ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Moonraker

Updated on December 25, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 1979, Lewis Gilbert released Moonraker, based on the 1955 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, as the 11th film int he series. Starring Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel, Corinne Cléry, Toshiro Suga, Emily Bolton, and Blanche Ravalec, the film grossed $210.3 million at the box office.

Synopsis

Sent to investigate Drax Industries after one of their shuttles is hijacked in mid-transit, Bond finds out it’s part of a plan by billionaire Hugo Drax, who wants to destroy the world and replace it with his ideal population.

Review

With the previous entry being such a well done film, it’s surprising that Moonraker is so glaringly awful and possibly the worst film in the series. Drax is nothing but a carbon copy of Stromberg, with the idea of having a base in outer space instead of at the bottom of the ocean. Their plans, destroy all life on earth due to their beliefs of worldwide moral decay beyond redemption so the only solution is to start over with those he has chosen, are exactly the same. Moreover, Stromberg had some good character qualities to his villainy whereas it seems the writers intentionally went overboard with Drax’s villainy just to hammer in he’s no more than a complete monster. He wants to kill all the people on earth with nerve gas while remaining in his space station with his genetically chosen Nazi-like space cult. Further, despite killing everyone in the film in particularly gruesome ways, he doesn't simply shoot Bond as he wants the man’s death to amuse him. What's more is Drax has a God Complex, telling all of his specimens how future generations looking at the heavens whill believe he is looking down, establishing order in the world. Stromberg employed some semblance of class, too, choosing his base because he loved the sea along with his love of art and classical music. Drax, on the other hand, seems devoid of anything except the will to be evil.

Jaws return in this film as well. However, the henchman once serving as the implacable man nothing could stop was turned into a cartoon character existing for purely comedic reasons as what he survives in this film is ridiculously implausible. Jaws did survive many attempts to bring him down in the last film a normal man couldn't. Though in this film, his surviving falling from a flying airplane, in the first five minutes no less, is simply absurd. In addition to this and the previous film, Jaws emerges again as a villain in the video game, Everything or Nothing, meaning he survived reentry through the atmosphere. The silliness surrounding Jaws' return ruins the allure he had in the previous film by turning him from a notable henchman who wouldn't stay down to an invulnerable punching bag. His eventual turning on Drax isn’t written well either. In lieu of Bond attempting to convince Jaws he'll outlive his usefulness to Drax and will thus be tossed aside, which Jaws spends time ruminating over, Bond immediately sways him. It's too swift to have any credibility.

The film’s story is also a blatant recycling of prior films. Just as with The Spy Who Loved Me and You Only Live Twice, Bond works with a female foreign secret agent to stop an insane villain from destroying the world and creating a new empire. Here it’s in space where the previous films were under the ocean or in Japan and everything else is practically the same. All three of these films were directed by Gilbert, making this a signature plot for him. Yet, You Only Live Twice was pretty good and The Spy Who Loved Me was great. This film fails because it’s a duplication and it’s easily realized accompanying horrendous pacing and a confused story.

On top of all this, the final battle between the platoon of Marines and Drax's men evokes the feeling of a brazen attempt to satisfy the public's cravings during the space craze. It appears a great deal was spent on doing so without putting much thought into the quality of the plot or characters.


1 star for Moonraker

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinions.

Awards won

Golden Screen Awards

  • Golden Screen

Nominated for

Academy Awards

  • Best Effects, Visual Effects

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Awards

  • Best Science Fiction Film
  • Best Supporting Actor (Richard Kiel)
  • Best Special Effects

Golden Satellite Awards

  • Best Classic DVD Release (For "The James Bond DVD Collection," volumes 2 & 3)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)