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James Bond Adventure. A space shuttle is stolen enroute to London and M sends 007 out to apologize to the shuttle creator - billionaire Hugo Drax. While visiting Drax's estate several attempts are made on Bond's life, making Drax himself the number one suspect. Bond also meets Dr. Holly Goodhead, a NASA scientist who is also a CIA agent investigating Drax. Their investigations lead Bond to discover a plot to murder the world's population so that Drax can repopulate the planet in his image. The chase takes Bond all over the world - California, Brazil, the Amazon Jungle and, finally, to Drax's huge space-city over the Earth. Drax, meanwhile, has hired a old friend of Bond to take care of any problems - the steel-toothed killer Jaws......
A space shuttle called the Moonraker, built by Drax Industries, is on its way to the U.K when it is hijacked in mid-air and the crew of the 747 carrying it is killed. Bond immediately is called into action, and starts the investigation with Hugo Drax himself. While at the Drax laboratories, Bond meets the brilliant & stunning Dr. Holly Goodhead, a NASA astronaut & CIA agent who is investigating Drax for the U.S. Government. One of Drax's thugs, the sinister Chan, attempts to kill 007 at the lab but when that fails, he follows Bond to Venice and tries again there. Bond & Goodhead follow Drax's trail to Brazil, where they once again run into the 7' Goliath Jaws, a towering giant with metal teeth. Escaping from him, they discover the existence of a huge space station undetected by U.S. or Soviet radar, and a horrible plot by Drax to employ nerve gas in a genocidal project! Bond & Holly must quickly find a way to stop Hugo Drax before his horrific plans can be put into effect...
MASTER PLAN: Eliminate the human race (with a toxin derivative of orchids, no less) and start over with a new master race. Bond finally makes it into outer space, a dozen years after just missing his chance in "You Only Live Twice." Capitalizing on the success of the previous "The Spy Who Loved Me" and taking advantage of the recent sci-fi craze following "Star Wars," the producers ended up with the most financially successful Moore Bonder, but the positive aspects pretty much end there. There is a fairly exciting theft of a space shuttle in the beginning and the rest of the teaser is great - a flabbergasting use of skydiving to create a special thrill - but even here, it ends on a disquieting note: returning giant henchman Jaws, mugging for the camera, is made to look like a clown as he falls on top of a circus tent. Singer Bassey returns for the 3rd time to sing over the credits (after "Diamonds Are Forever") and it's her least effort. With the same director and a few other elements duplicating the better stuff of the previous Bonder, there's a 'by-the-numbers' feel to the storyline. Even worse, there's too much tongue-in-cheek, with Bond grinning away many of the threats to his well being and almost winking at the camera. When Q presents Bond with his latest gadget (a wrist gizmo which fires darts) in M's office, it comes across as perfunctory, almost tedious, and even laughable considering all the high tech weaponry we see later. This was, by the way, actor Bernard Lee's final performance as M.<br/><br/>Bond's mission takes him to California at first, where the main villain has seemingly transplanted a big chunk of France to set up his own private kingdom (it's actually filmed in France, natch). This sequence expands on the usual master villain's domain premise, going all the way back to the first one, Dr. No, and very similar to Stromberg's lair of the previous film. The villain has unlimited funds (it's mentioned that he even purchased the Eiffel Tower) and so much money has apparently gone to his head in a very bad way. Later, of course, we see that his domain has been expanded beyond even the constraints of the Earth and his master plan denotes an ego of monstrous proportions, making even Hitler look short-sighted in his ambitions, yet there's no sense of actual megalomania which we've come to expect of Bond's top nemesis. It's telling that the only really threatening scene here involves a couple of trained dogs. Bond then travels to Venice, Rio de Janeiro (where there's another action scene very high up on a couple of cable cars), the Amazon jungle and, finally, into orbit around the Earth, being dogged by Jaws and a few other minor henchmen most of the way. Most of the chasing involves water sports, such as in the canals of Venice and on the Amazon River; rather than a gimmicked auto, Bond employs souped up boats in this one. Rather than sharks or piranha, Bond tangles with a snake in the water, a misconceived and pointless scene (there has to be a weird animal threat, based on previous Bonders). His ally, a female scientist/covert CIA agent (Chiles), continues the liberated woman concept begun in "The Spy Who Loved Me." The problem here is that Chiles' line delivery is very flat, somewhat robotic, as if she were reading her lines off a script placed just off camera. Maybe the actress was nervous, being in her first big blockbuster role.<br/><br/>But, the problem extends to the other major roles, as well, including master villain Drax. The actor Lonsdale has been superb in many other roles (as in "The Day of the Jackal"), but here he is very stiff, in monotone, as if someone was pointing a laser gun at his head during his acting scenes, threatening to pull the trigger if he dared to emote even slightly. In fact, he seems quite bored during the entire movie; this suggests an intriguing concept, that the villain has decided to change the world simply because he's bored with the whole thing, but, unfortunately, the boredom attaches itself to the viewer. By contrast, Stromberg, though not the most colorful of villains, at least suggested a necessary mania to convey why the world must be altered in his godlike view. Worst of all is the revised approach to the brutish Jaws character, who behaves more and more like a buffoon as the film progresses, rather than the scary killer of "The Spy Who Loved Me" (the only bad guy to be brought back from a previous Bonder, this seems, in retrospect, an error). Especially cartoonish is his mortified expression at the end of each fight with Bond, as he heads for another painful disaster. It reaches Monty Pythonesque proportions when Jaws meets his new lady love, recalling scenes from the James Bond parody "Casino Royale" from 1967. The whole thing ends up on a huge space station, with a battle now parodying blazing laser guns of conventional sci-fi pictures. This station was meant to be a modern Noah's Ark, with a group of couples meant to begin a new human race, but I think Drax and his scientists overlooked the limited genetic variation of such a small start-up; all these perfect specimens either disappear or are killed in the finale - it's a sign of the film's weaknesses that I didn't pay much attention to this. Moore, just past 50 at this point, looked good for his age, but he probably should have been retired after this one. He, as Bond, would return in "For Your Eyes Only." Bond:7 Villain:6 Femme Fatales:5 Henchmen:5 Fights:7 Stunts/Chases:7 Gadgets:6 Auto:5 Locations:9 Pace:7 overall:6+
MOONRAKER is so far from being a dud Bond, its not funny! THUNDERBALL undoubtedly holds that honor, with THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH a close second! Never developed a taste for THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS either!<br/><br/>MOONRAKER is a totally fun experience - precisely what a BOND film is supposed to be. Never have the innuendo's flowed better...DR Holly GOODHEAD? - u gotta be kidding! is THAT risque enough for you or not? It also boasts the greatest and most subtle of villains, DRAX - Michael Lonsdale's finest cinematic moment, especially when he delivers the two greatest lines in all BONDom. "Please take Mr Bond away and see that some harm comes to him!" and the all time classic "Would you please put Mr Bond out of my misery!" Those two alone rate this up in the top half a dozen Bond capers.<br/><br/>So what if it's stupid? You want Shakespeare, go watch HENRY V! You want method acting? go catch ON THE WATERFRONT...you want subtle brilliance - watch SLEUTH, but if you just want a good time with a spot of action, pretty girls, and the only opportunity you'll ever have to see JAWS in love - stick with MOONRAKER! and lay off this flick wouldja!<br/><br/>Oh, by the way, it's a 6.9!
Bond meets Star Wars in one of the series' sillier outings.
When the space shuttle Moonraker is hijacked in midair while being transported to the United Kingdom, MI6 director M (<a href="/name/nm0496866/">Bernard Lee</a>) assigns his best agent 007 James Bond (<a href="/name/nm0000549/">Roger Moore</a>), to investigate, starting with the shuttle's creator Drax Industries, headed by billionaire Hugo Drax (<a href="/name/nm0003909/">Michael Lonsdale</a>). Aided by NASA astronaut/scientist and CIA agent Dr Holly Goodhead (<a href="/name/nm0001042/">Lois Chiles</a>), they uncover a genocidal plot to destroy the Earth's population and repopulate it with selected couples currently being housed in an undetectable space-city hovering over the Earth. All of the James Bond movies are based, in some part, upon novels by British author Ian Fleming [1908-1964]. Moonraker is based on Fleming's 1955 novel of the same title. It was adapted for the screen by English screenwriter Christopher Wood. Wood, in turn, novelized the movie in James Bond and Moonraker, published the same year in which the movie was released (1979). Moonraker is the eleventh film in the EON Bond franchise and the fourth movie to feature <a href="/name/nm0000549/">Roger Moore</a> as James Bond, 007. Moonraker is sung by Welsh singer Shirley Bassey, who is the only performer to date that has done more than one Bond theme. She also did the themes for Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever. Bond starts out on an airplane returning to London from Africa, where he was just finishing the last leg of another mission. He is then sent to California in order to talk with Hugo Drax, the builder of the Moonraker that was hijacked in midair. There he meets Dr Holly Goodhead for the first ime. When Bond learns that some of the parts for Drax's Moonrakers are being made at the Venni Glassworks in Italy, he flies to Venice where he encounters Holly Goodhead again. Bond figures out that Holly is a CIA operative, and they decide to work together. They learn that Drax is moving his operation to Brazil, so they fly to Rio. After Bond discovers Drax's base in the Amazon jungle, he and Holly commandeer a Moonraker and end up in outer space. Drax is playing Raindrop Prelude, opus 28, number 15 in D flat Major, composed by Frédéric Chopin. In the DVD commentary, it says that the effect was created with high-pressure air jets through a thin nozzle on a tube held off camera by Roger Moore himself. Moore suffered bruising to his cheeks afterwards.As he explains to Bond, one of the six Moonrakers that were needed for him to complete his mission developed a fault during its assembly. He needed to get back the one that was on the way to England because he was breaking down his operation on Earth and didn't have time to fix the ship that developed the fault or build another Moonraker. According to a commercial raiser of snakes, it's a reticulated python, native to Africa. It's the theme song from <a href="/title/tt0054047/">The Magnificent Seven (1960)</a> (1960). During his fight with behind the glass-faced clock, Bond spots some large crates with the Drax Industries logo and Rio de Jainero stenciled on them. One of the crates is partially broken open and Bond spots one of the globes he saw in the laboratory inside it. Bond and Holly knock out the pilots for the sixth Moonraker and take their place. Flying on a preset course, they eventually rendezvous with the other Moonrakers at a radar-cloaked space station where Drax has assembled numerous pairs of perfect people whom he intends to use to restart the human race. Bond and Holly disable the radar jammer in order to make the station visible from earth. The U.S. subsequently sends a military shuttle to investigate. Meanwhile, Drax has launched the first three of 50 globes carrying the deadly nerve toxin to earth in his attempt to wipe out the imperfect human race. A laser battle in space takes place when the military shuttle arrives, and Bond manages to eject Drax into space after shooting him with a cyanide-tipped dart. The space station begins to break up, so Bond and Holly attempt to get away in Drax's personal Moonraker, but they can't get the release work. Jaws (<a href="/name/nm0001423/">Richard Kiel</a>), having been convinced to turn sides when Bond points out that Drax won't allow him and Dolly (<a href="/name/nm0712255/">Blanche Ravalec</a>) to live in his perfect world, agrees to help and frees the Moonraker. As the space station begins to disintegrate around Jaws and Dolly, their module also detaches from the station; they go floating into space just before the space station explodes. Bond and Holly track down the three globes and destroy them. In the final scene, M has gotten visual contact with Bond's Moonraker. Bond and Holly are seen floating in space with only a sheet to cover their naked bodies. "I think he's attempting re-entry," says Q. Bond flicks off the camera, and Holly asks him to "take [her] around the world one more time." After Bond destroys the last globe, a Houston controller states that the American shuttle rescued two survivors "a tall man and a short, blonde woman", indicating that Jaws and Dolly did indeed survive. Bond comes across Drax when M has Bond expose him as a card cheat. Drax has a red beard that covers scarring on his face. The Moonraker is a missile instead of a space shuttle. Jaws and Chang aren't in the book. Dr.Holly Goodhead is instead a Scotland Yard agent named Galatea "Gala" Brand. Drax turns out to be a Nazi named Graf Hugo von der Drache and the Moonraker is secretly aimed to hit London. Drache captures James and Gala and plans to cook them with the Moonraker's rockets. They escape and James changes the gyros then he and Gala hide in the shower turned on full blast. Drache escapes in a Russian submarine but a reprogrammed Moonraker blows him out of the water. Bond and Gala are exiled to France until the event blows over but Gala reveals to Bond that she's engaged to marry another man. Including Moonraker, Moore made seven movies in which he played James Bond: <a href="/title/tt0070328/">Live and Let Die (1973)</a> (1973), <a href="/title/tt0071807/">The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)</a> (1974), <a href="/title/tt0076752/">The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)</a> (1977), Moonraker (1979), <a href="/title/tt0082398/">For Your Eyes Only (1981)</a> (1981), <a href="/title/tt0086034/">Octopussy (1983)</a> (1983), and <a href="/title/tt0090264/">A View to a Kill (1985)</a> (1985). a5c7b9f00b