A few years ago a fingernail polish company named OPI released a James Bond themed line of nail polish. I didn’t make it to the store until a few days after the release, and by the time I got there, the only color they had left was a drab grey-silver called Moonraker. I bought it because it was James Bond themed, but to be honest, outside the context of James Bond, I would have thought the color was dull and not worth purchasing. I feel exactly the same way about this movie. If it wasn’t a James Bond film, I would have given it a 1/10. The plot is nonsense, the writers make no attempt at continuity, and the acting is so contrived I thought David Nivens was going to pop up any minute.
I’ll be frank. Roger Moore is my least favorite Bond. He self-described his portrayal of 007 as more of a lover than a fighter. He also felt he was so awkward when he ran, he insisted on having a stunt double run for him. I chose to review Moonraker because it is generally agreed that this is his best portrayal of Bond. Based on that and the other Moore films I’ve seen, I’m not impressed.
Roger Moore was the oldest actor to play Bond, starring in his first film Live and Let Die at age 45. Moore starred in a total of seven films, more than any other actor who played Bond. His portrayal was more comedic than any other, with heavy reliance on puns and awkwardly inappropriate one liners. It was also the farthest from Ian Fleming’s original conception of the character, which isn’t inherently bad, but unless you grew up watching Moore it is difficult to buy into his style of Bond.
Fun Facts about Roger:
- His favorite Bond is Daniel Craig.- “To me, he looks like a killer. He looks as though he knows what he’s doing. I look as though I might cheat at backgammon.” – Moore
- Only Bond actor to not perform any of his own stunts (including running!!)
- The Spy Who Loved Me is his favorite Bond film and A View To A Kill is his least favorite.
- Has an intense fear of firearms, which made filming many of his Bond scenes difficult.
- Played the super-spy for 12 years before retiring at age 58.
Fun Facts about Moonraker:
- The cable that Jaws bites is made of licorice.
- Bernard Lee’s final film as M. He played M in 11 Bond films.
- In China, the title translated to “007 Seizes the Space Station” which is quite funny.
- Shirley Bassey’s third Bond title song (other two are Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever.)
So Moonraker‘s rating on Rotten Tomatoes sits at 60% and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is rated at 82%. My Bond knowledge and likely appreciation must be lacking. I don’t love Moonraker (I don’t even really like it), but I hated OHMSS. No matter how bizarre Moonraker‘s plot and characters are, they can’t compare to OHMSS. That’s coming from an inexperienced Bond watcher so take it with a grain of salt. Moonraker does crush OHMSS in creepiness factor. I could handle George Lazenby’s flirting. Something about a 52 year old Roger Moore using double entendres to woo 28 year-old Corinne Cléry seemed off. Part of that is not the age difference but the fact that Moore is playing James Bond. We all know Bond will meet three or four different women in each movie. No need to be weird about it Roger.
Thanks for reading!