For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Bond the Olympian
Warning: this review does contain a few vague spoilers.
For Your Eyes Only is the twelve Bond film which stars Roger Moore as James Bond, Carole Bouquet, and Topol. This time Bond chases after a missing encrypting device before if falls into enemy hands.
Whereas Moore's previous Bond films were full of witty humour, insane plots, larger-than-life characters, nifty gadgets, and non-stop action, For Your Eyes Only heads off into a different direction. There seems to be two types of 007 movies: the realistic ones, and the action-packed ones. This one is definitely one of those more realistic movies.
The problem with it being more realistic is the pace of story, and the entire movie suffers greatly from it. Instead of quick action scenes, we get some extremely drawn out scenes that take time to build romantic feelings or suspense. But they already tried this in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and it failed. Atleast For Your Eyes Only isn't as bad as that other movie, but it certainly isn't a success.
Part of the problem is that Bond being a romantic breaks his character, especially when the change is as abrupt as this. It's like he suddenly goes from being a pervert to being a suave gentleman who's only interested in one woman. I understand the writers want the franchise to appeal to the feminine crowd again – this movie came out in the 1980s after all – but I'm sure they could have done it without slowing things down so much.
Although, when you have a title song that is as slow as For Your Eyes Only, it is hard to expect a fast movie. The song is so slow and romantic that this really feels like a love story at times. But most of the other music in the movie is slow, too, even during the action scenes. Sure, the 1980s aren't know for their amazing musical contributions, but they should have picked something that sounded a bit more Bond themed at the very least.
Instead of the huge brawls, 007 showed off his athletics in For Your Eyes Only. He took on hockey players, and won, he ran up a thousand steps, without breaking a sweat, dove deep into the ocean, without the proper equipment, climbed sheer cliffs, and even out-skied an Olympic favourite. Maybe when he retires he can represent the Queen at the Olympics and bring home a few medals.
Of course, we are talking about the man with the golden horseshoe of destiny (how else do you explain his luck). I mean, you couldn't get any luckier than Bond in this movie. I don't understand how the writers thought they could make a more realistic 007 movie with a hero this invincible.
It doesn't help that the villains were awful, too. Instead of going against a mastermind with an insane plot, the enemies in For Your Eyes Only are just common criminals. There's absolutely nothing special about them at all! No dark and sinister plan, no fantastic toys to threaten the world with, no amazing costumes that inspire fear, nor even a mascot to make them memorable. What a let down.
All of this leaves For Your Eyes Only in a very dull place. It is an alright movie, but it just doesn't feel like a Bond film. Unless you want to watch them all, or are interested in a slower-paced and romantic movie, I'd recommend skipping this one.
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