Pushing sixty, Roger Moore made his final appearance as the world's most famous superspy (what an oxymoron) in this reworking of Goldfinger. Paris and San Francisco are the cities on Bond's radar as he hunts supervillain Christopher Walken, at that point the only Oscar winner to appear in a 007 picture, whose plan to destroy Silicon Valley is reminiscent of 1978's Superman. Grace ‘Forever flirting with fame?' Jones provides mid-80s step-haircut kitsch as lethal assassin May Day, her then-boyfriend Dolph Lundgren bit-parts as a KGB heavy, and Duran Duran's theme song is the best since Carly Simon's Nobody Does It Better for The Spy Who Loved Me.
Re-viewings reveal Octopussy as a great action movie pitched midway between Bond and Indy, but no critical re-evaluation is likely to fall upon A View To A Kill, an arthritic thriller that forgets where it put the excitement and infamously transforms Bond into a quiche cooking homebody.
Reversioning Goldfinger is ridden with pitfalls for filmmakers at the top of their game, but with Moore groaning throughout the movie resembles a Dennis Potter play with lead actors twenty years too old for their roles.
In a story as a tired as Moore's eyes, the aged spy is on the trail of Max Zorin (Walken) after finding a Zorin microchip that can withstand a nuclear blast in the dead grasp of agent 003 (a plot device borrowed from Octopussy).
In France Bond infiltrates Zorin's horse auction soiree in a screamingly protracted first hour, discovering the bleach blond baddy is using an ex-Nazi doctor to turn regular nags into championship winners.
More worryingly, after travelling Stateside Bond discovers Max is planning to destroy Silicon Valley via some geological mischief and dominate the microchip industry.
Director John Glen can still deliver the action goods (the pre-credit ski chase where Bond invents the snowboard and a pursuit up the Eiffel Tower are well executed) but the gulf between Moore and stunt double is wider than the San Andreas Fault and Glen has only semi-success in disguising the doubles' younger faces (use the Paris car chase for a quick game of "Where's Roger?").
Walken, in a role turned down by David Bowie and Sting (the producers clearly looking to save money on the theme song), seems to have discovered his schtick with this performance... pausing.... for a... long time....andthentalkingreallyquickly.
As if acknowledging the Soviet Union was proving itself a paper tiger, Zorin being ex-KGB is not dangerous enough, so the script makes him a genetically created KGB agent, super-intelligent, but psychotic with it.
Jones as henchperson May Day is an assassin who cannot place Bond's face days after he pursued her up France's most famous landmark, and Tanya Roberts is possibly the worst Bond girl, a geologist with perfect manicure and lip gloss - although small wonder she looks uncomfortable: when cuddling up to her in the shower, Moore was older than her mother.
Roger should have stuck with Fiona Fullerton, who cameos as a Russian agent, or even Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade's Alison Doody, playing ice-cold killer Jenny Flex (the only bit of innuendo that manages to rise to the occasion).
A Golden Gate Bridge climax and explosive massacring in a mine network add a measure of late in the day excitement, but A View to a Kill deserves its low reputation.
Partnering up Moore with The Avengers' Patrick MacNee for the France fluff was a smart move (following Avengers co-stars Diana Rigg and Joanna Lumley in On Her Majesty's Secret Service), but if only the producers did it five years earlier.
Mr Dalton, you're needed.