I don’t like Roger Moore’s Bond movies. This month I have repeatedly slated his films, complaining about how cheesy, silly and 70s they feel. Add to that the fact that Moore clearly outstays his welcome and that Connery actually comes back and does his own, better version of Bond again, and you have what I believe is one of the lower points in the Bond franchise. Nevertheless, with Moore starring as Bond for an unprecedented and currently unbeaten seven movies it’s only fair that we try to determine which is the best.
Bond’s lowest moment. The silliest, most bizarre and ridiculous Bond movie that has been so far (although at times Die Another Day comes close). Bond should never be in space, he should never drive a hover-gondola and certainly shouldn’t pass double-take pigeons. This is the moment Bond stopped being about a super-spy and started being a cartoon character.
Two elements make this a poor Bond movie. The first is the fact that Roger Moore is almost 60 when he takes on the role. He is clearly far too old and it shows. A lot of stunt-men and poorly judged age-related decisions drag this movie down. As does a wasted Christopher Walken and a generally dull Bond movie that lacks inspiration or any kind of excitement.
This shares one thing in common with the 6th entry, it’s boring. It begins with a poor end to an iconic character and doesn’t get much better from there. It is certainly a lot less silly than Moonraker or other Moore outings but that seems to mean that nothing of any real note can occur. A by-the-numbers Bond which is poor by this point in the franchise.
There is a lot to like about The Spy Who Loved Me. It has a good Bond Girl with a decent story, an amazing pre-credit sequence and the introduction of one of the cooler Bond villains. It isn’t quite a Connery Bond but is very good for a Moore outing.
Octopussy is all about the Girls. The titular lady is a match for Moore’s Bond and the use of the circus acts for the finale is one of the more original moments in the series. It’s a shame that Bond manages to ruin it slightly by edging his way in but then again, with great stunts, including a spectacular fight on top of a train, there is even a lot to like about Moore’s Bond here.
The first glimpse at Moore’s Bond was almost his best adventure. It pre-dates the really silly movies and gives us some edgier moments. Baron Samedi is a very memorable bad guy, more so than the actual villain of the movie. It shows that Moore did have the potential to be a good 007, before he was forced to dress as a clown.
Scaramanga is the reason that this movie just about made the top spot. Christopher Lee is great as one of the only villains that really seem to be a match for the MI6 spy. A real investigation, a decent story and some cool moments make this one of the more watchable Roger Moore Bond films.
Overall, Roger Moore’s Bond is nothing more than passable. He made decent films, some even better than Thunderball but then undid all that with some of the poorest and silliest decisions in the franchise’s history. I’ll never be able to get past that pigeon and Bond as a clown!