FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

This mountain is higher than my arched eyebrow!(1981)
With Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol, Julian Glover, Lynn Holly-Johnson, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell
Directed by John Glen
Reviewed by JL and JB

     One of the two great Roger Moore/Bond films, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY is also the most serious and low-tech adventure in which Moore appeared. With a story that hearkens back to the simple spies-chasing-a-McGuffin approach of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, it's a film that relies on good old-fashioned thrills and chases rather than outer-space battles and undersea villains' lairs. The film's only glaring weakness is the dated and overbearing disco-flavored score by Bill Conti. For the one and only time in his seven appearances as 007, Moore proved he could be a tough-as-nails Bond when he tried. By the next film (OCTOPUSSY), he was back to the wisecracks and the arched eyebrow. 4 - JL


     Disco music aside, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY had several things going for it. Topol played one of the great Bond allies, there is a mountain climbing scene that is almost Hitchcockian in its suspense, and Moore finally shows that when asked to be a tough, no-nonsense Bond who will kick a guy's car off a cliff, he can do it and do it well, though the quip "He had no head for heights" is one of the lamest Bond wisecracks of all time. And kudos to whoever decided to include the androgynously beautiful Sheena Easton in the opening credits singing one of the last really good Bond theme songs.

     On the bad side (there's always a bad side in Roger Moore films), the plot of FOR EYES ONLY is nearly nonexistent, and what is there seems to be interrupted every ten minutes for a slapstick chase or two, although the gags are toned way down this time around. Skating star Lynn-Holly Johnson is alternately adorable and annoying as a teen skating champion with the hots for Bond. It sounds bad, but thankfully it works for the most part. Roger Moore is the only Bond who could pull off this kind of stuff as it plays to his strength, light comedy. Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton would have dropped a sleeping pill in her drink and ditched her. Daniel Craig would probably put a bullet in her skull.  3½ - JB

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