After the over the top and frankly horrendous Moonraker Bond is returned to his roots. This is almost a reboot as Bond is stripped bare and we have a film actually driven by plot rather than stunts and gadgets. For Your Eyes Only is a reinvention, we have new music for the gun barrel and Roger seems to be buying into it. He doesn't look as tired and disinterested as in Moonraker. The next Bond reboot, Casino Royale, bears a few similiarities to For Your Eyes Only, both are stories of double cross with hints of revenge. However, For Your Eyes Only doesn't start too well.
|Sheena the Gozerian|
Back to the film proper and we soon find we have an understated, almost subtle Cold War thriller on our hands. Secrets and Russians abound as we have a naval ship, the St Georges, disguised as a trawler doing a bit of actual spying. There are no killer freighters hungry for the Royal Navy but an almost humble World War Two mine to provide Great Britain with problems.
This is where we need M, not the bleeding Minister Of Defence. A mark of respect to the late Bernard Lee but a memo would have been better than Fredrick Gray. The extent of Gray's conversation seems to be 'Hmmmm'. It's like his prostate is falring up. Thank God for good ol' General Gogol. It's Gogol who lets us know what the Navy were looking after, an ATAC which turns out to be some kind of nuclear submarine walkie talkie. Quite an important bit of kit and now the Russkis are after it. Cue Bond.
Or not. We're off to the Greek Islands first where some posh bit with too much hair is going home to daddy. It doesn't end well and a long and lazy close up let's us know she's out for revenge. But will she bleach her upper lip first? Now it comes together as Bond is tasked with finding a Cuban hitman, shame it's in that bloody Lotus. It seems the daddy of posh bit (Melina) was a British agent. This doesn't explain the quite bizarre difference in accents. Anyway, Bond goes off to find Tony Montana.
|There's a Viagra joke in here somewhere|
Seeing that Q pretty much invented LCD TV amongst other things it's a bit odd he still uses a Charles Babbage original. Despite this, the interplay between Bond and Q this time around is up there with the best and helps Bond identify a bloke from a Tron storyboard as a bad guy. Target acquired. And he's Belgian.
Sporting some more dubious leisurewear Bond encounters Ferrara (reprised as Casino Royale's Mathis?) and Kristatos. Now I don't trust Kristatos. Anyone spending that much time watching teenage ice skaters is a bit dodgy. Even if he is sponsoring her. And he's got a Russian bird in his employ. Alarm bells should ring loud but Bond is happy to make friends and let Kristatos lay the blame with Colombo. Thank God Bond didn't make friends with Bibi. Perhaps Roger put his foot down over the age difference. Despite later thinking that Bond is from the British Narcotics Board(?) Kristatos sells Bond his story.
Colombo is 'The Dove', a semi legit businessman who munches pistachios and doesn't have a trenchcoat. The chase for Colombo is manipulated by Kristatos via a biathlon and a needless turn in ice hockey gear before a very awkward dinner with ex Mrs Brosnan. There was nowhere near enough soft focus and vaseline going on to make her attractive and how she thinks that's a Liverpudlian accent is beyond me. Our newly promoted director John Glen again reaches back to On Her Majesty's Secret Service as Mrs Brosnan is dispatched rather brutally on the beach. We've already seen a cosy ride in the snow, a ski chase and a bobsleigh. Nice to reference your first Bond film every now and then.
|My wings may be a shield of steel but they're no match for Topol's hair|
|Coveted by Bond villains everywhere|
For Your Eyes Only sees Bond as gritty and realistic. Devoid of gadgets Bond becomes the cold killer that we've been missing for ten years. This is best shown as he says goodbye to the Belgian Lucque with a kick and an acceptable quip. Bond is proven to be resourceful as the ATAC is lost to both sides. Detente indeed.
Not only has Bond saved the western world but he's had a good go at rescuing United Artists too. After their humbling with Heaven's Gate and Kris Kristofferson For Your Eyes Only provided some much needed box office dollar. Despite this United Artists was swallowed up by MGM and Bond will be represented by a roaring lion from now on. For Your Eyes Only shows that Bond can be realistic and successful. Just don't mention Maggie Thatcher. Hopefully the producers will keep this in mind for the next film. Oh, wait, Octopussy's up next.
James Bond will return but he'll be doing an impression of Dr Dolittle.