Film Review: For Your Eyes Only

It seemed about time I continued my trek through the world of James Bond, and this time I was being treated to “For Your Eyes Only”. I can safely say I have seen a lot of bond films, and working my way back through them, I will eventually be able to say that I’ve seen them all, but until last night, For Your Eyes Only was a Bond film I’d never seen.

Going in totally blind meant in one respect I didn’t have an preconceived ideas of what to expect, I have a fresh slate from which to start and it should, in theory, allow the film to draw me in more; but it also means that I can become a little too reliant to the movies that have gone before it, in judging whether I really enjoy it. Essentially, force former glories onto it rather than allowing it to stand on its own two feet.

However, whatever way I try and look at it, For Your Eyes Only is a strange film. Everything in the pre-title sequence, Bond visiting the grave, the vicar, and the involvement of Blofeld and his “apparent” death just make no sense. It’s tying up loose ends, I get that, but you have to question why they felt the need to do so? It meant I started the film slightly confused, bemused and befuddled as to where it was going.

It doesn’t help as well that M obviously wasn’t able to take part – with Bernard Lee having sadly passed away during filming but before he shot his scenes – meaning that the whole film just starts to misplaced and without direction. This film just feels depressed.

That may go some way to explaining why a lot of this film feels more like a joke, a “jolly” if you will, for the bond production team than a serious film. It’s as if having had to rewrite the script to account for the passing of M, the production decided that it needed to cheer everybody up. You can almost see them sitting around a table going “stuff the film, stuff the story, let’s just go get drunk and tell tales”. The movie feels like they’ve gone on a skiing holiday and will be as silly as they can.

And sadly, this comes across not only in the plot and the almost ludicrous at times stunts but also in the characters and cast. Roger Moore appears to just be coasting his way through it, appearing almost bored at times, I am fairly sure that he might have even yawned during a fight scene and the introduction of Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquets), Bond’s latest girl, just don’t work, there are too many years between them and it feels an almost creepy father daughter relationship. That may account for why, especially for a Roger Moore Bond, it’s not full of the sexual double entendre, but it certainly doesn’t excuse the ending.

And if there is anyone out there who can explain Bibi Dahl and where the heck she fits into everything I’d be grateful? I’m still not sure why they bothered with her?

Sadly, while I have mostly enjoyed my time with “the early” Bond’s so far, For Your Eyes Only just fell so, so far short of the type of film they could have made that it’s actually left me slightly dejected and wondering whether, with another eight films to go before Daniel Crag pops up to raise the bar, whether my time could be better spent doing something else than spending more time in 007’s company.

6 out of 10 stars (6 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

Comments are closed.