(For today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, the poem was to be a recipe of some kind, so I rhymed up a recipe for a James Bond movie.)
You start with a superspy so debonair
That an icon is born with one slick, sultry stare.
Pour gunplay and danger and mix them in well,
Then throw in some girls, every one a bombshell.
It’s fine if they’re strong,
Since they won’t be for long.
When entendres are doubled, add one evil villain,
The badder the better, though others may spill in,
And make sure a henchman or two is included
And some evil scheme, even if convoluted.
Betrayal and suspicions
Are classic additions.
To this basic Bond batter, add extras to taste,
Like diamonds or lasers or nuclear waste
Or blimps, satellites, or a Fabergé egg.
Go silly, unless it contains Daniel Craig.
Now savor each thrill.
If half-baked, enjoy still.
MPAA rating: PG (maybe PG-13 nowadays)
Until I was thoroughly impressed by Daniel Craig’s turn as the famous superspy, A View to a Kill was my favorite James Bond film, and it still sits on top of the massive tie where all the non-Craig Bond films reside in my esteem. And even if Craig’s films are the best, he still doesn’t compare with Roger Moore, who was the first actor I saw in the role and has always had the perfect blend of suavity and charm, in my opinion anyway.
A View to a Kill isn’t necessarily brilliant or different next to its franchise brethren, but it’s a perfect example of the James Bond formula and an entertaining one at that. In tracking an EMP-proof microchip, Bond investigates wealthy industrialist Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), who naturally has an evil plan to make a lot of money by killing a lot of people. Moore’s films are always on the campier side, but this one, which was his last, is a little more serious than Moonraker or Octopussy (remember the Tarzan yell?). There are still some absurd moments, of course, like how no one seems to look in their backseat for killers, but they keep things fun.
Perhaps it’s because this was among the first Bond stories I saw, but there are so many fondly memorable scenes that exemplify the franchise for me: the Eiffel Tower chase, the elevator escape, the fire engine car chase, the mine flood, and especially the blimp climax over the Golden Gate Bridge. Christopher Walken is also a classic Bond psychopath with his taunting superiority, and while his villainy doesn’t stand out at first, he personally carries out one of the most despicable acts of betrayal in the franchise. His sidekick May Day (Grace Jones) is also a unique henchman, an unnervingly strong black woman who is more of an equal to Bond than his usual swooning conquests. Plus, there’s the now-classic title song by Duran Duran that is up there with “Live and Let Die” when it comes to Bond themes.
A View to a Kill may not be the most unique or thrilling of entries, but its entertaining variations on the usual tropes and my own nostalgia make it an old standby among James Bond outings. For me, it’s the best film starring the best Bond.
Best line: (Bond) “Hello. I thought you might like to join the party. By the way, the name is James St. John Smythe. I’m English.” (Stacy Sutton) “I never would have guessed.”
© 2017 S.G. Liput
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