Roger Moore is always seen as the ‘funny’ or slapstick Bond, as his films featured even more preposterous situations than usual and the overall tone is not as serious as Connery or Dalton’s. However, Moore’s films are the one’s I remember most vividly from childhood as they had the best gadgets and bad guys like Jaws and Baron Samedi. So it is strange then that this film should be one of my favourites, as it is low on gadgets and memorable bad guys.
After the space capering of Moonraker, this was advertised as Bond’s return to earth, dealing with more serious subjects and is darker than usual. It takes us back to the early days and themes of Bond. Bond visits the grave of his dead wife during the start of the movie, setting the tone, but also showing us that the Secret Agent will always be haunted by the past, and will never be at peace. Aside from the main plot of Bond trying to race the Soviets to the possession of a powerful device capable of messing with submarines (i think), we have a joint revenge tale. Melina (played brilliantly by Carole Bouquet) is in search of those who killed her parents, the same people who want ‘the device’, while Bond is on a quest for the psychotic ‘Dove’ assassin who kills a fellow agent, and one of Bond’s women-Lisle (played by Pierce Brosnan’s wife at the time, Cassandra Harris). Harris would tragically die before Brosnan picked up the Walther. The scene in which Bond kills the Dove is dually one of the most ruthless and satisfying deaths in any Bond film, and Moore plays the scene with great skill.
Another reason for my enjoyment of the film, and ironically this is a central reason for why many dislike it, is the inclusion of Bibi Dahl. The character may be pointless, but Johnson plays it perfectly, making both Bond and the audience cringe. Plus she is one of the most attractive Bond girls…Topol is charismatic, the one-liners do not get in the way of the film or make us turn away in shame like those in Die another Day, and the stunts and car chases are simple but outstanding, refusing to resort to an over-abundance of gadgets. For Your Eyes Only then is the most Connery-like Moore film, is often bleak and full of anger, but because of the emotional content is one of the best Bond films for involving the audience.
The DVD as with the rest of the series has perfect sound and picture quality, contains all the extras from the special edition as well as new ones- deleted scenes, documentaries etc.
Feel free to comment on the movie and my review- do I give it too much credit or do you agree? Check out my other Bond reviews in the DVD section too!