In 1981's FOR YOUR EYES ONLY we learn that even James Bond,
superspy and playboy par excellence, has his limits when it comes to
romantic liaisons. A sexually attractive, young skater and would-be
Olympian named Bibi, played with provocative pseudo-innocence by
Lynn-Holly Johnson, puts her moves on James by jumping naked into his
bed. He curtly refuses her with, "Put your clothes back on, and I'll
buy you an ice-cream." She seems a bit too young, and, besides, her
uncle asked him to keep an eye on her.
On the other hand, Bond is perfectly willing to take other risks.
When invited in by a lovely woman in what seems certain to be a trap,
he's happy to play the odds in return for a potential night of
pleasure. Roger Moore, back for his fifth time as Bond, dresses more
casually in this outing. Wearing a black turtleneck and coat, Moore
has a body that makes every wardrobe fit him like a glove.
As the show opens, a control boat with a key device that gives
directions and firing orders to British subs is sunk. Someone needs to
find where it went down and retrieve the secret controls. But where
exactly did it sink, and which group is responsible?
As Melina, the daughter of parents murdered earlier, Carole
Bouquet plays Bond's aid and one of his many romantic companions.
Bibi's "uncle" Kristatos, underplayed by Julian Glover, turns out to be
this episode's bad guy. Without a credible villain or a suitably
sinister plot, the show drifts more than it excites.
In the de rigueur chase sequence, the movie asks the question: Are
two fast motorbikes with on-board machine guns more than a match for
Bond as he escapes with just a pair of skis? If you don't know the
answer, this has to be your first Bond movie.
In one of the hokier gadgets Q (Desmond Llewelyn) ever came up
with, Bond and Q employee an Identigram, which allows one to describe a
person in English. After a vague description about facial features,
the exact image of the person in question begins to emerge in its
monitor from a sketch so crude that it looks like kindergarten art.
Continuing in its tradition of good visuals, this time our Bond
travelogue takes us to the sun drenched Greek islands with its
bikini-clad women and twisting narrow streets. And after that we're
off to the ski slopes of the majestic Italian Alps, all filmed
beautifully by Alan Hume.
With Kristatos's men in hot pursuit, Bond and Melina eventually
retrieve the sunken control panel. One of my favorite illogical
aspects of this Bond movie, and every one of them has plenty, is that
with two flashlights 600 feet underwater Bond and Melina brightly
illuminate everything in front and back of them. And sure to generate
a few chuckles, the attacker's diving suit is an enormous white one
that looks like the robot in the old television series, "Lost in
So what does the device that cost so many lives look like? A
simple keyboard console that presumably contains some secret chips.
How one misses GOLDFINGER and the early Bond films in which the gadgets
had more style and imagination.
In his first theatrical film Charles Dance from MICHAEL COLLINS
appears briefly to say one inconsequential line before he disappears.
So does Specter's #1, who materializes without showing his face before
Bond kills him again. Perhaps this time he is completely dead, but you
never know; he might be resurrected yet again. Such is the magic of
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY runs 2:07. It is rated PG for violence and
sexual innuendo and would be fine for kids around 9 and up.
My son Jeffrey, almost 9, thought the movie was just okay. He
liked the ski chase and the underwater parts, but didn't like the way
they showed a little blood in the movie.
Copyright © 1998 Steve Rhodes