Lowdown: The further adventures of James Bond, the ultimate all around hero.
Our current escapade into my childhood’s episodes of James Bond, which started off last week with Moonraker, continues with its 1981 sequel For Your Eyes Only.
Roger Moore continues his less serious portrayal of Bond, James Bond. This time the thinner than air plot involves attempts to recover a secret British communications device, lost at sea, which could be used to order British nuclear submarines to fire their nuclear missiles anywhere the device’s owner wishes (obviously, those submarines are controlled by Windows running computers; wait, they actually do!). As usual, his missions lead Bond to all sorts of exotic places around the world, where he bumps into various people that try to kill him. In typical fashion, he also bumps into numerous women. In a slight contrast to Moonraker, action scenes are more robust and authentic (but still always carried with at least half a smile) and James’ attitude is slightly, but ever so slightly, less chauvinistic. We do get the typical formula, including that baddie woman that turns goodie and then dies a martyr's death for her sin; however, Four Your Eyes Only’s ace card is Haim Topol in the role of a baddie turned goodie that likes to eat his pistachios wherever he goes, gun fights included. He's so cool he even uses the shells to kill his enemies! Talking about the ultimate Israeli action hero - in your face, Zohan!
It has to be said: some of the action scenes in For Your Eyes Only are quite spectacular, even in this day and age of digital effects. That is no mean feat, and probably the reason why in this grown up boy’s view For Your Eyes Only is the best James Bond movie ever.
Yes, the best. Because between diving action scenes, skiing action scenes, driving action scenes and your average shootouts, James Bond establishes himself as the ultimate video game hero character long before video games came to be. It is obvious where today’s most successful games, like the Uncharted series, took their inspiration from.
Best scene: Bond and his Bond Girl outdo and escape a multitude of well equipped baddies driving a battered Citroen De Chevaux through some curvy Spanish hills and olive groves. It’s the classic James Bond funny action scene.
Overall: Silly, but also exciting and more than a bit visionary. 4 out of 5 stars.
P.S. According to my wife, East Germany had its communist answer to the James Bond series in the shape of their own secret-life-of-an-action-spy film which they creatively called Four Eyes Only. One is left to wonder whether that naming was intentional or the result of some poor communist's ignorance in the English language.