For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only (1981) Director: John Glen

For Your Eyes Only has often earned itself a reputation as one of the less goofy Roger Moore Bond films, but that isn’t really saying much. After the science fiction, and at times cartoonish style of Moonraker, the director and producers wanted to bring the next James Bond film back down to earth. It is the twelfth James Bond film, and the fifth starring Roger Moore.

For_Your_Eyes_Only_-_UK_cinema_poster

The film begins with an unusual prologue. James Bond visits the gravesite of his one-time wife, Tracy Bond (from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), and when he departs, he enters a helicopter that is quickly, remotely hijacked by an unnamed villain on the ground whom we are strongly led to believe is Blofeld (he is in a wheelchair, with a white cat, and a bald head in a grey suit). However, the studio executives were unable to acquire the rights to Blofeld. Nevertheless, Bond somehow regains control of the helicopter, and he flies it down to attach it to the Blofeld-esque character and Bond drops him down a massive chimney which apparently kills him (both literally and symbolically for the studio).

Meanwhile, a British Royal Navy vessel is attacked and sunk off the coast of Greece. It was carrying an Automatic-Targeting-Attack-Communicator (ATAC) which communicates with the British fleet of submarines. James Bond is assigned to retrieve the ATAC before the Soviets, since the device can order coordinated attacks by the fleet of submarines. At the same time, a British archaeologist locates the sunken boat (the St. Georges) but before he can send in his report, he and his wife are killed by a Cuban hitman named Gonzales. Their daughter is left alive on their family boat. James Bond trails Gonzales to his Spanish villa, where he spies a payment transaction occurring, but Bond is captured and saved when a mysterious crossbow shot kills Gonzales in his own pool. Bond escapes and discovers the hidden attacker, Melina Havelick (played by Carole Bouquet), the daughter of the British archaeologist. They escape together, and, somehow using archaic British technology, Q is able to help Bond identify the man who paid Gonzales. Bond trails the man to Italy where he is attacked while skiing and also he is attacked by a hoard of goons while on an ice skating rink. It is revealed to Bond, by his ally named Kristatos (played by the famous English actor, Julian Glover) that the initial attempt at the ATAC was conducted by the KGB, but when Bond and Melina successfully recover the ATAC, Kristatos reveals himself to be a double-crosser. The plot was his all along. They climb up to his secret rendezvous point at an abandoned mountaintop monastery to kill Kristatos and recover the ATAC. However, when he does, the Soviets arrive, and instead of either giving the Soviets the device or keeping it for himself, Bond decides to lob it over the cliff, destroying the ATAC so no one can use it. In the end, Bond and Melina receive a call from Margaret Thatcher from her kitchen, but Bond lets Melinda’s parrot take the call.

The story is drawn from a combination of plot and characters taken from two Ian Fleming short stories from his “For Your Eyes Only” collection.

Review

★★☆☆☆

For Your Eyes Only should really be watched by no one’s eyes. The only impressive parts of the film are the beautiful shooting locations. Otherwise the opening scene where Bond essentially kills Blofeld is an awful sign of things to come, the plot and villain are forgettable, the Sheena Easton opening song is likely one of the worst, and the ’80s background music is just as cheesy and terrible.

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