007 December – For Your Eyes Only (1981) – Oracle of Film

007-December BlogathonFor the first review today of For Your Eyes Only (1981), here’s Luke of Oracle of Film with his thoughts on it

Thanks again Luke!





The Chinese have a saying; “Before setting off on revenge, you first dig *two* graves”!


Number of Times Seen: 2


Brief Synopsis: The British lose their ATAC device, which in the wrong hands, could be a devastating weapon.


My Take On It: For Your Eyes Only is a rather tragic one. Simply put, it is no one’s favourite Bond movie, and most of the time, one could be forgiven for mistaking it as one of the weaker Bonds. However, looking back, For Your Eyes Only is actually a lot better than some of the other Bonds we have reviewed on this marathon; it is just a tad forgettable.


Why? Well, it doesn’t really have a niche. The Man With The Golden Gun had Scaramanga, Moonraker had space… For Your Eyes Only doesn’t really have one of those key ingredients that makes you refer to it as ‘that Bond with the…’ It seems like a silly thing to criticise, but it is one of the things that holds this film back. In truth, there is a lot to like here. The midway section sees Bond take on his enemies in inventive ways in a Winter Olympic arena, the finale rock climbing scene is one of the tensest endings to a 007 to date and Melina Havelock is a really good Bond girl. Her strength is the fact that For Your Eyes Only could very well be a spin-off about her; she doesn’t feel like an added-on staple to the Bond canon.


But none of those things are quite enough to make it recommendable. It might do a lot right, but it seems to be the things it does wrong that people talk about more often than not. The worst Bond opening sequence (it pretty much ruins one of the best 007 recurring characters), more cut and pasted villains and a weak five minute closing section, which feels particularly criminal after that stunning rock climbing scene. It also tries to do something clever with the bad guy of this movie, but perhaps reveals the true identity of the bad guy so late that he never sticks in the memory. You could watch this film, love it and then forget you loved it a week later. A crying shame, because this is actually one of the better Moores.


Bottom Line: Better than you remember and featuring a lot of good sequences, even if there are an equal amount of bad ones lurking in there.

2 thoughts on “007 December – For Your Eyes Only (1981) – Oracle of Film

  1. No way, one of my top 3, along with Goldeneye and Live And Let Die – this was for a long time the most tragic Bond movie, the only time a Moore Bond was serious and edgy, and in The Dove we have one of the most despised villians getting one of the series most cold-hearted and satisfying kills. No over the top comic banter or typical Moore fare here (aside from Lynn Holly Johnson’s ice-skating pieces). I thnik for me this was the first Bond film to show what a truly lonely and tragic figure he is


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