Cheesy James Bondage

A View to a Kill may be the worst Bond entry, but that’s part of the fun.

Flashback Film Fest
February 2-8
Cineplex Park Lane
5657 Spring Garden Road
See cineplex.com for times

This week, Cineplex's Flashback Film Fest—once known as the Great Digital Film Festival—returns with its usual dose of 1980s favourites: Tarantino, Coen brothers and the like. Anything with a robot, monster, alien, time-travelling DeLorean or a rug that really brings the room together is par for the course at this retro screening event.

One big surprise amongst the various terminators and gremlins is the choice of the objectively worst James Bond movie, A View to a Kill. Of all the Bonds they could have picked, you have to wonder why they went with this one. It's dramatically inert, thrill-challenged and badly dated. Yet this is one of those pictures where a sky-high fromage content defies arguments for its awfulness. Some love it, despite all.

It arrived in the spring of 1985, with the 57-year-old Roger Moore in his seventh and final outing as 007 and looking like someone desperate to have his killing license revoked. (It was also the final time Canadian Lois Maxwell would play Moneypenny.) The plot involves the usual convoluted nonsense, this time featuring thoroughbreds, microchips and a plan to drown Silicon Valley.

What defines the picture is an almost unrestrained sense of camp: A Siberian ski-chase is soundtracked to "California Girls," a man named Aubergine is killed with a fish hook in a French restaurant at the Eiffel Tower and Tanya Roberts is snuck up on by a blimp. (They must have chosen Moore's stunt doubles based on how little they resembled him.)

A View to a Kill also comes with a double-dose of great villainy: Christopher Walken is terrific as Zorin, a giggling psychopath in a fright wig, while style icon Grace Jones is May Day, the muscle. There's also the immortal Duran Duran song to wrap it up. Whether this is worth the associated cheese may well depend on your cholesterol levels.


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