“First there was the dream, now there is reality. Here in the untainted cradle of the heavens will be created a new super race, a race of perfect physical specimens.”
– Hugo Drax
MI6 agent James Bond’s (Roger Moore) services are in high demand again. A space shuttle, the Moonraker, has been hijacked in mid-air, and Bond needs to figure out what happened. Meanwhile, he is also on the run from inordinately large and deadly assassin, Jaws (Richard Kiel). 007’s superior, M (Bernard Lee) and the British Minister of Defence, Sir Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen) send Bond along to Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), head of Drax Industries, to conduct his investigation. When Bond arrives and meets with Drax, he unknowingly becomes a part of assassination attempts at the behest of Drax.
At the facility, Bond meets with a scientist named Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles). Bond seduces Drax’s pilot, Corinne Dufour (Corinne Cléry), and uncovers plans of Drax’s involving a glass vial manufactured in Venice. Bond moves on to Venice, where he runs into Holly Goodhead, and grows suspicious of her. While snooping around after escaping Drax’s henchmen, Bond uncovers that there are scientists working on a deadly nerve gas for humans. Bond calls in M, though when they enter the laboratory, it shows that there is nothing there, and M grants Bond “leave” to explore some more. Bond meets with Goodhead again after he deduces that Drax is moving things to Rio de Janeiro, and establishes that she works with the CIA, and they undertake to work together. This is very short lived.
As if Rio was going to be simple, Drax employs Jaws to exterminate Bond once and for all, and there is a showdown. Bond escapes, but Goodhead is taken, and he wishes to recover her. During Bond’s encounter with Jaws and his subsequent escape, Jaws meets a girl who goes on to become his girlfriend (Blanche Ravalec). On Bond’s search for Drax’s base, Jaws captures him and takes him there, where another attempt is made on his life. When that fails, Drax gives Bond the tour and he learns that Goodhead is in the compound, and Bond sees a grouping of Moonraker space shuttles. He gathers that Drax stole his own space shuttle. Drax leaves Bond and Goodhead for dead, not knowing they have hijacked a Moonraker of their own to follow him into space.
Here they learn that Drax intends to build the master race from space while he exterminates life on earth, the nerve gas not affecting animals. Will they be able to regain control of the situation and prevent the world from being poisoned to death and his self-professed superior race reigning supreme when all is said and done? Will Bond and Goodhead pool their intellect and resources to put an end to the insanity they are bearing witness to?
I will give Moonraker a 5/10, and even that I have to wonder about. This was definitely the worst foray into a Bond film I have seen so far- yes, public apology to George Lazenby’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Roger Moore is an absolutely dreadful on-screen kisser. It has bugged me the last few movies but now I just have to say it. Terrible! It was great to bring Jaws back (yep, love him), and I thought Jaws finding a girlfriend was adorable, they were so sweet together. Their story was worked into the rest of the film successfully. The whole space battle and everything just did not work for me. I understand that this film came out when science fiction was all the rage but really?! It had its moments, but more of those involved Jaws than anything, particularly whenever he appears the smile that Bond reserves just for him. Two water boat chases in one film? What about Roger Moore says “put me in a boat and in the water, I can make it work”? What about The festival in Rio de Janeiro was also very cool, and Drax was a very twisted individual but this was all drawn together in a way that did not impress me. I found Q’s re-entry comment to be completely tasteless at the end of the film. I am not a fan of Roger Moore; he just does not do it for me in terms of Bond, though credit needs to be given for having Jaws as a character.