Starring: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts
Director: John Glen
Running Time: 131 mins
A View To A Kill is a British film and the fourteenth installment in the James Bond series. After discovering the megalomaniac industrialist Max Zorin, Bond learns of a plan to destroy Silicon Valley, as Zorin aims to gain a worldwide monopoly of the microchip.
Whilst A View To A Kill is full of the ridiculous high-wire action and innuendo-centric comedy that some of the most entertaining Bond movies are, it’s actually quite a disappointing watch. Largely due to its very predictable story, but also as a result of little originality when it comes to new action sequences and new jokes, watching A View To A Kill just felt like a greatest hits of the Roger Moore era compilation, and not an exciting new adventure.
That said, it’s not an entirely awful film. In his seventh and final outing as 007, Roger Moore is as suave and funny as ever. The bright spot in so many of the series’ weakest films, he pulls off all sorts of ridiculous double entendres with ease, and makes Bond as likable and entertaining as he’s ever been, which helps massively in making for a light-hearted and occasionally enjoyable watch.
The problem with A View To A Kill, however, is the fact that it doesn’t offer anything either original or ludicrously hilarious for you to enjoy. Sure, there are a couple of big, crazy action set-pieces, but so many of them feel almost identical to stuff we’ve seen before from Bond, and within the 007 formula that so many of these classic Bond movies take, I just wasn’t interested in seeing what happened, because I already knew.
So, if you’ve never seen any Bond movie, then A View To A Kill won’t feel as tired-out as any avid fans of the series will recognise, but the fact remains that it’s a rehashing of so many Bond tropes, and it doesn’t really go about it with any sense of silly glee.
At least some of the more ridiculous films, i.e. Moonraker and Octopussy, know that being excessively silly takes your mind off the story. It’s not a good excuse for poor storytelling, but in comparison to this film, which only occasionally goes as far as those two in terms of utterly ludicrous humour and action, it can make for an entertaining watch.
The film tries to take itself a little more seriously at times, providing background and reasoning for all sorts of uninteresting and irrelevant plot points, ranging from Christopher Walken’s accent to some of the series’ most pointless gadgetry. The story isn’t interesting enough for that exposition to be worth it, and I would have much preferred to see something totally idiotic from start to finish in exchange.
Overall, whilst it does have some good points, particularly Roger Moore’s performance, A View To A Kill lacks the heart and humour of some of the best Bond movies. There’s a good bit of innuendo from here to there, and the action is as ridiculous as ever, but it feels far too much like a retreading of the series’ best bits, which made for a very underwhelming watch, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.4.