Double O Countdown: Moonraker

This is a tough one, there are easily seven things I hate about this movie, I’m not sure there are seven things that I like. Let’s see what I can come up with.

The summer that “The Spy Who Loved Me” opened was the same summer as “Star Wars”. EON Pictures saw the writing on the wall and they scratched “For Your Eyes Only” and rushed in a title that had “space” all over it. I think in rushing, they skimped on story and basically replicated the same plot as the last film, with space as a substitute for under the sea.

001 Shark Tank, Piranha Tank, Shark Tank, Snake Tank

Creative juices start to dry up and the Shark Tank that was featured in “Thunderball” and “Live and Let Die” and “The Spy Who Loved Me”, plus the Piranha Tank in “You Only Live Twice”, are simply updated with an Anaconda tank to fit the South American Setting. He is smart enough not to cross the pond on the bridge, but surprise!! the path tips over and drops him in anyway.

 All the beautiful women must have distracted him

Fortunately James has snake vaccine.

Unfortunately, Jaws is waiting for him, despite being dropped off a waterfall.

002 It’s no ejector seat but it will do in a pinch.

A boat chase through the Amazon and James manages to blow up some pursuers with relative ease.

 There are more boats however and after taking out a couple more, he runs out of river and into a waterfall. There is not much else to do but abandon ship in a hang glider conveniently provided in the top of his boat by Q branch.

 It’s a great way to see the jungle and accidentally discover the secret rocket base hidden in the forest.

003  Dr. Goodhead takes Bond for a ride.

All space centers have a centrifuge right? How could James turn down the opportunity to test it out, he’d look like a wimp in front of the CIA.

Fortunately, as Roger Moore is getting on in years, this device provides him with a little facelift.

004  Rio From Above

A chance to see “Christ the Redeemer” gives Bond and Dr. Goodhead a chance to ride a cable car above the city.

Of course they are not the only tourists sightseeing that afternoon.

Realizing he does not have a return ticket, Jaws decides to join James and Holly on the ride down.

Next time don’t settle for the economy tour.

005 Set Design to the Rescue

There are some clunky effects shots in the space battle, but the location is aces, with an imaginative design and practicality to much of what is shown.

Sections of the Space Station are connected with interior tubes that allow movement without having to rely on gravity boots on the floor of the station.

Fascist crazy billionaires get a chance to speak to the troops in an elegant landing that floats above them.

Plenty of parking is available for residents and visitors.

006 Hijacking the Moonraker

We had actually seen the space shuttle being transported on the back of a 747 at this point, so the opening shot fits in with contemporary visuals.

What happens next is not exactly the way it is planned by NASA.

Wait, can it do that? It doesn’t matter, it’s a cool idea to steal a space ship when you are one short.

007  Parachutes, I don’t need no stinking parachute.

The best stunt in the movie is the opening escape by Bond from being thrown out of a plane without a parachute. Several years before “Point Break” James Bond had already figured out the answer.

When Jaws tosses Bond overboard, you wonder what will happen, and then you remember the guy who went out before James did.

James maneuvers himself into position and then,

Steals himself a parachute from the other guy.

So a great stunt right? Hell, it gets better when Jaws comes after him, but when they turn the music on for Jaws landing on earth, the circus starts. They blew their wad in the opening and then stepped on the action with a comic musical joke.  And they do it for two more hours. Fortunately, James Bond returns to Earth in the next adventure.

James Bond will Return in “For Your Eyes Only”

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