Review: A Close Look at A View To A Kill

By the time A View To A Kill was released in 1985 I was over 007. The last James Bond movie I’d seen on the big screen was For Your Eyes Only (1981) and by the time Octopussy came out two years later I decided to stick with the Connery films and the books.

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Although I’d been brought up on Roger Moore’s films, my real passion was Ian Fleming’s novels. And the thing about Octopussy was the wheelying tuk tuk I’d seen on TV.

The film series had strayed too far away from those to contemplate following anymore and Roger Moore was showing his age. I was sick of the gadgets and wanted a more serious Bond. Above all I wanted an Ian Fleming story.

I went to university. Not that I spent much time studying. My time there was devoted to listening to loud music, drinking too much and, mainly unsuccessfully, girls. And I never even considered going to see A View To A Kill, although I did climb aboard the Bond-wagon again when Timothy Dalton took over from Roger Moore.

That’s all to say ‘A Close Look at ‘A View To A Kill’ wasn’t really written for me. But while I’m not passionate about the movie, Andrew McNess certainly is. You can read his article for this website here.

In many this is his love letter to the movie. He’s given the film far more thought than I ever could and while reading it I realized I need to sit down and watch it again carefully.

McNess appreciates many of the breaks in the Bond tradition as much as the continuation of others. Among the many details in his book he points out the domesticity of Bond, such as when he cooks Stacey Sutton a quiche (an obvious reference to Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, written by Bond-scribe to be, Bruce Feirstein). The domesticity He also tucks her into bed and reconnects the phone line in her house.

So, while I find it difficult to accept every point McNess makes in the book, he has given the film a rigorous look and examines things I’d never have thought of. It really is an in-depth analysis of the film and while you may be like me and rank it near the bottom of your list of favourite Bond films, it will at least give you a fresh lens through which to see it on your next viewing.

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David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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