There are a number of characters that have been played by various actors within the same series. Sometimes, it’s because an actor has died and needs to be replaced. Other times, it is because the source material allows for numerous films to be made and over time, actors age. Fans of each generation, young and old, will always have their favorite version of a character, be it the first one you recall seeing, or the one you think did it best. I have quite a list of “my” characters. For example, MY Batman is Christian Bale (I grew up with many versions, but his was the film series that won me over); MY Doctor is David Tennant (though Chris Eccleston was my first offically); MY Superman is Christopher Reeve; and so forth.
By the time this week in 1985 rolled around, the world was on its 4th James Bond actor. Roger Moore had been playing the iconic role since 1973. I had seen one or two of Sean Connery’s Bond films, but for me, it was all about Roger Moore. (It took many years and Daniel Craig to make me love Bond again, after being subjected to Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, Daniel Craig IS James Bond.) In this, Moore’s final James Bond performance, may I present to you A View to a Kill.
Click Here to watch the trailer!
Honestly, I think I watched this movie every time it came on the television. And, thanks to HBO, that was quite often! This movie had everything: action, intrigue, exotic locales like…San Francisco? Okay, so this may have been the tipping point for the cheese-factor of James Bond films, but come on! A View to a Kill had Christopher Walken as the villain. Christopher Walken! And, his bodyguard/sidekick, May Day, was played by superhuman herself, Grace Jones. It also featured Tanya Roberts, best known from some of my other childhood favorites, the Beastmaster and television’s Charlie’s Angels.
My top five James Bond theme songs are as follows: 5- The World Is Not Enough/Garbage; 4-Skyfall/Adele; 3-Nobody Does It Better/Carly Simon; 2-Live and Let Die/Paul McCartney and the Wings; and number 1 (can you guess it?)-A View to a Kill by Duran Duran. Sure, they’re all good in their own special ways, but this is the group that stands out to me. And, by far, Duran Duran’s is my absolute all-time favorite. The use of this song alone should be reason enough to watch the film.
A View to a Kill also had a major emotional impact on my life, aside from the cultural one. I suffer from extremely irrational fears of death and dying. As such, I am obsessed and simultaneously terrified by weather phenomenon, natural disasters, ghosts and zombies. If, for any reason, I can be convinced that a plot of a movie has or can possibly happen, that is scarier to me than any slasher flick. By the time 1985 rolled around, Jaws and the Poseidon Adventure had both already ruined me for being in or near the ocean. The Day After had me convinced we were all going to die from exposure to inevitable nuclear fallout. And, Dawn of the Dead and the Terminator just all out traumatized me. Who would ever have thought that a James Bond movie could do the same?
Well, it was during A View to a Kill that my sweet little naive childhood self learned that the earth was made up of all of these tectonic plates and fault lines. Christopher Walken intended to use explosives to mess with the San Andreas fault line and flood Silicon Valley. Now, I had previously heard of the fault line back in 1978 with Superman: the Movie. Lex Luthor sends a nuclear missile to blow up at the fault line, to destroy the west coast. Given that this was a movie about a superhero man from outer space, I assumed it was made up for the sake of the story. I mean, look at how realistically and creatively Superman flew backwards through time and undid all of the earthquakes and damage, saving Lois Lane. Wrong! Thanks to A View to a Kill, I learned that the fault line was, in fact, real and that one day a major earthquake will strike and California will essentially fall off into the sea. Or something like that. I can’t be sure. I’ll have to wait until next week to find out how The Rock handles things in San Andreas.
Short-story-long, to this very day, A View to a Kill remains at the very top of my James Bond must-see list. I will never not sing the theme song out loud when it comes on the radio (by the way, how often do you hear any of the other Bond songs besides the top 3 that I listed, on the radio?). This was one of my top films from that year. If you are looking for some classic 80s nostalgia, I highly recommend this gem.
Stay tuned next week when we find out where some of those fun food names at Moe’s come from. Yes, I’m talking about the man himself…. Fletch!