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Moonraker Movie Poster

1979 James Bond Movie starring Roger Moore

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"Now, if you push this button Bond the movie might not suck so badly."

  • Jun 11, 2009

What button is that, the mute button?  Or the stop button on the player?

Moonraker.  If you were around at the time it came out, you probably like this movie.  If you weren't, like me you could hate this one.  I can find almost anyone's list of the Bond Movies and they are in almost any order of good to bad.  Many of the same ones are towards the top but not always and others are usually on the bottom.

Moonraker has Bond being summoned by M and Q to investigate the theft of a Moonraker space shuttle that Britain was borrowing.  The Moonraker's are built by Drax industries in California and Hugo Drax it's owner turns out is up to no good.  By no good I mean he plans on killing billions with nerve gas from space and repopulating Earth with "perfect" specimens.  (Committing mass murder for a greater good of mankind?  Sounds like Watchmen ahead of it's time.)  This is a step up over the book's story about how an ICBM rocket is used to destroy London by a Nazi.  Not by much but some.

Now, my favorite Bond movie is The Spy Who Loved Me (and From Russia With Love, but Spy is my first love).  When the Sci Fi boom hit at this time, the creators quickly scrambled to get a space Bond movie even though For Your Eyes Only was slated to be next.  The creators made it as "real" as a Bond movie could be for going into space such as space stations with centrifuges, laser weapons and the new space shuttle.

Unfortunately, they tend to borrow many elements from The Spy Who Loved Me and made a very similar movie that made even more bank and was even more popular, so as a result, my favorite got left in the dust for a cheesy space romp.  They even had the nerve to turn my favorite heavy in the series Jaws into a goof.  He's even more like Wile E Coyote to Bond's Roadrunner in this film as an indestructible antagonist and the creators even went so far to give him a little girlfriend. Chock this up to marketing (Richard Kiel was told that the directors son like Jaws, and thought he should be a hero.)

Much like any movie even if I don't like it, I can find the bright spots to any cloud.  They are sadly similar to another Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun.  He movie has beautiful scenery going all over the world.  Instead of the far east, we see Caliornia, Venice and Rio and I guess, SPACE, and every sight is wonderful.  The sets are nice too.  It is sadly the last time Ken Adam worked on a Bond movie.  All the sets are equally beautiful if not completely having that "not too distant future" look to them.

Another very noteworthy thing to bring up is that this movie was made in the days before computer generated effects, and the special effects do still look nice, aside from the laser gun effects which look like little lines zipping around.  One of the most impressive stunts is the pre title scene where Bond gets thrown out of a plane without a chute.  It took a staggering 88 takes if I'm not mistaken to get it right.  It would done in a couple of days now a days and look nowhere near as impressive.

Some say this is Roger Moore finally coming into the role as Bond and this was it's apex.  If you like Moore as Bond, he's certainly good but his light touch performance only helps the silly story.  Lois Chiles is the main Bond girl, Holly Goodhead, and is every bit as wooden as a lot of the American Bond girls are sadly.  She looks nice and plays an important role.  Michael Lonsdale is French tycoon Drax.  A very mellow guy who I liked more then then TSWLM's villain (perhaps the only real improvement over the other movie) does get one of my favorite lines in the movie, if not series.  It involves a scene where Bond and other important members of the Secret Service walk in on him wearing gas masks.  I already mentioned Jaws above.

Being the Bond nut I am, I own it and do watch it from time to time like other bad movies but I only see this movie as stealing the thunder from my favorite.  If you got to watch it, keep those expectations low since it's played mostly for laughs, cheap laughs.

Drax's Centrofuge trainer James Bond and Holly Goodhead in a shuttle American Space Marines attack Drax's space station Hugo Drax Bond about to jump out of a plane without a chute Jaws returns, with a girlfriend?

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December 06, 2011
I saw this at the movies when it was first made and like you said in your review, I came out of the theater thinkking Wow! Best Bond ever. Now in hindsight its one of my least favorites. I think Octapussy is the worst Roger Moore Bond film, but this one is a close second.
July 13, 2010
Not my favorite one either, I'm wondering if it's because of Jaws, a man with a metal mouth, really???
More Moonraker (film) reviews
review by . November 30, 2011
posted in Bond, James Bond
I consider this the worst of the Bond films starring Roger Moore as 007. The difficulties of stealing a space shuttle, the size of the satellite in space, the romance between Jaws and his lady, I could go on and on in listing the absurdities of this movie. It has some of the worst acting of any of the Bond films and the climactic shooting of the of the deadly satellite by Bond is poorly done and goes on much too long.
review by . October 10, 2010
posted in Bond, James Bond
Ever since I was a young boy I have always been enamored by fine watches.  So, ever since I was a kid, one of the alluring elements of Bond movies for me was to observe which types of watches were being used, especially by Bond.  As I matured I found that I share many of Bond’s predilections for enjoying the “finest” things life has to offer.  I think a fine watch is part of the character makeup for depicting Bond as a suave and “smooth operator.”  …
Quick Tip by . May 12, 2010
posted in Bond, James Bond
When I was a kid. Jaws really scared me.
Quick Tip by . May 11, 2010
posted in Bond, James Bond
Great production barely makes this Bond movie watchable as Bond goes into space after a madman. Too light for it's own good.
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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