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Moonraker (1979)

Budget 34 million. Opening Dates: UK June 26, 1979; US June 29, 1979
Worldwide Box Office $202.7 million
Originally Written
Friday, September 22, 2006

What happens when you mix James Bond with Star Wars? You get an incredibly entertaining movie that ranks among Roger Moore's best in the Bond series. Moonraker dares to mix the ever so popular spy series with a taste of science fiction, and what results is brilliant!

Bond is sent off to investigate the disappearance of the Moonraker space shuttle, and travels to California to speak with the manufacturer of the shuttles, Hugo Drax. Drax is a rather bland, yet sinister character who offers the hospitality of his home to Bond during his investigation. Soon multiple attempts are made on Bond's life and some secret information concerning the production of the shuttles leads Bond to believe that Drax is up to no good.

Bond continues his search and later acquires help from Holly Goodhead, an undercover CIA agent who is posing as one of Drax's main research scientists. With the attempts on Bond's life failing, Drax hires a familiar face who has a little history with Mr. Bond... Jaws (yes he's still alive!)

Holly Goodhead is eventually kidnapped but Bond later discovers her at Drax's jungle hideout, which turns out to be a very large launching bay. Escaping the snares of death once again, Bond and Holly hijack one of the Moonraker spaceships and launch off into space to find out what Drax is up to. When they break through the Earth's atmosphere they are shocked at what they find. Drax has secretly built a space station that is hidden by a radar blocking device. The station is equipped with an arsenal of bombs in which Drax plans to send hurling to Earth to kill all human life on the planet and then repopulate the planet with his "perfect" specimens of human life. Bond must stop this mad man before billions of people die!

It has been quite sometime since I have seen any of these Bond films, and I don't believe I've ever watched the Roger Moore's in their entirety before, but I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining this film was, and also the flack it got from critics and viewers for being too cheesy. A little bit of trivia, Moonraker was actually the highest grossing Bond film, until Goldeneye, raking in an impressive $203 million worldwide and becoming one of the most popular Bond films.

What I liked most about this film is it finally gets everything right, with one of the best introduction sequences I have ever seen in a Bond film, constant action, the right amount of comedy, great Bond girls, and great supporting villains. Jaws was a lot better this time around too, because his character wasn't as one dimensional as in the previous film. Overall, Moonraker continues Roger Moore's assent in the Bond franchise and is truly an entertaining and unique action film.


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