Moonraker (1979)

Moonraker (1979)

“Mr. Bond, you defy all my attempts to plan an amusing death for you.”

When sent to explore the mysterious loss of the Moonraker space shuttle, James Bond (Roger Moore) meets a sinister aeronautics manufacturer (Michael Lonsdale) and eludes assassination by his steely-toothed nemesis ‘Jaws’ (Richard Kiel) while collaborating with and romancing a beautiful astronaut (Lois Chiles).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • James Bond Films
  • Space Opera
  • Spies
  • World Domination

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “worst James Bond film to date” simply features “Roger Moore walking through the paces for his hefty paycheck and giving way to his double for a series of unimaginative action scenes and ‘humorous’ chases” — ouch! He adds that “there’s little suspense,” “the humor falls flat,” and “the filmmakers have the gall to set the finale in outer space and stage a battle right out of Star Wars.” It’s too bad beautiful Chiles plays such a lackluster heroine, and that super-human Kiel turns into a lovestruck good guy by the end (!).

Many critics have noted that this film resembles a cartoon more than an exciting adventure flick — but the location shooting, sets, and special effects (including the “pre-title sequence in which Bond and Jaws battle for a lone parachute during a free fall from a great height”) are actually pretty nifty.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Fine international location shooting

Must See?
Nope; you can skip this one.


2 thoughts on “Moonraker (1979)

  1. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    There just ain’t no such beast as a Bond film that’s a bad film. They’re producers’ films, whereby the producer (here Cubby Broccoli) arrange all of the chess pieces in a row and let it rip.

    Magnificent cinematography (Jean Tournier), lavish Ken Adam production design (Love the Mondrian set), brilliant John Barry score and Derek Medding’s finest SPFX work all go towards a thoroughly entertaining confection. Certainly a lesser Bond film as it’s more set-piece orientated and rehashes The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) by way of You Only Live Twice (1967) it’s very second hand in the plotting.

    I screened Moonraker to a bunch of secondary school children several years ago as part of the school film club. We used the restored Blu-ray and projected it in full HD onto the school’s 25 foot theatre screen. They loved it and we all had a ball.

    Not one of the best, but definitely one of the slickest and most gloriously entertaining. A great party film.

  2. For Bond fans only. Myself, once the (as noted) opening – and genuinely exciting – air-wrestling sequence is over, so’s the film. It just plunges into general lethargy (mixed with a couple of brief jolts of energy) – though series fans may not mind that it’s lesser stuff.

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