For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Ringing in the 1980s and bringing an end to a run of not so great Bond films, "For Your Eyes Only" is brought to life by a revenge story and though some of the antics of the film (including a lip syncing main title sequence and an electronica inspired score) don't quite hit the mark, the general feeling of the film is very fresh, very fun, and very entertaining.
That being said: don't pay attention to the prologue....it's just disappointing. The movie's opening shows us Number One of SPECTRE back in a wheelchair and his white cat. He seems determined to get Bond back ever since their last encounter in "Diamonds Are Forever"; but most of the references in the prologue are for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", which I find ironic. For being such a hated piece of Bond lore, it's certainly the most crucial to the vague story that meanders from film to film.
But a short helicopter ride later and the audience thinks we won't be hearing from Number One any time soon—but we've been wrong before.
Post main titles, Maurice Binder returning yet again to make them (they are getting really, really old. There's only so much you can do with silhouettes) we see a disguised British intelligence ship out at sea. The crew is making rounds, being efficient, and whatnot. The top of the boat looks like an average fishing vessel, one that remains in operation, no doubt to alleviate any concerns that arise about the boat. The fishermen accidentally catch an explosive mine in their nets and before they can do anything to stop it, it touches the boat—bam—instant crux for Bond.
On board the boat is a highly secure and completely irreplaceable piece of equipment called ATAC. Not having the time to destroy the machine, it remains in tact underneath the ocean surface.
It becomes a race against the clock for who's going to get to ATAC the other one first (oh, so punny).
MI6 hired a couple to find the sunken wreck before the Russians get to it, but they get killed in front of their daughter who vows revenge on her parents lives.
Bond gets sent to see if a man of certain mob connections may have anything to do with it. As with most Bond films, his first assumption is correct. But the daughter of the murdered couple has to save Bond's skin.
Bond leaves the long-haired beauty behind and travels to a snow-laden land to meet with a man who supposedly has intelligence that he needs. In this winter wonderland he meets a wannabe Olympic skater who seems like the virginal woman who will get deflowered by the time the credits roll—what we aren't expecting (oh, SPOILER) is that she pretty much will bang everything that moves (too crass?).
But the agents of evildoing are always one step ahead of Bond and they lead him on many merry chases.
"For Your Eyes Only" is directed by John Glen, who was an assistant director for "Moonraker". He throws as many visual wonders at your eyes as possible and it pays off handsomely. From ski chase scenes that involve motorcycles, to shark baiting with a twist, "For Your Eyes Only" is very much a fun film.
The villains are no longer silly creatures of the night with heavy makeup and fake accents, they are all cruel and devilish, to be taken seriously.
Perhaps the most notable thing that "For Your Eyes Only" does is that the bad guy of the film is not the big bad guy. He/she is still an underling; but it plays out better this way.
From snappy one-liners to pretty great action sequences, a little maturity and a little more severity this Bond movie makes me eager to see what happens next.
Posted by Micah Jones