Article: A View to A Kill Underated

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Article: A View to A Kill Underated

Postby carl stromberg » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:35 pm

Here is an interesting article praising A view To A Kill. It says Roger was far too old to be Bond at 57, so I'm looking forward to everyone attacking Craig for being to old for Bond if he makes more films after Spectre.

http://blogs.indiewire.com/criticwire/a-view-to-a-kill-bond-underrated


Of all the weird niche movie fandoms out there, Bond fans might be my favorite. They're passionate and knowledgeable, but they're also very accepting of opposing opinions. They recognize that the franchise has gone on so long, through so many different permutations, that there are different generations of Bond fans with different tastes. As obsessives go, they're awfully relaxed. Maybe it's all the martinis.

Not surprisingly, then, I've had a lot of fun discussing my picks for The Worst Bond Films Ever on Twitter, Facebook, and the comments section of the original piece. The conversations have been lively but not contentious. By far the most disagreement on my list was for Timothy Dalton's "Licence to Kill." While I'm a fan of Dalton's Bond, I've never liked his second and final outing in the role -- but a fair percentage of folks out there do. For some, it's a nostalgia pick (it was the first Bond they saw, they watched it a million times on cable as kids, etc.). For others it's one of the most pleasantly atypical films in the series: few gadgets, less womanizing, more drama, and character development.

The most disagreement off my list -- the movie that the most readers argued should have been included -- was 1985's "A View to a Kill," the seventh and final Bond adventure featuring Roger Moore as 007. This did not surprise me at all. "A View to a Kill" is routinely ranked around or at the absolute bottom of every other list of the worst Bond films. It's been that way for decades. My own Bond nostalgia dates to the mid-'90s, when Pierce Brosnan took over the role. In conjunction with one of his films (I forget which), Entertainment Weekly did their own ranking of the entire franchise from best to worst. I was an impressionable teen at the time, and I took the list as gospel; watching all the Bond movies (many for the first time) in the order they were ranked by EW. They put "A View to a Kill" dead last. Fifteen odd years later not much has changed; a few weeks ago, USA Today gave it the same dubious honor. Bond fans don't agree on too much. They could spend eternity debating who was the best villain or the best Bond girl. Hating "A View to a Kill" is as close to a consensus as they get.

Most of their disapproval is reserved for Moore himself, who was 57 by the time he made "A View to a Kill," and clearly too old to play a physically vigorous secret agent. On this fact, there's very little argument -- including from Moore himself, who later joked he was "only about 400 years too old for that part" in 1985. It's beyond the point where it's creepy for him to sleep with younger women; it's just kind of sad (his main female co-star, Tanya Roberts, just turned 57 - in 2012). To paraphrase the classic Chris Rock routine, "A View to a Kill" Roger Moore is like the old man at the club. Everyone else of his generation has moved on, gotten married, had kids, gotten a desk job. But he's still there in his bellbottoms every Tuesday for 70s Night. You don't want to be the old man at the club.

Until recently, I agreed with the consensus. When I saw "A View to a Kill" as a teenager, I thought it was laughable. I never watched it again. So when I rented the film just prior to writing that "Worst Bond Movies" piece, I planned to refresh my memory, confirm my opinion, and find some material for a few old guy jokes ("Moore was so old he had to take Viagra an hour before shooting the action scenes just in case he wanted to fire his gun."). Then I actually watched the movie and a very strange thing happened: I liked it. With a hero this decrepit, "A View to a Kill" could never rise to the status of a great Bond movie. But if the Moore of 1973 had starred in it? It might have been one of his very best.

Moore's age doesn't diminish the movie's greatest strength: namely its deranged villain, played with typically delightful lunacy by Christopher Walken. His character is Max Zorin, a microchip manufacturer looking to increase his market share by destroying Silicon Valley with a cataclysmic earthquake. The marriage between the Bond franchise and Walken was a match made in heaven. By 1985, the franchise's evildoers required less logic than charisma; theirs was not to succeed, or even to make much sense, but to scheme and cackle and threaten in the biggest and most entertaining way possible. Few men have ever been more suited to that task than Christopher Walken.

Zorin, it turns out, was the product of a former Nazi scientist's experiments into the effects of steroids on pregnant women, a process that made him a psychotic genius. That's as good an explanation for Walken's peculiar speech patterns as I've ever heard, on or off screen. His particular skills as an actor are well-suited to Roger Moore's Bond, whose connection to indexical reality was already tenuous at best. In "A View to a Kill" he could indulge all his weirdest impulses, and not seem out of place in the slightest. This is a world where James Bond drives a car that's been sawed in half, and has a submarine that looks like an iceberg. In this context, why wouldn't a microchip manufacturer talk like Christopher Walken and have an airship that can kill people with the flick of a switch?

Zorin is aided in his quest to be the strangest and most memorable Bond villain of them all by his lover and henchwoman May Day, played with scene stealing relish by Grace Jones. She and Walken share two of the most pleasurably strange scenes in all of Bond (neither of which, shockingly, seem to be online). In the first, director John Glen gives us a little peak in to Zorin and May Day's home life, which consists of what Will Ferrell's character in "Zoolander" would have surely called "sex fighting" -- a karate battle that quickly turns into fetishistic foreplay. In the second, Zorin and May Day admire San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from the control deck of his dirigible. "What a view..." Jones says. "To a kill!" Walken cackles, indicating he knows exactly what movie he's in -- right down to its title.

Beyond Walken and Jones' considerable contributions, "A View to a Kill" also contains a robust assortment of action sequences. In the cold open, Bond retrieves a microchip from the dead body of another British spy and then escapes from Siberian soldiers by turning a destroyed snowmobile into an improvised snowboard while the soundtrack illogically blares "California Girls" (a choice so inappropriate it's almost inspired). Later, after May Day kills an informant with details on Zorin's plan, Bond pursues her up the Eiffel Tower, and then through Paris as she tries to escape via parachute. There's an incredible car chase with a whole series of jaw-dropping stunts, including a jump on to and off of the roof of a moving bus. Later, Bond is nearly arrested by the San Francisco police and he makes his getaway on a firetruck whose back half begins swinging wildly into traffic as Moore('s stunt double) hangs on for dear life.

So, yes, Moore is too old. And the less said about Tanya Roberts as the main Bond girl the better (that's why I've only mentioned her once until now). "A View to a Kill" is certainly not on par with Sean Connery's best Bonds, but it's not really that much worse than Moore's high points. It's less silly than "Octopussy," and it's got a much better villain than "Moonraker." In this Bond fan's view, it's actually kind of underrated. And the Duran Duran theme song is great. Surely every Bond fan can agree with me on that.
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Re: Article: A View to A Kill Underated

Postby The Saint 007 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:35 pm

"But they're also very accepting of opposing opinions." Which is why most of Craig's detractors have to go here to voice their opinion to avoid getting harassed. Plus, I always see people getting picked on for liking certain Bond films that aren't deemed as masterpieces by critics and hardcore fans.

Anyway, I actually just recently watched A View To A Kill again. I've always loved the film as a kid, and I love it even more now. It's a fun and entertaining adventure that's not ashamed to admit it's a Bond film at the end of the day. It marked the end of one of my favourite Bond eras, and for me, things were never really quite the same afterwards.

It's funny how people criticize the age of Moore and other members of the cast, when Skyfall has a withered Craig Bond team up with Judi Dench and an old groundskeeper to fight off Silva and his goons in the final showdown at Bond Manor.
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Re: Article: A View to A Kill Underated

Postby Veronica » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:02 am

The Saint 007 wrote:"But they're also very accepting of opposing opinions." Which is why most of Craig's detractors have to go here to voice their opinion to avoid getting harassed. Plus, I always see people getting picked on for liking certain Bond films that aren't deemed as masterpieces by critics and hardcore fans.

Anyway, I actually just recently watched A View To A Kill again. I've always loved the film as a kid, and I love it even more now. It's a fun and entertaining adventure that's not ashamed to admit it's a Bond film at the end of the day. It marked the end of one of my favourite Bond eras, and for me, things were never really quite the same afterwards.

It's funny how people criticize the age of Moore and other members of the cast, when Skyfall has a withered Craig Bond team up with Judi Dench and an old groundskeeper to fight off Silva and his goons in the final showdown at Bond Manor.



I never thought AVTAK is terrible. I actually will never say for some Bond movie that it was really bad. I can find some good stuff in each and every Bond movie. Bond fans might generally be open-minded but Craig fans sure as hell are not. God forbid that you say how something isn't good about Craig and his movies they will curse you to hell. Funny enough they NEVER and I mean NEVER say anything about Quantum of Solace. Maybe that's because it's too much of a chalenge even for them to say anything good about the movie. REAL Bond fans are fairly nice in general. I actually got the impression Moore fans are the nicest. Maybe that's because Moore is their favourite Bond! :D
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Re: Article: A View to A Kill Underated

Postby The Saint 007 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:52 am

Veronica wrote:Funny enough they NEVER and I mean NEVER say anything about Quantum of Solace. Maybe that's because it's too much of a chalenge even for them to say anything good about the movie. REAL Bond fans are fairly nice in general. I actually got the impression Moore fans are the nicest. Maybe that's because Moore is their favourite Bond! :D


I think most fans tend to give Quantum Of Solace a pass because it's a more serious Bond film, but I personally think that makes it worse. Just because the film presents itself as more arty and pretentious, doesn't excuse the sloppy half-a$$ed quality of it. There are Bond films that get unfairly criticized for far lessor things. Even though I think Quantum Of Solace has no redeeming qualities, there are fans who enjoy the film for whatever reasons. Despite the fact I think it's the worst Bond film, I don't go out of my way to attack others for enjoying it.

There's both nice and aggressive fans for pretty much every Bond actor. Moore fans tend to get a lot of flak on the forums, which I think is why they prefer to keep quiet most of the time in order to avoid conflict. Until Craig came along, Connery fans used to be the most aggressive with the whole Connery verses Moore battles, which you still see from time to time. It reminds me of some of the Nintendo and Sega fans who can't get over the 16-bit console wars. Don't get me wrong, I love Connery as Bond, and I'm not saying that all his fans are aggressive. In fact, I see quite a few Connery fans say that Moore is their second favourite, as well as Moore fans who say Connery is their second favourite. It seems there is more acceptance between both sides now for the most part.

Although I don't care for Craig as Bond, I can still get along with fans of his that are open-minded and can have a decent discussion. We even have a few that lurk around here. But from my experience, they seem to unfortunately be in the minority.
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Re: Article: A View to A Kill Underated

Postby Veronica » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:12 pm

The Saint 007 wrote:
Veronica wrote:Funny enough they NEVER and I mean NEVER say anything about Quantum of Solace. Maybe that's because it's too much of a chalenge even for them to say anything good about the movie. REAL Bond fans are fairly nice in general. I actually got the impression Moore fans are the nicest. Maybe that's because Moore is their favourite Bond! :D


I think most fans tend to give Quantum Of Solace a pass because it's a more serious Bond film, but I personally think that makes it worse. Just because the film presents itself as more arty and pretentious, doesn't excuse the sloppy half-a$$ed quality of it. There are Bond films that get unfairly criticized for far lessor things. Even though I think Quantum Of Solace has no redeeming qualities, there are fans who enjoy the film for whatever reasons. Despite the fact I think it's the worst Bond film, I don't go out of my way to attack others for enjoying it.

There's both nice and aggressive fans for pretty much every Bond actor. Moore fans tend to get a lot of flak on the forums, which I think is why they prefer to keep quiet most of the time in order to avoid conflict. Until Craig came along, Connery fans used to be the most aggressive with the whole Connery verses Moore battles, which you still see from time to time. It reminds me of some of the Nintendo and Sega fans who can't get over the 16-bit console wars. Don't get me wrong, I love Connery as Bond, and I'm not saying that all his fans are aggressive. In fact, I see quite a few Connery fans say that Moore is their second favourite, as well as Moore fans who say Connery is their second favourite. It seems there is more acceptance between both sides now for the most part.

Although I don't care for Craig as Bond, I can still get along with fans of his that are open-minded and can have a decent discussion. We even have a few that lurk around here. But from my experience, they seem to unfortunately be in the minority.



Craig fanboys just love to pick the smallest things from some other Bond movies and then bash on it...but when it comes to Craig-the best you can get is if they say that QOS isn't as good as CR.
Although on commander Bond there was this discussion about most overrated Bond movie and someone wrote:"Quantum of Solace. Some say it's not THAT bad. That's FAR too much praise" I was laughing for like half an hour after that. :lol:
QOS for has two redeming qualities-a grand hotel in Bolivia and two quips that reminded me of good old Bond times. "We won the loterry." and "Can I sugest something? Maybe you should find another place for meetings.". Okay-the instrumental part of the theme song fits good with the commercial for 007 for Women. I said there are three reeding qualities for a movie with Craig. I don't whats wrong with me. :D

and I agree that some fans just don't like to be on forums at all and that's why I think that the number of fans on some forums doesn't reflect the situation "who's the most popular Bond"rightly. Well-the one we all agree on is Connery. Who doesn't like him? So "second-most popular". I yet have to meet a person in real life who actually likes Craig as Bond. My cousin who is 14 years old only watched Craig movies(Skyfall and QOS) but recently we watched TSWLM together and he said he likes Moore better. As for "second favourite Bond" opinions. If your favourite is someone other than Connery than it is practicly guaranteed that your second favourite is
Connery. That's like given.
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Re: Article: A View to A Kill Underated

Postby The Saint 007 » Fri May 22, 2015 3:20 pm

Another nice retrospective article on A View To A Kill.
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