Friday, May 26, 2017

A Quick Look: MOONRAKER (1979 - color)

   The way I heard it, Ian Fleming's story dealt with an anti-Semite who plotted to destroy London with a rocket. That'd be fine for a TV show, but by the time MOONRAKER came to the big screen, audiences expected the stakes to be much higher for a Bond adventure. So, the movie's plot involves the eccentric industrialist Hugo Drax plotting to destroy all humanity and repopulate the world with his super race of perfect specimens housed on an orbiting space station! Initially, EON planned to follow THE SPY WHO LOVED ME with FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, but the rampant success of STAR WARS left an appetite for space opera in the movie-going public. MOONRAKER was another huge success, though it has been torn apart in reflection. It's now considered far too cartoony and over-the-top. Such feelings actually arose fairly quickly, and the producers went for a more realistic approach in the next film. Personally, I think this 007 adventure may feature the most beautiful Bond girls of the series -but it's Jaws who may've walked away with the sexiest one of all! The special effects are spectacular, most of them done in-camera! Shirley Bassey provides her third James Bond title song, following the hits recorded for GOLDFINGER and DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, and she remains the perfect vocal match to John Barry's music. Though it has it's detractors, there's no denying that MOONRAKER is supremely entertaining adventure fare. And thus James Bond ended the 70's a winner.

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