20. Moonrakeron October 17, 2012 at 7:07 am
James Bond… IN SPPAAAAAAACE
After a space shuttle is hijacked in space, Bond is sent to investigate Hugo Drax, a millionaire who basically turns out to be hatching a plan to nerve gas everybody on the planet while he and his master race of people hang out on a space station. Once the gas clears, the’ll return to Earth and Drax will be King of the World! James Bond stops him with the help of an undercover CIA astronaut, Jaws, and some weird blonde pigtail lady.
One of the chief annoyances I have with Moonraker is that is so far removed from Ian Fleming’s original work. The book James Bond thwarts what is basically an undercover Nazi who is going to destroy London with a nuclear weapon and a rocket that he created with his secret identity. Basically, nothing like Moonraker the movie, but a plot that perhaps became cliche by the late 1970s.
Secondly, they make what is arguably one of the more menacing Bond villains, Jaws, into a comic relief act. It was kind of a sad way to bring back a great henchman.
The Venice boat chase is pretty terrible. The dude comes out of a coffin with knives out, and Bond dispatches him with ease and the whole thing turns into a gunfight. Why would you pop out of a coffin with knives if you have a guy with a tommy gun in the back of the boat? Theatricality?
Why it is #20 and not #21
I think the only reason I weight this one at 20 over the lower two notches is the menacing performance of the actor that played Hugo Drax. He is Bond villain through and through and has a pretty maniacal plot that almost succeeds. The scene where he has the two dogs chase down his treacherous female pilot through a wooded area is incredibly haunting. Walken in a View to a Kill is equally good – but Walken is known for his creepy wierdness. I feel like Drax did a lot more with less and is much more seriously evil.
Plus, I’m a sucker for pew pew pew laser battles that set a world record for most zero gravity cables in a film scene. That’s pretty awesome. Even if it was done just to get some extra scratch off Star Wars’ popularity.
The Moonraker Trailer