'For Your Eyes Only' Review: Let It Snow, 007
For Your Eyes Only is a fairly average Bond movie. Not quite good or transcendent in terms of the franchise, but inoffensive. It starts out with a scary, fun prologue where Bond finds himself trying to escape out of a remote-controlled helicopter, with the culprit being none other than Blofeld….well, not really Blofeld, but they hint at it. What follows is Bond attempting to recover a communications device, with Russians and apparently too many people after it and each other.
There’s a surprisingly sweet center to the movie, with Bond girl Melina Havelock attempting to avenge her parents and Bond sort of playing the role of trying to aid her, while also keeping her from going too far. Caroline Bouquet does a fine job in the role, even if director John Glen chooses at times to emphasize the most melodramatic aspects of her performance through extreme eye close-ups.
As the movie goes on, this is the most I’ve seen of Bond doing teamwork. I don’t really want to spoil it, but his list of allies grows surprisingly large as the movie goes on, and this was fun and interesting to see as it went on. But the movie does not exploit this angle enough and I wish it had almost been brought in earlier.
I think that another one of the movie’s weaknesses is that the villains aren’t strong enough. They don’t stand out. I’ll keep it vague because it’s actually a reveal in the film, but that’s the problem. They’re too general, more like an evil mass of people instead of a specific person who is out there causing shit.
Moore overall is a softer, gentler Bond. And he performs the character well, giving him a humanity that contrasts when he has to become a killing machine. With someone like Connery, you feel like Bond is ready to kill at any moment. With Moore, it seems he’s trying his best to conceal it and blend in better with the people he finds himself with. However all of these are elements of Moore’s performance that feel underused in this movie. Overall, that is the problem with the movie, it feels like it settles.
As usual, there are some cool stunts and action bits, including an intense ski sequence that’s slightly hindered by dated matte effects, as well as a funny albeit slightly awkward subplot with a young ice-skating prodigy who is all over Bond. But knowing that there are better Bond movies out there, even better Roger Moore Bond movies, it feels pointless to also settle for this one.
Final Say: Skip It