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For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Budget 28 million. Opening Dates: UK June 24, 1981; US June 26, 1981
Worldwide Box Office $194.9 million
Originally Written
Sunday, October 1, 2006

For Your Eyes Only marks Roger Moore's fifth time in the Bond shoes. Unfortunately following the huge success of Moonraker, which "raked" in more money than any other Bond film of its time and set new standards for the franchise, this follow-up film had much to contend with and ended up being another rather average Bond outing. When a ship carrying a highly important and secretive British weapon known as the ATAC is sunk, Bond is sent in to retrieve the weapons system before it falls into the hands of another country. Along the way he runs into the beautiful and deadly Melina, whose father was originally assigned to discover the whereabouts of the sunken ship, until he was murdered, now she seeks revenge for her parents’ death.

It seems that the murder of Melina's parents and the fact that someone else is attempting to retrieve the weapon are related. Bond must contend with a man known as "The Dove" who at every turn is attempting to end Bond's search by having him eliminated. Things begin to get even more interesting when Bond discovers a supposed ally ends up being the man behind it all! Bond must stop this person before this man hands over the recovered ATAC to the Russians which would only end in disaster.

For Your Eyes Only offers up a lot of very entertaining chase scenes, from an exciting car chase to a fast paced ski adventure, but while entertaining they also become highly outlandish to the point that you have to exclaim, "Yea right!" Not that past Bond films were anywhere near believable, but when you have a little Ugo type car receiving the bashing of its life, rolling down the side of steep hills and flipping over, and everyone inside is not only unharmed but the vehicle continues to run, I find that a little too unbelievable.

Although, unbelievable stunts isn't the reason this Bond adventure only adds up to average. It's once again the culprit of some average characters and a rather bland storyline. This is another occasion when the Bond girls and the villains turn out to be mediocre compared to the franchise's shining lights they don't cut it. Even Moore himself appears to be showing his age a little and at times you have to remind yourself that you are indeed watching a James Bond film.

Probably the worst of it all is the atrocious ending, which was not only lame but completely uncharacteristic of what you expect from a Bond conclusion. It was almost as if they ran out of ideas or ran out of time and decided to throw together a rather bland ending which leaves you open mouthed and a little bummed. Keep reminding yourself you're indeed watching a Bond film. In the end, For Your Eyes Only has its moments which usually consist of outlandish chase scenes, while completely unbelievable they are at least frequent and highly entertaining, helping to make this Bond film fairly enjoyable, but in no way one of the best.


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