For Your Eyes Only (1981)
You'll Only Watch Once
Mr Bond! We can do a deal! I'll buy you a delicatessen! In stainless steel! - Blofield
I'm going to tell you how "For Your Eyes Only" ends, not how the story ends but the movie, you know when head quarters tries to get in touch with Bond to congratulate him on another successful mission but inevitably he is in bed with a woman. Well this time he is patched through to the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, but instead of Bond, who is busy in bed, they end up talking to a parrot which asks the Prime Minister for a kiss. It is so cheesy, so painfully cheesy that it is horrible, but then this level of horrible corniness threads it's way right through "For Your Eyes Only" making it another one of Moore's Bond movies which border on being almost spoof like and not entertaining for being so.
Now in fairness "For Your Eyes Only" is an improvement on the outrageous tosh which was "Moonraker", in fact the storyline is old school Bond with him trying to undercover who's behind the murder of a man who was helping the British Government track down a sunken ship. There are double crosses, Russians and there is even an opening which sees Blofield again, although that in itself is a painfully corny scene. If it wasn't for all the corniness and some over the top escapism "For Your Eyes Only" could have been good instead it borders on the bad.
When a British Spy ship carrying the top secret A.T.A.C. is sunk the British Government ask an under water archaeologist to help locate the wreckage but when he is murdered they call in James Bond (Roger Moore - The Cannonball Run) to try and track down his killers and in doing so find out who else is possibly after the A.T.A.C. as well. His search brings him to Melina (Carole Bouquet) the daughter of the murdered archaeologist who herself is looking for her father's killers to get revenge. But nothing is as it seems as whilst Bond believes he can trust Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover - Troy) who believes Milos Colombo (Topol) is behind the murder it could be the other way around. Never the less, who ever can be trusted Bond knows one thing for certain, people as usual want him dead and the only person he can trust is Melina.
For anyone who has never watched "For Your Eyes Only" I suggest skipping through the precredit scenes as Bond comes face to face with his old nemesis Blofield because the words dire spring to mind. Over the top action, cheesy one liners, poor acting it is all there to make it a really bad opening, the only saving grace is the brilliant stunt helicopter flying which at least distracts you a little from everything else which is terrible.
As for the main storyline well it's not bad as Bond is on the trail of who killed Iona Havelock who was helping the British Government locate a sunken ship which contains some top secret equipment which the Russians want to get their hands on. This brings Bond to the attention of Iona's daughter Melinda who wants revenge and a series of double crosses as first he trusts Kristatos who is suppose to be helping then Columbo who is supposedly the enemy. It's a nicely set up story as whilst it is full of stock James Bond action it does come together with a few surprises as you are not sure who is a good guy and who isn't.
But as I mentioned this storyline is full of James Bond action and it is a right mixture of the good and the terrible. The good includes a thrilling assault on a mountain Monastery and some great under water footage, not to forget the wonderful stunt flying in a helicopter. But then you have the bad and an unbelievably drawn out chase scene down a snowy mountain is so over the top that even the impressive stunt skiing ends up being funny because it is so unbelievable. I am sure many will enjoy all this over the top action but for me watching some one go from the ski jump to skiing down an ice run behind a bobsled is just too much to take.
Like with the action the performances are just as much a mixed bag with moments where things are good then they are not so good. There are times when Roger Moore delivers the action hero element of Bond brilliantly but then the next a forced burst of charm and some corny dialogue intrudes and spoils it all. Carole Bouquet as Melina has a similar misfortune as one minute she is this daughter determined for revenge and then the next she turns to putty in Bonds hands. And I could go on because whilst in fairness the characters are diversely entertaining such as young Bibi the ice skater who has the hots for Bond, none of them are that memorable even the great Topol who plays Columbo.
What this all boils down to is that whilst the storyline to "For Your Eyes Only" maybe good much of what goes on isn't. It is basically a very mixed bag where one moment there is some good acting and exciting action then the next the action becomes outrageous and the acting and dialogue becomes corny to the point of being uncomfortable. Compared to the early Bond movies "For Your Eyes Only" often borders on being a comedy and not a good one at that but at least it is an improvement on the nonsense which was "Moonraker".
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