Directed by John Glen (For Your Eyes Only), this movie has all the standard Bond components--beautiful women, picturesque locales, thrilling chases--but the time-tested formula is more than a little threadbare here. Moreover, Walken doesn't have the lines, the strength, the presence, or the dastardliness required to be a top-notch Bond adversary.
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Just follows the numbers, plodding from one unimaginative set piece to the next. Even the tony cast of villains—Christopher Walken, Patrick Bauchau, and Grace Jones—can't add any flavor to the grindingly predictable proceedings.
Christopher Walken sleepwalks his way through playing smarmy Nazi geneticist Zorin, where you would think he would have a ball hamming it up as a Bond villain. Indeed, it is a rare moment when Grace Jones makes the biggest impression as an Amazonian (naturally) henchman called May Day.
Even though Moore sleepwalks his way through the part, making it apparent that he should have departed two films ago, and Tanya Roberts can't act to save her life (although she certainly can scream), we're back to a more conventional, straightforward Bond than the convoluted mess of the previous movie.
As lavishly escapist as they are, the latest James Bond films have become strenuous to watch, now that the business of maintaining Bond's casual savoir-faire looks like such a monumental chore.
This jokey tone couldn’t be more different from the relative self-seriousness of helmer John Glen’s first 007 directing effort, For Your Eyes Only, and frankly, I yearn for more of that class.
What's good? A mesmeric, bottle-blond Christopher Walken as Max Zorin, hellbent on global domination as a product of Nazi experiments, Grace Jones' zowie star at his henchman, and Duran Duran's title song. Otherwise, I'm out.