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Moonraker
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Reviews & Ratings for
Moonraker More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Underrated Bond movie

7/10
Author: skiop from United States
29 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Moonraker" is often said to be the worst Bond movie, but it's hard to understand why. It's fast-paced, entertaining and follows the "Bond formula" to the letter.

The megalomaniacal villain is Hugo Drax, who's out to replace humans with his genetically engineered superhumans. The Bond girl who gets killed is Drax's pilot. The Bond girl who survives (Holly Goodhead, played by Lois Chiles) is a CIA agent. The exotic locations this time take place in South America; there are cities, swamps, pyramids and all sorts of other beautiful locations. And what Bond film doesn't include a memorable, totally implausible climax? This time it occurs in and outside of a space station.

There are several good action scenes; for example, one in a G-force simulator and another on cable cars. The villain has truly insane ways to kill Bond, and all of them fail. There's a giant python that Bond kills in one scene, and in another, Drax puts Bond and Holly under the exhaust of a space shuttle, ignoring that there was a shaft that they could escape through.

The special effects are excellent. I don't know how "Alien" could have won the Oscar over "Moonraker." This is especially true during the laser battle at the end. And James and Holly trying to destroy the errant gas pellets is very tense.

Lois Chiles isn't much of an actress, but her character is a good one. She won't put up with Bond's sexist nonsense, and she can really kick some tail. Richard Kiel returns as ace henchman Jaws, but this time he isn't quite as mindless.

This movie isn't ground-breaking in any way whatsoever, but it is an entertaining movie that those who like cinematic Bond should like.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the Best Bonds

9/10
Author: joerocker (joerocker@hotmail.com) from Beirut, Lebanon
7 March 2004

When first I saw this movie I was 13 years old so I have fond memories of it being a Bond fan myself.When I watch it now, it doesn't feel the same because the movie industry has progressed a lot since 1979. But for its time, its a very good production. The movie did cost a lot and made well in ticket sales.I know that at times the fight scenes aren't great but still has classic Bond elements.It has Great stunts (the opening is one of the best in the series),exotic locations, beautiful women,devious villians and nice humorous lines.

Some people today mock ,criticize or belittle James Bond as too difficult to believe or something silly.But James Bond isn't about real life or your average spy. He is a larger than life persona and the embodiment of the best secret agent.That is why when a Bond movie comes out, people around the world go and watch it.Plus the ticket sales would be awesome. People like like to live in a fantasy for a couple of hours watching their favourite hero save the world again and again. So if Bond wasn't so popular then the series wouldn't have made it past 3 movies.The people who wrongly criticize Bond movies, should try to make one.I am sure that all the producers around the world have tried to imitate Bond in making spy movies or use stuff that are found in his movies only to fail to surpass the legend.Imagine that the Bond film makers have to outdo themselves each time a Bond movie comes out.So for those people, try to take each Bond according to each time and you will see that its one of the best of its time.There are a lot of cinematic techniques that have been revolutionized through the Bond movies as well as record breaking stunts and gadgetry.

Moonraker is a great Bond movie.Roger Moore is a wonderful actor and plays his role well.James Bond is about tradition and legacy so get used to it, enjoy the show or try watching something else.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

2 hours well spent.

10/10
Author: Yilmaz from Bradford, England
6 September 2001

This review may contain spoliers.

Roger Moore makes his fourth appearance as James Bond in this big-budget adventure. He seems to have settled into the role by now and the actor exudes confidence. Although Moonraker is often degraded for being overly fatuous, it is a highly entertaining adventure that epitomises Moore's light-hearted portrayal of Bond.

The opening sequence is very shrewd and is only spolied at the close by the inappropriate comical actions of Jaws. Maurice Binder fails to produce an innovative title sequence and this one looks dated and two-dimensional. John Barry's musical scores are below par and they fail to augment the drama of the film.

The plot is credible even though I am nonplussed at why Bond immediately thought that Drax was responsible for the hijack of the shuttle after he received his mission briefing. Drax's apocalyptic plot should present Bond with his toughest challenge yet, but the movie fails to exploit this and therefore the drama is often flat. The locations are impressive and Bond spends a lot of time travelling from the US to Venice and then onto Rio de Janeiro before he heads into the Brazilian jungle and then into space. You can't help but feel that 007 should stay in one place for longer.

The tone of this review is somewhat disparaging but the movie does have its high points. Q's wrist-dart-gun proves to be useful to 007 and Lois Chiles is very effective as Bond's sidekick, even if 007 does go out of his way to be cringingly chauvinistic at times. Didn't he learn anything from Major Amasova in the previous offering? Most of the action takes place on terra firma and therefore learns from the mistakes of Thunderball.

After a stuttering start, the Moore mobile was in cruise mode for this film and it would continue to be for several films to come. Moonraker shows THE James Bond in action. Enjoy!

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

James Bond meets Star Wars

Author: Chris Gaskin from Derby, England
30 June 2004

Moonraker was the movie that sent James Bond into space, partially cashing in on Star Wars's success two years before this was made in 1977.

A space shuttle being carried by a Boeing 747 is stolen and the 747 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean. When the wreckage is examined, there is no sign of the shuttle. James Bond is sent to investigate and after a speed boat chase in Venice, a fight with old enemy Jaws on top of a cable car (where after it crashes, Jaws falls in love with a small blonde), another boat chase and eventually, he ends up on Drax's space station which can't be seen on a radar. During all this, Bond meets and falls in love with Dr Goodhead. When on the space station, the radar tracking system is switched off and a space shuttle with an army of men is sent up to see what it is. During the laser gun fight, Jaws becomes Bond's ally and Bond sends Drax into space. After the space station breaks up, Jaws and his new love end up being safe after descending in a capsule from it, and Bond and Goodhead destroy the capsules that Drax sent to Earth to destroy cities.

Part of the theme tunes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Magnificent Severn are used in this move and we also here Jaws speak his only dialogue in both his Bond appearances: "Well, here's to us".

This was Roger Moore's fourth appearance as Bond and Richard Kiel's second as Jaws. The movie also stars Lois Chiles as Goodhead, Michael Lonsdale as Drax and Bond regulars Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewelyn and Lois Maxwell.

Despite reading some bad reviews, I think Moonraker is one of Moore's better Bond movies.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Take a second look

Author: noel timothy (ndtimothy@hotmail.com) from London, England
22 July 2001

Such a shame, this film is one of the most highly underrated bond films. Beneath the outrageous sight gags, there is in fact an excellent film. A little editing would have made this film better. Nevertheless the film does not fail to entertain, it boasts exotic locations and supplies an endless array of excellent stunts and action sequences. Once again John Barry provides an excellent music score, making sure every action scene is accompanied by some scintillating music.

Chang is an marvellous villain. He is a silent, menacing figure; the intention was obviously to bring back memories of Oddjob. Chang makes a failed attempt to kill bond by manipulating a centrifuge to breakneck speeds. It's the best sequence in the film because there is genuine suspense and bond looks terrified by the ordeal. Despite all the aforementioned criticisms 'Moonraker' was both a public and financial success, the public seemed to enjoy it very much, and it went on to gross a staggering $203 million worldwide making it the highest grossing entry until 'Goldeneye' in 1996 which grossed $351 million worldwide. This is an excellent film in very respect, so sit back and enjoy!

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The best Roger Moore bond.

9/10
Author: fedor8 from Serbia
4 January 2007

My favourite Bond film. Features some of the better-looking of Bond women. Not very popular with the critics. How can you like one Roger Moore Bond and hate another? They're all great. One of these morons even wrote that "Moonraker" is too absurd, with its plot of outer- space adventure. You've gotta be kidding me! In nearly every single Bond film he saves the world (or just a couple of big cities, on his bad days), and in each and every one of them he survives in the most improbable ways, nearly single-handedly destroys whole crime empires, and gets laid with every single girl that he fancies. And then they pick on "Moonraker" for being short on logic and realism! They don't mind him saving the world from the Earth's ground, but it bothers them when it's outer-space based. Go figure. Film critics are MORONS.

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13 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Excellent, but heavily criticised, disliked, and underrated.

10/10
Author: Tom Casartello (sigma-1) from Longmeadow, MA, USA
26 December 2001

One of the prime reasons this film was disliked is because they disliked the space aspect, and some of the silly comic things. Although it does have mixed reviews. Many also rate it well. I didn't see anything wrong with this movie. Roger Moore's performance was fine, the villian wasn't horrible, and the women weren't terrible. Personally one of my favorite Bond films, and yes this is partly because I like things involving space. Another thing HEAVILY underrated is Jaws's performance. I saw nothing wrong with it. Yes, maybe they shouldn't have had him fall in love, but before this he was as evil as he was in the Spy who Loved Me. Maybe I overrated in giving it a 10/10, but after seeing this movie I was highly satisfied, and saw nothing wrong with it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Outer Space Adventure.

6/10
Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
8 September 2013

Roger Moore returns as James Bond "007" in this eleventh installment, which finds him sent on a mission to recover a stolen space shuttle, which leads him to the ship builders Drax industries, where owner Hugo Drax(played coldly by Michael Lonsdale) denies all knowledge of the incident, but of course that is a lie, as he has a secret plan that will affect the whole world... Lois Chiles plays a CIA agent(Holly Goodhead) who helps him with his investigation, which takes him from Venice, to Rio, then finally outer space! Richard Kiel also returns as hulking hit-man nicknamed Jaws.

Though hurt by some undeniable silliness and copying of "Star Wars", I still found this a fun adventure(as long as you don't think about credibility too much!) that benefits from the good will left over by Roger Moore's growth in the role, and the previous film "The Spy Who Loved Me". Still, this tone couldn't continue, and it wouldn't upon his return...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I've Seen Better James Bond Movies

6/10
Author: garyldibert from United States
28 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This motion picture hit the theaters on June 29 1979 Starring: Roger Moore as James Bond, Lois Chiles as Dr. Holly Goodhead, Michael Lonsdale as Hugo Drax and Richard Kiel as Jaws. Agent 007 James Bond blast into orbit in this action packed adventure that takes him to Venice, Rio de Janeiro and Outer Space.

Summary: When Bond investigates the hijacking of Moonraker, which was piggyback on an American Space Shuttle, he and the beautiful CIA Agent Dr. Holly Goodhead are soon locked in a life or death struggle. The person there struggling with is Hugo Drax, a power mad industrial whose horrified scheme may cause people to reshape there lives. The picture opens with the shuttle riding piggyback when the engine fires and it takes of on its own. James is shown to be in a private plane when he's left by himself as the man and lady that were with him, shootout the plane instruments before bailing out. Therefore, Bond jumps out of the plane after and goes after the man that has the parachute. Both Bond and the man he's after fight over the parachute as they fall through the sky heading for land. James is summoned by the British Prime Minister to find out what happen to Moonraker. Therefore, Bond leaves the office and goes to California where he's met by a helicopter who takes Bond to Hugo Drax place of training. After a meeting with Drax, Bond is given a tour of the grounds. After his tour, Bond is taken and introduce to Dr. Holly Goodhead and she process to take Bond to see Moonraker. Drax tells his supervisor to make sure some harm comes to Bond. Bond is put into a machine by Dr. Goodhead that can reach 20G, which could kill you. When Dr Goodhead is call up by Mr. Drax, Drax hit-man takes over the experiment. As the supervisor takes control of the instruments he starts to make the machine go faster and faster. The only way for Bond to get the machine to slow down is to shootout the instruments. Later that night Bond charms his way into the Drax office where he unlocks the safe and takes pictures of plans that he found in Drax presents. The next day, Drax invites Bond to go on a pheasant hunt where Bond first shot takes down a pheasant. However, the price for one of the employees who help Bond could be costly. The role of Drax was first offered to James Mason who turned it down. In the picture The Spy Who Loved Me, Lois Chiles was offered the part to play Russian Agent Anya but turned it down because she wanted to cut back on her workload. Some parts of the picture where shot in different locations such as the Rockwell International Manufacturing Assembly Plant in Palmdale California. The other location that was used for this picture was the Vehicle Assembly Building in Cape Canaveral in Florida. This was the fourth film in which roger Moore was used as James Bond and the second one that the opening scene was shot with Bond using a parachute. This was the first movie that featured a space shuttle. The release of this film was suppose to be around the time the NASA was going to release its first ever shuttle launch into outer space. In order to create the final shot in which the space station is destroyed, the visual effects crew locked themselves in the studio and shot the model of the space station to pieces using shotguns. When work on the film began, NASA had in fact not yet officially finalized the design of the Space Shuttle. Fortunately, for the production designers, there were subsequently no visible changes made to the shuttle's design, making their rendering of it accurate.

As far as my thoughts on this movie? I didn't think that this picture had attention grabber that the others did. Even though I thought Lois Chilies was good she didn't have the glamor that some of the other Bond picture did. Barbara Bach would have done so much to the role of Bonds leading woman if she would have been given a chance. Overall, this movie didn't have the suspense the others had so I give this movie 6 weasel stars.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Half Bond, Half Buck Rogers

Author: amesmonde from Novelist of The Final Version
25 June 2011

With loads of Bond girls Roger Moore returns with a tongue and cheek James Bond that is even more so prevalent in this entry.

Lead and strong Bond girl Lois Chiles as Dr. Holly Goodhead is more than sufficient and Michael Lonsdale's Hugo Drax is perfect. Calm, charming and debatably one of the best Bond bad guys. 

The stunts are fantastic but the stunt doubles are usually so unlike the leads it takes you out of the moment particularly in Moonrakers case. There's excellent sets, a great Barry score but the film has too many comedy moments and although the first half is not bad as soon as Bond goes into space it loses it's way and the great special effects are wasted due to its outlandish laser beam driven ending that feels removed from what 007 is all about.  This coupled with too many unsubtle nods  to other movies hampers its enjoyment which is a shame for such a successful franchise.

It's fun fast food Bond that overall fails to mix two genres and just cashes in on what was hot at the time. In this case science fiction and cash in it did, surprisingly becoming a smash hit in1979.

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