A View to a Kill
58. Paris chase
Bond chases assassin May Day up the Eiffel Tower, where she breathtakingly jumps off the top – forcing Bond to make a rather hasty descent of his own and steal a taxi to try to catch her around Paris. He ultimately fails. Daft, but fun.
59. Tibbett’s chores
The chemistry between Roger Moore and Patrick Macnee is great in this film. And for some reason I find the role-reversal particularly funny when Bond gets “Sir” Godfrey Tibbett running around doing all his laborious chores. Some great chemistry and nice interplay between the two! It’s a shame they offed the old boy really.
60. Golden Gate Fight
Crazy, and yet somehow feels just right. The climax has Bond and Stacey clinging to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge whilst Zorin and his cronies attack from their stranded zeppelin is inspired. Particularly love the cackle Christopher Walken gives just before his demise, Zorin believing he can still win (nice touch). “There’s never a taxi when you need one” quips Bond at the end. It’s probably your own fault for stealing one earlier in the movie, Mr Bond.
Other great scenes:
Walken is of course great in all his scenes (they originally were targeting David Bowie for the role). The iceberg sub, Ms Jenny Flex, May Day bedding Bond, the steeple chase + trying to escape on horse-back, a particularly sadistic moment where a Russian spy is thrown into a propeller blade, Pola Ivanova/retrieving the tape, the part where Walken goes completely nuts and kills everyone in the mine and May Day saving the day.
Not so great:
Well Roger is clearly a bit long in the tooth at this stage and comes over more like a dirty old man with his entendres. That beach-boys moment ruins what might have been an otherwise okay ski-chase sequence. It is basically an 80’s rehash of Goldfinger with microchips. Tanya Roberts makes for a very annoying Bond girl who seems to just scream “James” the whole way through. To top it all off, Bond makes a quiche.
The Living Daylights
61. Gibraltar Training
The double-0’s are put on a training exercise to penetrate the radar installations at Gibraltar with the SAS guarding. Naturally it all goes a bit wrong when a genuine assassin turns up and begins killing people. This is a splendid introduction to Dalton’s Bond from the opening free-fall right up until the end of the land-rover fight. He also gets a reward at the end of the scene.
62. Necros attacks
Once again we get to see a minor character take on one of the baddies (which I love). Okay they are rarely victorious, but the butler here does a pretty good job at slowing Necros down a bit. This is perhaps the greatest kitchen fight this side of Gremlins, featuring flying pans, grilled faces and a nasty electric saw-knives. Cracking!
63. The Ghetto Blaster
Something they are making for the Americans apparently. A very 80’s gag. Simple. Throw-away. Fun. As is usually the case with Q-branch. Whilst we are at it, I’d also love one of those revolving sofas please!
64. Optional extras
Aston Martin are back and this car is once more another great addition. Now equipped with lasers (rather than tyre slashers), amazing “modern safety glass” (rather than a metal bullet-proof plate), spiked tyres for driving on ice, a jet engine booster, retractable outriggers, a heads-up display and missiles naturally. Oh and sadly a self destruct system. I do love this chase, it did the whole chase on a frozen lake thing well before Die another day. The continuation with the cello is also rather imaginative.
65. Sliding doors
Saunders gives Bond a hard time during his early scenes in the movie. Later on he reluctantly agrees to help Bond and some mutual respect is earned between the two. Unfortunately Necros has been given orders to “eliminate” one more ally. In this case Saunders. He does in style, by over-riding the sliding doors at a cafe and presumably chopping poor Saunders in half, right in front of Bond. What I particularly like is the seething rage Dalton exudes here, popping the Spiert Spionom balloon with venom and chasing after the nearest balloon holder with his gun drawn ready (which happens to be a small kid). A human scene where we get to see Bond temporarily lose his cool in the spur of the moment. Neat!
66. Pushkin confrontation
Some nice tension in this scene. Bond confronts his “target” Pushkin played by a rather gruff John Rhys-Davies. It’s a bit more cold, real and brutal than anything we were used to from the Roger Moore era. You really do think that Dalton could kill him at any moment. Pushkin explains to Bond that it is a matter of trust, would he trusts him more than Koskov? “If we trusted Koskov, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation” notes Bond. Great stuff! Ambiguously the scene is left on the line from Pushkin “Then I must die” as Bond’s silencer gets closer to his head. Incidently, the Pushkin character was a late replacement for Walter Gotell’s General GoGol who has been in the movies since The Spy Who Loved Me. Sadly Gotell was ill at the time, so they reworked things – although he still makes an appearance at the end of the film.
67. Inflight fight
This is why I love Bond. No CGI. Mostly done for real. Completely crazy! With a brilliant Bond action/fight tune to accompany it from John Barry (sadly his last ever Bond score). Not only is the rope which holds them fraying, but there is also a bomb ticking in one of the opium sacks onboard the plane. You tend to forget this after the exhilarating aerial fight. Once Bond has given Necros “the boot”, he slumps exhausted, relaxing for but a second. Just what is that strange bleeping noise coming from one of the sacks? Sorry James, you can’t relax just yet!
Other great scenes:
“Better make that two”, “The sniper was a woman” – Koskov’s defection and the pipeline to the West, “Why didn’t you learn the violin?”, cello case chase, Bond seducing Kara on the wheel, Pushkin “assassinated” by Bond + the Tangiers roof chase (some 20 years before Bourne Ultimatum did the same thing), Bond drugged + “Jerry Bondon”, the Afghan cell fight, blowing up the bridge, escaping the Hercules plane in the jeep.
Not so great:
Caroline Bliss makes for a good-looking Money Penny. Sadly, I have trouble believing she would ever need to stay at home listening to her “Barry Manilow” collection waiting for Bond to call. Plus Dalton slaps her bottom! The villains (only exception being the aptly named Necros) are rather weak. John Terry also makes for a flat and dull Felix Leiter. Not that this a problem for me, but the politics have aged a bit as well, not sure Bond would team up those rebels these days. Finally – why didn’t Bond shoot Whittaker in the stomach or legs at the end (rather than wasting all his bullets hitting the clearly bullet-proof shield screen)?
Part 8 coming soon: Licence to Kill and Goldeneye
Images (C) 1985/1987 Danjaq/EON.