky and cold-blooded Kristatos.  I especially like how he is at first set up as an ally, pointing Bond in the direction of Colombo (Topol) who turns out to be an old rival with a grudge against the man.
  • Topol is also fun as Colombo, giving a very likable performance.
  • Roger Moore is great here as he keeps the light touch he normally has while also throwing in a few moments to remind you that 007 is a killer, first and foremost.  Best of all is his cold dispatching of the man who has already killed one of his friends as well as Colombo's girlfriend Lisl (the late Cassandra Harris who was married to Pierce Brosnan at the time of filming).  Kicking a guy's car off a cliff while he's in it?  Damn good stuff.
  • The film is paced quite well though I do feel it sags a bit in the last act.  There is a great keelhauling sequence after Bond and Melina are captured and the mountain climbing finale is visually impressive but the overall effectiveness of the film is somewhat lessened.
  • I do like Bond destroying the MacGuffin at the end rather than handing it over to the Russians.  It's a nice touch.
Overall, For Your Eyes Only is a very strong entry in the series.  It's fun, action packed with good performances and apart from a third act that sags a bit, it's  a great flick.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.