31 years after its initial premiere ‘For Your Eyes Only’ still has up-to-now-overlooked details to reveal. CBn’s resident optometrist Jacques Stewart took it upon himself to have a close look at the 007th Minute of this opus of entertainment and shares his findings here with you. You may share your own opinion on his impressions in this thread.
Go on then, make your outlandish Bond if you feel that you must. It helps disguise the onset of both decrepitude and breasts for your leading man. Cram it to overbursting with all the leftovers that you never thought you would get away with, administer it to the world and then have a crisis of conscience / money and trouble yourself with worrying about the direction to take it in next once you realise that you’ve rather overdone it and probably exhausted the concept of, and patience of the audience for, “Bond Films”. Rather brilliantly, you decide to make some proper films that incidentally happen to be “Bond Films”. Great success and critical acclaim await.
No, sorry, that’s the Barbara Broccoli way.
If you’re her father, you just plough on turning out Bond Films every couple of years because that’s mysteriously The Law, progressively less spectacular ones until you can’t afford to give Timothy Dalton a proper haircut, or story, and the series stalls. Mediocre returns and critical indifference await. I don’t pretend to know about the studio economic politik of the 1980s, largely because that would render me a fatuous dullard and “the” Internet already has more than enough of those, and of course it’s on record that 1989-1995 coincided with yet more litigation, Bond attracting as many lawyers as he does bullets. Yet so often is that dispute wheeled out as the explanation for the lack of production activity that one wonders if it’s a bit of a cover story, a convenient ruse for self-denying the truth that, starting with For Your Eyes Only, Bond was gently but horribly complacently driving itself into the ground, coasting along in neutral with the odd blip here and there on the accelerator, gathering some cash but running out of road, fuel and audience captivation in equal measures. Studio bankruptcy and creative bankruptcy going hand in hand. After eleven films, we can churn out any old dross, slap a gunbarrel on it to make it A. Bond. Film to draw the core punters in, and get away with it. Making it look effortless (The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker) is different to actually making it without any effort.
This isn’t to say that parts of the Bond Films of the 1980s aren’t appealing but, when it comes to it, they’re just yet another five Bond Films to watch. Despite pretence in each film at trying new stuff out (For Your Eyes Only – “seriousness”; Octopussy – “turbo-racism”; A View to a Kill – “quiche”; The Living Daylights – “an hour of mesmeric brilliance followed by an hour of the usual tat” and Licence to Kill – “shameful cowardice”), in essence they deviate very little from the previous eleven. Even the ostensibly “radical” Licence to Kill is teat-suckingly dependent on being A. Bond. Film, with all the decades of reheated canker that comes with that idea, and totally to its disadvantage.
For Your Eyes Only represents very little progress from Moonraker.