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March 28, 2013

Moonraker (1979)
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Actors: Roger Moore, Michael Lonsdale, Lois Chiles


Synopsis: James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to investigate after a space-shuttle mysteriously disappears during a flight across the Atlantic. The trail leads to the manufacturer of the shuttle, Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), and a grand plan to create a new super-race in space.

Review: Moonraker is unquestionably the nadir to the whole Bond series, and even though I’m not a huge fan of what Roger Moore brought to the role of Bond, he is the least of the problems in this truly execrable film. The biggest issue really is just how nonsensical it all is, with the film in essence being just one arbitrary conglomeration of set-pieces amid ‘exotic’ locations without the least thought given to even a normative semblance of plot continuity. I know we’re not looking for reality in a Bond movie, but at least in the Connery and Craig ‘Bonds’ you get a sense of an actual person living through the events – spending time in hotels, suffering through their injuries, in transit between locations. In Moonraker, Bond goes from California, to suddenly being on a gondola equipped with machine guns in Venice, to a cable car in Rio, to a paraglider over a river in the Amazon region of Brazil. The plot is also remarkably lazy in that (huge spoiler alert) it idly reveals its villain within the first ten minutes. M tells Bond to visit space-shuttle manufacturer, Hugo Drax, and – wouldn’t you just know it – Drax is a debonair European, with an evil voice, deadly dogs and a fearsome looking martial-arts henchman. (March 2013)

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