Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moonraker - 1.5/5

Here's whats wrong with "Moonraker"...well, there's a lot that's wrong with this film detail wise and I don't want to write a novel on all the mistakes. In broad strokes, everything that worked with "The Spy Who Loved Me" DOESN'T work here. Pretty much everything. "Moonraker" does its damnedest to copy the successful elements of its predecessor and fails on almost all accounts. This is going to be a fun review. Let's hit the synopsis.

PLOT: Bond (after dodging another encounter with henchman crossover Jaws by leaping out of a plane in the intro) is set out to investigate a missing space shuttle called Moonraker. He heads off to Drax Industries, the folks that built it, and comes head to head with the illustriously rich and borderline insane Hugo Drax and finds himself in the midst of (another) plan to create a perfect society. This time IN SPACE.

STORYLINE 1/5: Yeah, that's right. Bond in space. Sounds awkward? You're damn right it is. In fact, of all the things about the story for "Moonraker" that's the one thing that you can take from it. It's awkward. The dialogue is insanely awkward ("Balls, Q?), the characters (Jaws' girlfriend and of course Cha) make little to no sense half the time, and the general atmosphere of this film seems to almost parody other Bond films. The boat chase in Venice comes straight from "The Man With The Golden Gun", the parade party in Rio comes straight from multiple other films like "Thunderball", and of course, as was mentioned in the intro, this whole film rips off "The Spy Who Loved Me" from the opening hijacking of a shuttle to the general synopsis that parallels the station as a new home for only the best of humanity. Luckily, the movie never takes itself seriously at any given time so at least its fun to watch, but its never good.

BOND 1/5: To go along with the rather ridiculous and spoof like plot, Bond is pretty damn awkward in this film. Did I ever want to see Roger Moore in a poncho? Nope. This is like watching Lazenby in that kilt for 2 hours of solid wincing awkwardness. Bond's one liners are surface level at best and half the time they really don't make sense. (After he blows the door with his watch bomb (?!?) he says "Bang on time". Seriously?!) And the only chemistry he has in this film happens to be with Jaws. Moore tries his best to be charming, but its damn hard to be suave when the script and characters are so awkward. Sorry Moore, even your cheese couldn't save you this time.

VILLAIN 1/5: Hugo Drax is boring, rich, boring, monotone, and boring. He's a complete knock off of Stromberg from "The Spy Who Loved Me" in almost every way except that he owns a boa constrictor (of course that only comes up in an awesomely awkward fight with Bond). He never really seems threatening nor all that scary and his only saving grace is that he brings Jaws on board as his henchman about half way through the film. As a henchman Jaws gets a solid 4/5 for being so ridiculous and awesome at the same time (would have been perfect if not for the ending) but that is only going to give the film an extra half star overall.

BOND GIRL 1/5: Holly Goodhead (oh come on writers, you're really striving for names aren't we) is a CIA spy whom is placed to work for Drax and becomes Bond's leading lady in this film. Wow. You could almost call her 'the spy who loved Bond' right? Except for the fact that her dialogue is half assed and her acting for that dialogue is even worse. Compared to the last Bond girl, she feels like leftovers that can't even be reheated. She's definitely down on the level with Goodnight from "Golden Gun" in how awful she is.

"Moonraker" makes films like "You Only Live Twice" seem inspired because at least that was original in most ways. This film's ONLY positive quality is that the filmmakers and writers must have realized how bad it was going to be and pumped up the awful and awkwardness to maximum level. This is by far one of the worst Bond films of the entire series. Luckily, its so bad that its own hilarity makes up for most of it. Oh yeah, it also has Jaws in it. Only watch for a laugh.

BONUS RANT: I'm going to have to blame George Lucas for this film. I mean, I blame George Lucas for a lot of what's wrong in modern film (mostly just cause of his greed) but if it wasn't for "Star Wars" than the ending of this film or concept may have been passed up for a different sequel. Thusly, because of Lucas this film was made. Lucas provided a path for one of the worst Bond films ever. Thanks jackass. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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