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Moonraker
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Reviews & Ratings for
Moonraker More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Moore comedy for Bond

8/10
Author: Jack Yan from Wellington, New Zealand
2 October 1999

Moonraker was the last time the Eon team made a slightly forward-looking Bond. While there are obvious references to the past, as is inevitable in every franchise, it makes a departure from previous outings by sending 007 into space. Today's Bond is a retro man, who tries to capture the romanticism of the past by driving what looks like Sean Connery's Aston Martin.

One problem is that Moonraker is a remake of 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me with a space theme. Another is, as Bond fans will tell you, that this is hardly 'Ian Fleming's Moonraker' as the titles and movie posters proclaim. Only the recurring characters are the same (Bond, M, Q, Miss Moneypenny), but there is a different female lead role and the villain is no longer ex-Nazi Sir Hugo Drax, but Drax (no Christian name), obsessed now with the conquest of space rather than the destruction of London.

Moviegoers must bear in mind that Moonraker is a comedy. This is about Roger Moore metaphorically winking at the camera. Moore himself has said he enjoyed his Lewis Gilbert-directed outings the most, because he and the director had a similar sense of humour, and both had a fun time injecting light comedy into the piece. Scriptwriter Christopher Wood has created something to suit, although the absence of Richard Maibaum is evident.

Michael Lonsdale plays a suitably mad villain with such lines as 'First there was a dream, now there is reality,' and the famous 'Look after Mr Bond. See that some harm comes to him,' played with a menacingly calm manner (although not as nonchalantly as Gert Frobe in Goldfinger); but on the whole, all characters-and their wardrobes-are cartoon-strip caricatures.

For moviegoers in 1979, one appeal was the return of Jaws (Richard Kiel), the most popular henchman of the franchise. In line with the comedic angle, Kiel has one sentence to say after two films, at the end of Moonraker. While scary in The Spy Who Loved Me, Jaws is now a cartoon villain, playing for laughs while Bond head-butts him in the teeth.

There are some saving graces in the beauty of the Bond girls, but even they are flat characters who can hardly be called independent. Dr Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) may have a Ph.D. but can hardly be called a counterpart to Bond in the manner of the leading ladies in the Brosnan Bonds to date; but like Corinne Dufour (a luminous Corinne Cléry), she is stunning and the camera delights in her presence.

Moonraker is notable for featuring the last appearance of the excellent Bernard Lee as M, here adopting a more fatherly relationship to Bond, as he occasionally does in the books.

Maurice Binder's opening title is probably the best of all his Bonds; the primary colour tones are used to good effect, the typography observes certain rules about balance and letterspacing, and it has, for the most part, aged better than the rest of the film. John Barry's score is absolutely marvellous and heavily orchestral; there are strong melodies and it accurately reflects the comedic action in its arrangement of The James Bond Theme. The Moonraker theme itself is such a beautiful piece that it must rank as one of the finest Barry has composed; it is not as Bondian as Goldfinger or OHMSS, but it is very Barry, used most effectively as "love themes" when Bond meets Corinne in her bedroom-or when Bond meets Holly in hers. Shirley Bassey lends something to the vocals but in some respects she does not seem to be the right choice for such a romantic theme. Matt Munro might have been, but we will never know.

There are some good (for 1979) special visual and miniature effects, particularly the floating-in-space sequences when the first astronaut arrives at Drax's space station, and Moonraker does not suffer as badly next to the space films of the era as, for example, You Only Live Twice (also directed by Gilbert) did against 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Product placement is at its peak in this Bond film, in a far more obvious fashion than in Tomorrow Never Dies. Marlboro cigarettes and Air France tickets are in Holly Goodhead's drawer; Bollinger is referred to expressly by Bond; and a road in Brazil has the billboards of all the major participating companies in this film (!): Seiko, 7 Up, British Airways, Marlboro.

The fun everyone had on the set is apparent. Provided that a goofy and offbeat Bond is what you seek, Moonraker doesn't fail to deliver: Jaws attempts to fly by flapping his arms when he discovers his parachute won't open; Alfie Bass coughs and chokes when he sees a villain's coffin floating down a Venetian canal; the opening notes of Close Encounters of the Third Kind are used as the code sequence to a secret lab; a tourist examines his wine label when he sees a gondola on land (an old joke, but thank you Christopher Wood); and Bond rides across the desert on horseback wearing a poncho to the theme of a wonderfully arranged The Magnificent Seven (a throwback to the John Barry Seven days-or simply a concession to the product placement by Marlboro?).

This is not a Bond where you have to think. Then again, none of the Bonds are. As long as you approach it with comedy in mind, it is successful. Moore fans – those who enjoyed The Saint or The Persuaders – will find nothing wrong at all with this film and wonder why people are so cruel about it. This is the trademark light comedy Roger Moore Bond, and is a fine example of that genre – if it can be called one.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

the most fantastical bond

9/10
Author: Benjamin Shull (dmband007@hotmail.com) from Ohio, USA
18 July 1999

I think that people mistakenly dismiss this movie as pure cheesiness. I have seen all of the bond films several times and i think that this is my favorite for several reasons. the locations are fantastic, the villains (even without jaws) are really interesting, and the way that the plot leads to outer space, though unrealistic, is just a lot of fun to watch. this bond film takes all the aspects of a bond film and pushes them to the limit

who would watch a bond film to learn some deep message about life??? if only the new films wouldn't be so serious. If i want a fun film i will watch moonraker, you only live twice, or diamonds are forever. i would pick the evening news over goldeneye or tomorrow never dies anyday.

i like the bond films that make me feel like i am reading a comic book which is what moonraker does best.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Stop Knocking this movie because it ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

Author: 009-2 from Newfoundland, Canada
22 February 1999

WHY? Why all the negative comments about this film? I mean, I'm not trying to be be impartial even though I am a BIG Bond fan and really like Moore's acting ( though he's not as good as Connery or Brosnan ), but I think that this movie deserves more credit than it's getting. It has great action, a great plot and GORGEOUS women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So Pleeeeeeeeease give this film more credit than it's getting.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A silly, spectacular spy-fi adventure.

7/10
Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
31 December 2011

I admit it—even at the tender age of eleven, I had problems with the laser battle at the climax of Moonraker, recognising it as a lame attempt by the James Bond camp to jump on the Star Wars bandwagon. I also had issues with the film's many other unbelievably corny moments, especially the pigeon doing a double-take, Bond and Holly Goodhead leaping to safety from a Rio cable car, and the previously emotionless professional killer Jaws experiencing love at first sight.

Over the years, though, my disdain for Moonraker's abject silliness has waned somewhat, with me eventually accepting the camp nature and tongue-in-cheek humour as part of the Bond series' evolution; as Moore grew obviously too old for the part, self-mockery was inevitable, and besides, after Pierce Brosnan drove an invisible BMW and para-surfed a tidal wave in Die Another Day, nothing that Moore ever did as Bond has seemed quite so stupid again!

Nowadays, I watch this one with an admiration for the spectacular sets, gorgeous women, breath-taking scenery, impressive special effects, and an undeniable sense of fun.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

good James bond movie.

8/10
Author: kyle-mcdonald from Canada
14 July 2007

This is another good James bond movie and for all the same reasons it has lots of action in it it has a good screen play James bond in space awesome idea roger Moore once again does a great James bond in this movie the acting is good in and the actors are good in it the villains are good again and once again Richard Kiel does a great jaws in this movie. I'm sure you will not be disappointed with moonraker. I'm sure that you will have a good time watching moonraker and you will watch it over and over again. Great adaption of moonraker

Overall score ******** out of **********

***1/2 out of *****

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Escapist Perfection

Author: Christopher72 from Miami, Florida
6 February 2004

A wise man once said "I may not know art, but I know what I like." The same holds true in film, which is why I dismiss the short and scathing reviews of "Moonraker." Roger Moore's fourth outing as Bond certainly seems to be the most polarizing of the series, which is surprising because it has all the classic Bond elements on a sweeping scope from the opening credits: skydiving sans parachute, hang-gliding, not one but two boat chases, a French chateau, Venice, a Concorde ride to Rio, and finally to earth orbit in a space shuttle. (For you post-Nixon children, the space shuttle was a big deal in 1979, since NASA's didn't actually fly into space until two years later.) And of course, the incredible sets. It's not any more far-fetched than "Die Another Day" (Brosnan's worst!). And it did not have the continuity problems that plagued "Diamonds Are Forever." (Ughh, don't get me started on that one: the reason Connery said "Never again.")

One of the underlying attractions of the Bond films is that they take the average poor schmoe somewhere they would probably never go otherwise. "Moonraker" has that sweeping scope. Granted, it requires a greater suspension of disbelief to fully enjoy (as opposed to the hard-edged examples of "For Your Eyes Only" and "License To Kill"), but if you can get past some of the silliness (such as the visually-stunning yet implausible space battle finale), you can see the really fantastic job the producers pulled off. A megalomaniacal premise in the Bond tradition, solid (if occasionally uninspired) acting, ILM quality special effects, and superb scoring. It is escapism, pure and simple. But then again, all Bond films are, to one degree or another. The fact is, if you want an edgy, realistic spy flick, see "Ronin" with Robert DeNiro and Jean Reno. Incidentally, Michael Lonsdale, the icy Hugo Drax, is in that one, too, in a more human and humane role. For escapist perfection, you have Bond, with "Moonraker" the most expansive example of escapism the series is likely to ever produce.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Nasty Reviewers

Author: MCETXCEM from Morgans Point Resort, TX
22 June 2003

I have read all the comments about James Bonds 11th film **Moonraker** and all I have to say is if you were born after 1962 you should leave this film alone, I love it when the kids today review movies and they just don't get it, you have to have lived in the time when all these movies first came out or you just don't have a clue

I love reading how **Moonraker** ripped off **Star Wars**, actually **Moonraker** was written by Ian Fleming in the late 50's and they adapted the screenplay to make the movie

If you can't enjoy this movie then I truly feel sorry for you, because it has everything you could want in a James Bond film; Beautiful Women, Great Locations, Great Actors, and Great Stunt Work; the opening scene when Jaws pushes James Bond out of an airplane is truly fantastic!!

You young reviewers are truly pathetic!!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Not so good

10/10
Author: henrymadman from United Kingdom
29 September 2007

Moonraker, released in 1979 is the eleventh film in the James Bond series and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional British Secret Service agent James Bond. When the end credits rolled for the previous Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, it said: 'James Bond will return in For Your Eyes Only; however, the producers chose Moonraker as the basis for the next film, following the box office success of the 1977 space-themed film Star Wars. For Your Eyes Only was subsequently delayed and ended up following Moonraker in 1981.

In the film, Bond is set on the trail of a space shuttle that went missing during transport on the back of a plane. He visits the owner of the transport company, Hugo Drax, to investigate further. After befriending space scientist Holly Goodhead and a narrow brush with a centrifuge, Bond follows the trail of clues from California, to Venice, to the Amazon rain forest and finally into outer space in a bid to prevent a genocidal plot to conquer the world.

7/10

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

good

10/10
Author: ross robinson from england
15 June 2004

Moonraker was made in 1979, the last movie of the 1970's, i thought it was a good movie to watch, i thought it was great to see Jaws back in the movie. Roger Moore is a fantastic actor i think but i think Sean Connery is the best james bond actor ever than the others who took the part as playing james bond. Roger Moore played james Bond 7 times as he took over the part of playing james bond in 1973 after Sean Connery. His first james bond movie to starr in was Live and Let die, which was released in 1973. The next one was the man with the golden gun which was released in 1974. The spy who loved me was his 3rd bond movie which was released in 1977, Moonrkaer was of course the next title which was released in 1979 (the last in the 70's) for your eyes only was the next one, the first in the 1980's, this one was released in 1981, the next one was octopussy which was released in 1983, the last james bond movie roger moore did was a view to a kill which was made in 1985. I give Moonraker 10 out of 10.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Good 007 film!

9/10
Author: Movie Nuttball from U.S.A.
20 February 2003

This James Bond film is cool! the beginning was great! I loved the very

first return scene of Jaws when he pushed 007 out of the plane and I loved how 007 was flying through the air trying to get the bad guy.

I liked how it was edited and how it matched with the Bond theme. Roger Moore was good and Richard Kiel is always good. I was a little surprised when Jaws got his large self a girlfriend and she wasn't bad looking either and I really think Jaws/Kiel is just not a neat person but a handsome man as well. Drax was a good villain. I don't think Moonraker is Star Wars rip off. If you liked all of the other 007 films then you'll really like Moonraker!

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