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Moonraker
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Moonraker More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The ultimate Moore formula Bond and my joint favourite

10/10
Author: Joxerlives from United Kingdom
4 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Moonraker is hugely divisive amongst Bond fans, loved and hated in equal measure. I absolutely love it and proudly had the Moonraker shuttle, laser gun (which unfortunately only fired caps) and Drax corporation helicopter in my toy collection (oddly the shuttle has a satellite in its' cargo bay which doesn't feature in the film, I'd have preferred some tiny space marines. The helicopter fires missiles which also doesn't feature in the film but that's because it's Naomi's gunship from 'The Spy who Love Me' repainted).

Speaking of which the parallels between 'Moonraker' and 'The Spy who Loved Me' are striking but the later film takes its' themes and style to the most extreme degree imaginable. Considering it was the late 70s the special effects really stand up, especially when you think that at the time the real space shuttle had yet to fly. The end space battle and shooting down of the nerve gas filled globes are still thrilling over 30 years later as is the scene in the G-force simulator.

Brilliant Bond girl in Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead. Anya in the last film was good but she still ended up being rescued by Bond from Jaws on the train and in the finale is tied to a chair in a sexy outfit being lustfully molested by the villain. Holly is a different kettle of fish altogether, from Bond being surprised by her in their meeting she never needs rescued once and is more than a match for him, not least that she can fly a space shuttle and he can't.

Michael Lonsdale is an excellent villain as Drax and gets most of the best lines, I'm especially fond of 'Look after Mr Bond, see that some harm comes to him'.

All told, I think this may just pip it's illustrious predecessor, the only downside being from this point there was no way they could top it in terms of sheer spectacle. 10/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Highly enjoyable entertainment

7/10
Author: sean-devitt from South Korea
5 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Moonraker is the movie critics like to attack. I am not going to disagree with them about the ludicrous plot and the descent into childishness.

To me it's obvious that Moonraker has just one purpose. To entertain its audience and give them a memorable spectacle. This movie delivers that.

There are many silly things in Moonraker but it knows it. Some of the scenes are too silly but after the appalling slide whistle sound that almost ruined a wonderful car stunt in 'The Man With the Golden Gun' I think we grew accustomed to Roger Moore movies being taken as a joke.

Even the 'serious one' For Your Eyes Only had a Margaret Thatcher impersonator talking to a parrot and Blofeld being dropped down a chimney stack.

Roger Moore and Michel Lonsdale are great in Moonraker. Drax saying to Bond "Can I press you to a cucumber sandwich" is worth the budget alone.

Moonraker was the movie I wanted to see as a child but was never taken. Instead I was taken to see For Your Eyes Only. If I were a movie critic I would have been pleased but as a kid excited by the previous 2 Bond movies I was disappointed. I wanted an epic story with a big battle at the end. Moonraker did that.

The sets and special effects were amazing, Jaws got a girlfriend, the final line by Q remains the funniest line ever uttered in a Bond Movie and above all it's memorable.

To say it jumped the shark misses the point in my opinion. It was supposed to. Every scene in the movie was played to the max with the intention of entertainment. Not all of it works of course but at least you could see they were trying.

Also I don't see how Moonraker is all that more ludicrous than You Only Live Twice (Connery trying to look Japanese!), Goldfinger or 3 out of 4 of the Brosnan movies.

Die Another Day is jumping the shark. Windsurfing a Tsunami, a Korean guy turning into a billionaire white Englishman being knighted by the Queen in 14 months, invisible car and Halle Berry trying to act! Roger Moore in a Space Shuttle looked like a trip to Walmart in comparison.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not really out of this world

Author: tonynworah from Nigeria
27 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

James Bond movies typically exploit current headlines or the most recent craze in order to ensure the success of their movies and no more was it shamelessly done than in Moonraker (the science fiction craze of the 80s), followed by the Man with the Golden Gun( the kung fu craze of the 70s and Live and Let Die(the blackploitation craze of the 70s too).

Obiously cashing in on the sensational success of Star Wars, Brocolli and his team decided to bring out their own science fiction cum espionage movie and Moonraker with the scifi sounding title was the obvious choice.

The film starts with the hijack of space shuttle called Moonraker from the back of a 747. It beats the imagination why a shuttle fully loaded with fuel will be transported on the back of a 747 but then Bond movies never make sense. Neither is it explained why the shuttle was being sent to Britain in the first place. We just have to accept it.

Bond is sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance and "the most obvious place to start" is Drax Industries, the builder of the space shuttles.

There he encounters the megalomaniac who has his own plans to dominate the world(what else is new?), the sexy space guide Dr. Holly Goodhead who may not be all she seems, Chang the Chinese henchman and the return of (Yikes!), Jaws.

This was Roger Moore's fourth outing in James Bond's 11 installment. And he really hammed it up here. With his classic one liners, his humorous double entredes, Roger Moore was a hoot to watch. Simply hilarious and most memorable was a scene involving a would be assassin in a tree.

Moonrakers suffers from trying to be a balance between a serious action packed film and a comedy. There is no tension at all or excitement in the action, mainly because all actions were heavily overtoned with comic effects.

The movie becomes totally ridiculous ( but somehow strangely entertaining) when Bond's adventure takes him to outer space to battle the evil Darth Vad...(oops!) sorry, Drax in his space city. The weapons are not machine guns but laser guns. Thank God, the script writers resisted the temptation of adding light sabers.

Michael Londsdale gave an understated performance as the villain Drax, obviously modelled on Wiseman's performance as Dr. No. He did not have the brilliance of Gert Frobe(Goldfinger) or the seductive menace of Donald Pleasance (Blofeld in YOLT).

Bowing to criticisms of his films being sexist, Lois Chilles was given a more physically aggressive role as Goodhead and was the first Bond girl to kick ass. For once, a Bond woman stood alongside Bond fighting the bad guys and did not need to be rescued by Bond. In a subtle reversal of roles, she is the one giving Bond instructions on how to thwart Drax's plan for global annihilation.

Jaws (Richard Kiel) made a surprising entrance first as Bond's adversary in the stunning aerial dominated pre credit sequences and eventually as his ally.

Moonraker is not one of Roger Moore's best efforts but not his worst. The action sequences were not terribly exciting, especially as Roger Moore remained completely unruffled throughout. But then, only James Bond can take the rough so smoothly, even when he is out of this world!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Diverting 007, But Not Engaging

5/10
Author: Bill Slocum (bill.slocum@gmail.com) from Greenwich, CT United States
9 February 2010

A scene in "Moonraker" sums up the whole experience of viewing the film today. Roger Moore, in his fourth Bond film, hangs from the roof of a cable car, gripping the side.

"Hang on, James!" shouts his woman of the moment, Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles).

Moore looks up, raising his eyebrow as only he and Gregory Peck can. "The thought had occurred to me," he deadpans.

The 007 franchise was hardly hanging on for dear life as the 1970s came to an end. Indeed, the series was never so popular as it was at that time. You wouldn't know that watching "Moonraker" today. The film is structurally and stylistically a mess, with odd bits of comedy and logic gaps too large for even seasoned Bond lovers to look past. Yet the film isn't dull in the least, anchored by Moore at his most spry and amiable.

A space shuttle has gone missing, and Bond is sent to investigate. His suspicions center around Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), who terminates employees with the aid of Dobermans and seems a little too eager to keep Bond going around in circles - at 20 Gs. With the aid of Dr. Goodhead, a gondola that drives on land, and a camera that sports his 007 logo, Bond finds his way to Drax's secret headquarters - a space station invisible from Earth.

Was Albert Broccoli and the production team behind "Moonraker" trying to make a Bond comedy, or just mimic "Star Wars"? Broccoli claimed "Moonraker" was not like "Star Wars" or "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" because his film was "science fact, not science fiction". Well, there are no aliens in "Moonraker", but there is a space station that somehow got built in Earth's orbit without anyone noticing. I call that fiction, and not very good at that.

Drax is jolly fun as played by Lonsdale as a very different kind of Bond villain. He's very dry, pretty unflappable, and gets off some killer lines. "Your desire to be America's first woman in space will shortly be fulfilled," Drax tells Goodhead as she is escorted to an airlock on the space station, one of several fantastic sets designed by the great Ken Adam.

Chiles is a strange Bond Girl, her inexpressive face and atonal line readings suggesting a kind of covert protest by the actress at her character's off-the-charts double-entendre of a name. Faring worse is Richard Kiel as Jaws, as bad here as he was great in "The Spy Who Loved Me" due to some unfortunate softening of the once-deadly henchman-for-hire. (I did think his new girlfriend was cute, though.)

Director Lewis Gilbert liked spectacle - his three Bond movies all feature big-battle finales on giant sets. But he never took Bond seriously, and this time the condition seems to have been contagious. "Moonraker" gets by on the strength of Moore's ability to play well against the inanities around him, and occasionally throws a scene at you good enough to make you wonder about what could have been had here with just a slightly straighter approach.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's not even a bad film.

9/10
Author: Sirus_the_Virus from United States
9 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think that Moonraker is a lot of fun that is really underrated. Everyone gives it such a low rating. I actually sat back and enjoyed the film quite a bit. Bond travels quite a bit in this film, to some places even I have been to. Like there is one scene where is kicking some Chinese guy's ass in Venice. I have been to Venice and thought it was the best place I went to on the Europe trip. Moonraker is just trying to entertain and it succeeds. I didn't think it was as good as The spy who loved me but I still thought it was a great film. The only problem I have with it is the scene where they are in a lazer fight in space. I just found that a little silly. But other than that I was pretty happy with Moonraker. Moonraker is a fun film that I appreciate but nobody else does. I was happy to see that Jaws(Richard Kiel) returned again. I think that Moonraker is actually better than some of Sean Connery's. I am not going to give my rating out of 4, because like with Live and let die, if I give my rating out of 4 there will probably be an angry mob. I had fun with Moonraker and I think that you should see it.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An underrated film

8/10
Author: skinr54 from United States
20 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was the first Bond movie I ever saw, and it's still one of my favorites. It's the only one that really took a few steps into science fiction territory, and Richard Kiel as Jaws does an excellent job. Even though I don't feel this is Roger Moore's best movie as Bond (my vote goes to A View to a Kill), he does good nonetheless.

As a side note, the laser guns used by the Marines in the film's denouement were later featured in the Goldeneye video game. I remember them there for being fast, powerful, and with unlimited ammo.

Well, this movie has girls, gadgets, and guns; what else could you ask for in a 007 film? Watch it.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Truly Epic, one of my favorite Bond films

8/10
Author: Dragonsouls from New York, NY
19 March 2009

Back in the late 70s, we were fresh out of the Star Wars phase. We saw Star Trek's first movie. We saw BattleStar Galactica. And they were all big hits in the box office, or in the case of BSG, cult favorites. In comes Moonraker, Taking the success of Star Wars and using it in the Bondfranchise. The plot here is simple. There is one very rich bad guy. And Bond must take him down, no questions asked.

We don't really know the villain's plot until the very end. We don't know why there is a space station up there until the very end. This film was loaded with extras, great costumes, set design and very good stunts. Most of the film is a collaboration of scenes involving Bond and his quirky humorous way of fighting. The acting wasn't very serious, it felt very comic bookish, but its OK, because the movie doesn't try to be serious really.

In the end, we are given the motives for the villain's actions. He doesn't say much, but he doesn't have to. The audience is given enough information, just sit back, enjoy the space battles in this, because they are superb. The CGI was fantastic, the models of the Space Shuttles were incredible, as well as the eerie Space Station that makes you think of our ISS and how prophetic this film really is! Good PopCorn film, 8/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Pitfalls of Eugenics (and hurrah for Jaws and Dolly!)

7/10
Author: theowinthrop from United States
16 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have to admit that I never became the full fledged fanatical follower (there's some alliteration for you) of James Bond that many others are. I saw DR. NO and FROM Russia WITH LOVE when they came out, then I missed all the Bond films until YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. I did not see GOLDFINGER until about 2000. I still have not seen THUNDERBALL, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, or NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. As for Roger Moore's films, or George Lazenby's one film, or Pierce Brosnan's, or...well I have not seen most of them.

But I did get a chance to see MOONRAKER. The plot of the novel, about a mysterious industrialist who is working on a private project for the British people, always drew my curiosity. It reminded me of other billionaires (Howard Hughes, for instance) who did projects that the Americans got the benefits from (his underwater spy machine that helped retrieve a Russian nuclear device comes to mind). But Sir Hugo Drax is a villain, and he is first raising curiosity when "M" mentions casually to Bond that ("Horror of Horrors") Drax cheats at cards. Shades of the Tranby Croft Scandal.

Actually he is not the only Bond villain who cheats. Goldfinger always plays golf for large sums using golfing equipment that gives him an unfair advantage, and also cheats at card games. But Auric Goldfinger is not a British subject.

As it turns out in the novel Drax is actually not developing nuclear power to help Britain, but a pair of powerful nuclear weapons to unleash on London. Bond, of course, stops him.

That is not the plot here - but then movies have been known to jettison the story line of a plot and create a new one. With the success of the space shuttles, Drax project is to create an outer space station for the Earth's exploration of the solar system. In reality it is being changed for the egomaniac's plan to kill off all life on Earth, and only he and his followers will be the survivors.

Moore gave a reasonable performance as Bond (I'm sorry, I like Moore's "Simon Templar" on television, but the sturdiest Bond remains Sean Connery for me). Michael Lonsdale was threatening as Drax, but I actually found him too quiet. Give me a more inviting villain, like Gert Frobe as Goldfinger or Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No. Lois Chiles was properly beautiful and reasonably good as an actress as Holly Goodhead (after Pussy Galore my favorite Bond female name).

But my favorites were none of these three. It was Richard Kiel (repeating his villain as "Jaws") and Blanche Ravelac (repeating her role as "Dolly", Jaws girlfriend). Jaws was never in the original Bond novels (the name was invented due to the Stephen Spielberg film) nor was Dolly, but in the second film appearance the screenwriters gave Kiel a bit more for his role than threatening to use his steel teeth to kill Moore. He is forced to flee for his life, and is found barely alive by Dolly, who helps him. A sweet romance develops between the giant and the short sized woman. This was continued in MOONRAKER, but with an ironic twist.

Except for this film and Kiel's Jaws (and Ravelac's Dolly) none of the villains or villainesses in the Bond films ever switched sides. The reason here was simple. Up to the last twenty minutes of the film, Jaws is loyally helping Drax as his henchman. He and Dolly are in the space center that is supposed to protect Drax and his followers (and where Bond and Goodhead are hiding). But Drax gives a pompous speech to his followers (all of whom look "aryan" in features and proportions) about eugenics and breeding a proper race. Now Kiel rarely had dialog, but he is never shown to be stupid. As he and Ravelac listen they both become dismayed about what they hear. It's obvious that once Drax has put his plans to kill off the population of earth into effect, he will also weed out those who don't fully match his eugenics views (which includes poor tall Jaws and short Dolly). They keep looking at each other as they realize they have backed the wrong horse here. As a result, for the only time in a Bond film, a villain and his girlfriend end up allied with Bond and his girlfriend. It helps tip the balance against Drax. And in the end both pairs of "heroes" scoot out on their own space shuttles while Drax's plans literally explode.

I really ended up liking that ending. It is improved also by the end of Drax - who is forced to take one giant step for mankind.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's fun...

7/10
Author: joseph t from ohio, usa
24 April 2008

I don't see why so many people are down on this movie. It's entertainment. It's fun. War and Peace it ain't. You want a serious movie with a deeper message then have a viewing of a classic like Gone With The Wind or Citizen Kane or Wuthering Heights. You don't view Bond films for that. They're just escapism and entertainment. Enjoy them for that and you'll be a much happier person.

That said, Moonraker delivers on the entertainment and fun aspect. Sure, there are some contrived sequences and corny lines, but those fall into the context of the fantasy. This movie has some tightly scripted and well-drawn action sequences, some nifty special effects (for it's era), a terrific score and title theme by Shirley Bassey, and a well-paced plot. The filming locations are lush and exotic, ranging from Southern California to Venice to Rio and the Amazon rain forest and, finally, outer space.

The cast is the usual top-quality Bond ensemble. I have to say that Sir Roger Moore is my favorite James Bond actor. He brings a touch of light-hearted and subtle British humor to the role, unlike the Sean Connery incarnation, who was simply too much of the Serious Spy for me. And Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead (there's a classic Bond name for you) is probably the most beautiful and sophisticated of the Bond girls. She scores an 11 on the 1-10 beauty scale, but also brings the added attraction of a brilliantly intelligent and accomplished woman to the role, more than the equal of James on that account, the kind of woman you could fall deeply in love with not only for her beauty but her intellect as well.

'Moonraker' might not be a classic in the world of films, but it holds it's own in the Bond film rankings.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Exciting and Funny Bond Film.

8/10
Author: OllieSuave-007 from California, USA
7 July 2007

"Moonraker" starts with a thrilling scene where the space-shuttle was hijacked and the jet carrying it is blown up in mid air. It then leads to M asking Miss Moneypenny where James Bond is, and she responds by "he's getting his last leg." Then, it shows him flirting with a woman, which leads to an exciting and daring scene where Bond jumps out of an airplane to avoid his assailants. This is one action-packed prologue that takes this film off to a fast start, and then to the main plot where Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle and discovers an evil plan to commit global genocide.

This 007 film is full of brilliant special effects and some neat martial arts type action. The plot is slow at times and drags toward the middle. However, Roger Moore is great, with his hilarious one-liners, like when he utters "Play again" after he throws a bad guy down onto a piano and when he says "Take a one giant leap for mankind" when he throws another out of a spacecraft. Q has another awesome batch of gadgets to help Bond on his daring mission and to deal with a host of villains, including the sharp-teeth super-henchman, Jaws.

The laser-gun fight scene was probably a homage to "Star Wars," which was released the same year, and is definitely the highlight of this film that is not to be missed by 007 fans.

Grade B+

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