Moonraker Review

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007 investigates the theft of a space shuttle, following the trail to madman Hugo Drax who plots to destroy the Earth and start the human race again in space.


The point where the Moore era lost complete touch with its Fleming-Connery origins and took flight into the preposterous. Still, there are some glorious pleasures here, the film is playful, energetic and memorable, even if it has no intention to do more than meet easy expectations and make glib references to the happenstance fashions of day (space shuttles, computer gizmos et al).

Moore is still on the right side of the paunch, and spends the entire film, which has been pitched to the ir0nic glaze of his acting anyhow, eyebrow cocked and smirk in place. Strange, how lovable this routine seems in hindsight, something bizarrely precious as if better acting would have ruined the film’s potty poise. Lois Chiles, meanwhile, is one of those Bond girls pitched as brainy, she is a rocket scientist no less, but suffers the ignominy (or genius) of being named Holly Goodhead (come on, that is good writing). While, Michael Lonsdale is a better villain than you remember.

Ultimately, the joys of Moonraker, lie in its set pieces not its plotting (plant seeds to destroy mankind?), and this one of the Bonds possesses more than its fair share: the cable car leaps at the Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio; the gondola on wheels in Venice; the motorboat in the Amazon. Inspired stuff, and a testament to the imagination, if not the realism, the series still boasted. It is too far-fetched — who could buy that space station stuff even for a Moore movie? — but it’s worth enduring any amount of ludicrousness for Q’s immortal punchline: “I think, he’s attempting re-entry sir!”

Bond meets Star Wars in one of the series' sillier outings.