5.0 out of 5 stars Look after Mr. Bond, see that some harm comes to him!
The 11th James Bond movie. In the closing credits to THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, filmmakers had announced FOR YOUR EYES ONLY to be the next James Bond film adventure. Several months later, producer Albert R. Broccoli had announced MOONRAKER to be the next film instead. Part of this would be due no doubt to the phenomenal success of such recent science-fiction space epics as...
Published on March 11 2004 by Michael J. Chrush
3.0 out of 5 stars 007 follows the crowd
In the 60's, the James Bond team were innovators who inspired a slew of imitations, everything from Dean Martin's Matt Helm movies and TV's "Man from U.N.C.L.E" to Richard Burton's anti-Bond in "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold." But as the 70's dawned, Bond was showing signs of fatigue. With 1979's "Moonraker," 007 admitted defeat to the science-fiction boom led by...
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by Brian W. Fairbanks
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5.0 out of 5 stars Look after Mr. Bond, see that some harm comes to him!,
The 11th James Bond movie. In the closing credits to THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, filmmakers had announced FOR YOUR EYES ONLY to be the next James Bond film adventure. Several months later, producer Albert R. Broccoli had announced MOONRAKER to be the next film instead. Part of this would be due no doubt to the phenomenal success of such recent science-fiction space epics as STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. Therefore this was bound to be one of the most heavily produced 007 epics since THUNDERBALL. Only instead of the ocean, Bond would be transported into a more elaborate setting for action - outer space! With a very sizable budget, and beautiful locations around the world ranging from France, England, Italy, Brazil, Guatemala, and the United States, Broccoli once again demonstrates the key to success in ongoing film series is to adapt to changes in time. Roger Moore gives a usual excellent performance with the help of a tough and gorgeous Bond girl in Lois Chiles as Dr. Holly Goodhead. The real treat is Richard Kiel back as Jaws! This would also be Bernard Lee's last appearance as M, as he passed away in January 1981.
THE ASSIGNMENT: The MOONRAKER Space Shuttle, transported from the U.S. to Britain on the back of a Boeing 747, has been hijacked in mid-air and the Jumbo destroyed. As the shuttle was on loan from the Americans, the matter is serious and Bond is sent off to discover who stole the shuttle and why. Drax Industries, in California, is where the shuttle was built and this is the starting point. Inquiries produce serious misgivings about Hugo Drax himself, suspicions leading 007 to Venice. There he learns Drax has developed a deadly nerve gas which kills people, but not other wildlife. The gas comes from a rare orchid found in Brazil - the next destination. When Bond finally locates Drax's headquarters, it seems he is up to something even more sinister. He has built a city in space which he intends to populate with beautiful people who will become the progenitors of a new super-race. At the same time, he intends to kill off Earth's entire population with the nerve gas, leaving his perfect super-race to construct a new order of civilization on Earth in the future. As stated, for 007 the situation is critical!
THE VILLAINS: Michael Lonsdale as Hugo Drax, Richard Kiel as Jaws, and Toshiro Suga as Chang.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! BUY IT!
3.0 out of 5 stars 007 follows the crowd,
In the 60's, the James Bond team were innovators who inspired a slew of imitations, everything from Dean Martin's Matt Helm movies and TV's "Man from U.N.C.L.E" to Richard Burton's anti-Bond in "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold." But as the 70's dawned, Bond was showing signs of fatigue. With 1979's "Moonraker," 007 admitted defeat to the science-fiction boom led by "Star Wars," a film whose special-effects team included John Stears who won an Oscar for "Thunderball," and became an imitator himself.
Sending her majesty's top secret service agent into space wasn't necessarily a bad idea, but it indicated that the series was repeating itself, exhuming ideas leftover from "You Only Live Twice" (in which Bond almost became Buck Rogers). Worst of all, it acknowledged that the cutting edge in the cinema of the fantastic no longer belonged to 007 but to "Star Wars," a film that would lead to a series that rivaled Bond at the ticket windows. (The Bond team had already acknowledged the emergence of Steven Spielberg by naming one of "The Spy Who Loved Me"'s villains after the killer shark blockbuster of 1975, and Richard Kiel's reappearance here is another example of the series cannibalizing itself.)
What really sinks "Moonraker" is the humor. No longer merely tongue-in-cheek, it was now pie-in-face, a mistake the producers acknowledged themselves by returning to a more sober thriller mode for the next film ("For Your Eyes Only") despite the fact that "Moonraker" became the first film in the series to surpass the record box-office take of 1965's "Thunderball" (which remains, as its ad campaign claimed, "The Biggest Bond of All" when inflation is taken into account). In addition to the dopie love interest for "Jaws," the film pays humorous homage to "The Magnificent 7" and Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns, and the result is a Bond film that seems to be imitating Bond's own imitators, especially the Matt Helm series.
Even though this is one of the worst Bond films, it can't be dismissed out of hand. As usual, the production values are top-flight, Roger Moore's skin was still tight (the fall became noticeable in "Octopussy"), and John Barry's score is memorably haunting. For 007, this is the pits, but it still makes for good entertainment.
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak after the Previous Bond,
Roger Moore had his ups and downs as James Bond. After an excellent entry in the series with "The Spy Who Loved Me," "Moonraker" was another weak entry. The fault this time lies with the far too science fiction outer space shootout that finishes the movie, a reprise of the underwater battle from "Thunderball" in combination with a bit of "Star Wars" Death Star destruction.
The basic concept is similar to many of the previous Bond films that have worked so well. Hugo Drax, effectively played by Michael Lonsdale, has a plan for (what else) conquering the world. Lonsdale is one of the most superb Bond villains ever, easily surpassing Ernst Stavro Blofeld and in the same league as Christopher Lee. Lonsdale is one of the most coldly calculating megalomaniacs to ever menace the world in the Bond series, and his only error is to dismiss Bond too readily.
Lonsdale's plan is quite complex, and involves choosing "perfect" human specimens to transport into space, and then cleverly eliminating the rest of mankind. How does he do all this? You must watch and see. Obviously space shuttles are involved and a clever plan for killing all the humans remaining on Earth.
One thing I've wondered about in some of Roger Moore's Bond movies is why the bad guys are good at what they do and the good guys are not all that good, or perhaps effective. This time Hugo Drax is supported by Richard Kiel as Jaws, Corinne Clery as Corinne Dufour and Toshirô Suga as Chang. All these actors and actresses are competent and intelligent. Bond, on the other hand, seems to get people who appear to be amateurs or think he is bumbling. Makes you want to be on the side of the bad guys. Admittedly, two of Drax' key personnel end up helping Bond, but I still wonder why the good guys can't get better help.
As I mentioned before, the final portion of the movie takes place in space, so you can guess that this film is loaded with technology and gadgets. In another reprise we see Bond in a boat chase through the canals of Venice, a chase that includes a gondola being cut in half similar to the boat chase in "The Man with the Golden Gun." Bond's gondola turns out to be loaded with nifty extras, of course. Later Bond gets another cool boat in South America. This boat includes torpedoes, mines, and a built-in hang glider. The boat itself looks very high tech. We also see lasers quite a bit in this film. Similar to the science fantasy movie "Star Wars," the laser beams are visible. One of these days someone will make a realistic movie where the laser beams are not visible; admittedly more boring, but also more factual.
Bond movies have always had great locations, and this one meets the standard; Venice, Guatemala, Brazil, among others, and the credits list outer space. I believe I recognized the Lancaster-Palmdale area of southern California as part of Drax' facilities for building the Moonraker shuttles.
The theme song for this movie was sung by Shirley Bassey, who also sang the theme to "Goldfinger" and "From Russia with Love," and appeared as a lounge singer in the movie "Live and Let Die."
Even though this movie had a bit too much hokum and a wooden performance by Bond, who appeared to be bored much of the time, there is still a lot to like about this movie. Richard Kiel is a super-villain worthy of a super-spy. Admittedly the jokes associated with Jaws' appearances are often corny, but Jaws is a cool, bizarre villain. I also enjoyed Bond's escape from the cable car in Brazil. Jaws' outfit in Carnivale was interesting and unique, and fitted his personality well. I really enjoyed the fight between Chang and Bond in the glass shop in Venice. The fight between Chang and Bond in the warehouse is an (inadvertent?) homage to Bruce Lee's "Game of Death." There are quite a few other worthwhile scenes.
It's hard to rate this movie higher than three stars because of the flaws and Moore's rather weak performance. However, it is a Bond movie, and always worth a bowl of popcorn. I recommend this movie for fans of Bond and for those who like cheesy science fiction or science fantasy films. Movies like these typically do not win many awards, but they sure are fun to watch.
3.0 out of 5 stars Strangely likeable,
Looking at it objectively, this movie has a lot of the same flaws that made me positively HATE the most recent Bond film, "Die Another Day". It's got a plot that's rather silly, over the top stunts in a couple of scenes (the scene of the gondola turning into a hovercraft and floating through the Piazza San Marco in Venice makes me wince), and gadgets that belong more in a Star Trek movie than in a Bond film.
Yet despite all these undoubted flaws, I still love this movie. It's hard to say why, but I imagine it's because it was the first Bond film I ever saw in the theater. I was just a kid, fresh off Star Wars, and being a sci-fi fan, I loved it. I suppose that fond, childhood recollection colors my view. But having said that, this movies does have some very good points. The heroine, Lois Chiles, is the best looking Bond girl since Claudine Auger in Thunderball, in my opinion. The locations, particularly Venice, and the Amazon jungle, are simply breathtakingly beautiful. The special effects, though they do occur in scenes that just don't belong in a Bond movie, are really quite good. The villian, Hugo Drax, is the most sinister Bond villian since Blofeld, and is well acted by Michael Lonsdale. And finally, John Barry's musical score is, I think, the best he ever did for the Bond series.
So despite all the undeniable flaws, and despite the fact that I greatly prefer the earlier, more realistic Bond films from Sean Connery's run, I still can't help but like this Bond film. It has a unique charm.
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie, but depends on the viewer.,
I enjoyed this movie, because it had everything I look for in a Bond film. Here are the four things I liked most about this movie.
1. The biggest thing was Roger Moore's sense of humor. His ability to make jokes in tight situation shows how smooth he is under pressure. It also mixes well with the action.
2. The second point is that it shows how much everyone needs Bond. If it wasn't for him taking inniciative like that, basically (unless Dr. Goodhead could get the job done herself, which I doubt) the world would have ended.
3. I liked the mixture of things in this movie. Jaws put humor into the action without making the movie into a humor film. Then Drax was a great villain. I liked the plan he had to kill everyone on earth and shape it the way he wanted it. I think that Roger Moore and Richard Keil did a better job as enemies though. I really wished he had stayed bad. I loved that part when they first see face to face again after The Spy Who Loved Me, and they exchange that big smile face.
4. This film really had a bunch of great quotes. I like that in a movie. Here are some examples:
Drax: You missed, Mr. Bond. (Man falls out of tree)
Bond: Did I?
Receptionist: Could I interest you in something?
Bond: I'm tempted to say yes immediately, but I'd maybe have a look around.
Goodhead: Oh, come on now, Mr. Bond. A 70-year old could take 7 G's.
Bond: Well, the trouble is there's never a 70-year old around when you need one.
Drax: Frederick Gray! What a surprise. And in distinguished company all wearing gas masks. You must excuse me gentlemen. Not being English, I sometimes find your sense of humour rather difficult to follow.
Porter: The president suite...!
Bond: Oh really? Don't bother showing me the rest. If I get lost I'll take a cab.
Bond: Dinner this evening?
Holly: This evening I'm giving my address.
Bond: Can you think of any reason why we don't have a drink afterwards?
Holly: Not immediately, but I'm sure I shall.
Goodhead: Hang on, James!
Bond: The thought had occured to me.
Frederick Gray: My God. What's Bond doing??!!
Q: I think he's attempting re-entry, sir.
I could go on and on. Those great quotes are a great part of why Moonraker is my favorite Bond film.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as i thought it would be,
By A Customer
I thought that Bond being in space would be awesome. But in the end, its not what I expected. At the end of "The Spy Who Loved Me", it said that James Bond will return in "For Your Eyes Only". But right after "The Spy Who Loved Me" was made, "Star Wars" was releashed and the Bond film producers decided to release Moonraker next insted of "For Your Eyes Only" since "Star Wars" was very successful. The plot in the film is not like one in any other Bond film. Anevil madman named Drax plans to whip out the entire human race from his space station orbiting the Earth so that he can create a new race of humans on Earth. But if you think the entire film is based in space, forget it, they only go up in the last thirty minutes. We see Bond travelling to Venice, California and Brazil to find out what Drax is up to. This film does have some good parts and we see Jaws return but I think the producers and directors of the film are over-doing it because this isn't really the type of thing you would expect in a Bond film and it has so many unrealistic special effects. Apart from Roger Moore (Bond) and Richard Kiel (Jaws), the cast is not very good and there aren't many memorable characters in it. Overall this film is okay and is worth a look if your a James Bond fan but others might not like it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond Blasts Off Against One Of His Most Memorable Foes,
Moonraker is something of the guilty pleasure of the James Bond epic. Its setting in space is not really appropriate for the continuity - this despite the space context behind Dr. No, You Only Live Twice, and Diamonds Are Forever - and there is an admitted excess of comedy relief in the film's scope. But despite such weaknesses, the film contains many memorable scnees as well as one of the series' most enjoyably evil villians.
The Moonraker is a space shuttle, and one such is being flown to the UK - but it is hijacked in mid-air. Sir Miles Meservy (Bernard Lee in what turned out to be his final go as M; he passed away after completion of the film) summons James Bond - who must escape a mid-air attempt on his life and steal a parachute from a fleeing pilot, and then escape the return of Richard Kiel's Jaws.
James gets one of my favorite of Q's defense devices - a wrist-mounted nerve-activated dart discharger - and then flies to California, where he is escorted to the vast territory of space industrialist Hugo Drax by his pilot Corinne (Corinne Clery). The film very cleverly disguises Paris airport and an ancient palace in the French countryside as California, via strategically edited Derek Meddings miniatures of Drax Industries' construction, windtunnel, and testing structures and also in Drax's palatial estate - "every stone brought from France," as Corinne explains.
James meets Hugo Drax (Michel Lonsdale, his name anglicanized in the credits for the benefit of US audiences), and in Mr. Drax we see the most understatedly confident - and sinister - of Bond's adversaries - "Look after Mr. Bond, see that some harm comes to him," he says in tremendously effective understated monotone. Drax turns James over to engineer Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) who doesn't take kindly to James' flirty behavior. She escorts him to a centrifuge and asks him to try it - but Drax's Chinese manservant makes a key change in the control room that means James will be crushed by G-forces until his wrist gun blows out the cockpit's circuitry. Here Roger Moore is exceptionally effective as he pantomines the sickening dizziness of escaping death in the centrifuge while Goodhead tries to help him to his feet.
Once James recovers, he and Corinne check papers in Drax's wallsafe, and after a quail shoot in which Drax invites James to participate (and which leaves a would-be assassin on his face), James is escorted to the airport - and in the series' most genuinely gruesome scene, Corinne is dispatched by Drax's hunting hounds in the claustrophobic pincer of the woods.
James finds a key clue in a vial of lethal liquid in a lab located over an antique museum - liquid that proves deadly to two scientists in another strikingly effective scene - and James then escapes assaault by Drax's manservant, but when he alerts M and Minster Frederick Grey (Geoffrey Keen), Drax pulls the ultimate switcheroo, leaving Freddie Grey mortified and M forced to relieve James of duty - officially, that is.
James and Holly Goodhead then decide to stop working against each other, and their relationship takes a positive turn when they escape an attempt by Drax's newest hired assassin - Jaws. But the full nature of Drax's activities only becomes clear when James tracks down his lair in the deepest portion of the Amazonian jungle - highlighted by one of John Barry's loveliest music pieces as James follows beatiful women into an ancient Mayan temple that proves not to be ancient at all.
James finally finds Holly - note the conference chamber in which James and Holly reunite; if it looks like the conference chamber on the Death Star, it is - the exact same set, redressed. The two then must work together and fly a Moonraker shuttle to Drax's ultimate base of operations, a setup straight out of Noah's Ark. James and Holly then get unexpected help from an old enemy who has found an unexpected close new friend - at the film's end he and the well-endowed blonde lady toast with champagne; "Well, here's to us."
James and Holly, meanwhile, must literally sweat out the tremendous heat of the earth's ionosphere in an exciting space chase - and at the end, the weightlessness of space is the perfect venue for lovemaking, leading to the film's drop-dead best double entendre - "My God, what's Bond doing?" storms Freddie Grey; Q, not viewing the in-cockpit video cam but instead reading the tracking scanner, replies that James is attempting reentry.
4.0 out of 5 stars Moonraker a good movie for the times,
It is fashionable amongst Bond fans to slag Moonraker, however I would have to digress for these two reasons:
1) TIMING - The Fleming novel was hopeless outdated (Ooh-ahh, let's fire a big ol' missle at London!). The movie series was starting to run out of Fleming titles to use, and with the popularity of Star Wars in 1977, the timing could not have been better to get the "Moonraker" name on to film somehow. The title of "Moonraker" was the last unfilmed Fleming full novel, as the names of those films that followed (For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill, and The Living Daylights) are taken from collections of short stories. Sooner or later, the film would have had to have been made; Brocolli could not have chosen a better time to do so! Most of the popularity and success of the film was because it was able to successfully latch on to the spacey sci-fi trends of the late 1970s. If Moonraker had be left until the mid-1980s to do something with, the output could have been much worse or had less impact. Space shuttles - which had futuristic mystic in 1978 - would become common place by the mid-1980s.
2) VISUAL QUALITY - Even after over 20-odd years, Moonraker still looks good in the special effects department. Other big production late-1970s movies, such as Logan's Run, Superman, or Battlestar Galactica can't say half as much.
That being said, the movie would have been ever better if the humour elements (usually at the expense of Jaws) was editted out - although bringing Jaws back was a good move. The Bonds have always been best when there were re-occuring villains to give some continuity (prime example is Blofeld appearing in five of the films, or a passing reference to Dr.No in From Russia With Love) such as during the Sean Connery run.
Yes, it could have been a better - but it also could have been much, much worse.
5.0 out of 5 stars From Bond 11 to Bond 20,
This is the 11th Bond film in the Series starring Roger Moore.
Here is some info on Bond 20 starring Pierce Brosnan
Latest news on Bond 20, no name yet, but here is the cast list
JAMES BOND - Pierce Brosnan
Gala Brand - Rosamund Pike
Jinx - Halle Berry
Jack Wade - Joe Don Baker
Miss Moneypenny - Samantha Bond
M - Dame Judi Dench
Q - John Cleese
Tanner - Michael Kitchen
Nurse Warmflash - Serena Scott Thomas
Robinson - Colin Salmon
Admiral Roebuck - Geoffrey Palmer
Some of the cast does not have confirmed roles
Produced by Michael G Wilson & Barbara Broccoli
Music by David Arnold
Production Designer Peter Lamont
SFX supervisor Chris Corbould
Action Unit Director Vic Armstrong
Executive Producer Anthony Waye
Costumes By Lindy Hemming
Directed By Lee Tamahori
Currently being made by EON productions, at Pinewood Studios in London
Will be released by Metro Goldwyn Mayer & United Artists
3.0 out of 5 stars Below par for Roger Moore,
By A Customer
Live and Let Die had a thin story that served as an excuse to film wildly entertaining chase sequences, and it came off suprisingly well. The Man With The Golden Gun was entertaining also, with a great villain, ingenious sets and great car stunts. The Spy Who Loved Me was a visual feast, with spectacular stunts, terrific locations, and great action. Moonraker is Roger Moore's second worst film next to the awful A View To A Kill. It has several good things but the cons outweigh the pros. Moore gives a one-note, wooden performance as Agent OO7 and Lois Chiles isn't any better as CIA Agent Holly Goodhead. Michael Lonsdale is good in a sophisticated performance as Hugo Drax, a tycoon who hatches a diabolical scheme to wipe out the human race with nerve gas that does not affect plants or animals, and then repopulate the earth with his own "perfect" specimens. Corrine Clery shines in the supporting role as Drax's assistant Corrine Dufour. At the helm directing is Lewis Gilbert (Alfie, You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me), and he does a decent job by keeping the action moving at a fast pace but never fleshes out the characters or story well. The script is not anything special, but the cinematography is well done, and the locations are indeed spectacular (Venice, Brazil, Outer Space). The stunts and action are first-rate, especially the eye-popping pre-title. Only the climax fails to hit the mark. Also, the dazzling special effects earned an Oscar nomination and the title song is great. But then there are the cons. The biggest problem is the plot is ludicrous, the film was made just to capitalize on the success of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Also, the idea of James Bond in outer space is ridiculous. But worst of all, the filmakers overload you with high-tech gadgetry, and forget its OO7 and the story that fuel the series. Overall, Moonraker is good but could be much better.
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Moonraker [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray - 2009)
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