A View to a Kill
|A View to a Kill (1985) is the fourteenth spy film of the James Bond series, and the seventh and last to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Although the title is adapted from Ian Fleming’s short story “From a View to a Kill”, the film is the fourth Bond film after The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker and Octopussy to have an entirely original screenplay. In A View to a Kill, Bond is pitted against Max Zorin, who plans to destroy California’s Silicon Valley.
The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, who also wrote the screenplay with Richard Maibaum. It was the third James Bond film to be directed by John Glen, and the last to feature Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny.
Despite being a commercial success, with the Duran Duran theme song “A View to a Kill” performing well in the charts and earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Song, the film received a mixed reception by critics and was disliked by Roger Moore. Christopher Walken, however, was praised for portraying a “classic Bond villain”.
James Bond, MI6 agent 007 and sometimes simply “007”, is sent to Siberia to locate the body of 003 and recover a microchip. He is ambushed but flees in a submarine built to resemble an iceberg. Q analyses the microchip, establishing it to be a copy of a microchip designed to withstand an electromagnetic pulse made by government contractor Zorin Industries.
Bond visits Ascot Racecourse to observe the company’s owner, Max Zorin. Zorin’s horse wins a race but proves hard to control. Sir Godfrey Tibbett, a horse trainer and MI6 agent, believes Zorin’s horse was drugged, although tests proved negative. Through Tibbett, Bond meets French private detective Achille Aubergine and Aubergine informs Bond that Zorin is holding a horse sale later in the month. However, during their dinner at the Eiffel Tower, Aubergine is assassinated by Zorin’s mysterious bodyguard, May Day, who jumps off of the tower with a parachute. Bond chases, but fails to apprehend her.
Bond and Tibbett travel to Chantilly, France to stay at Zorin’s estate. Bond is puzzled by a woman who rebuffs him and finds out that Zorin has paid her a very large cheque. At night, Bond and Tibbett break into Zorin’s laboratory and learn that he is implanting drug-releasing microchips in his horses. Their intrusion is discovered and May Day assassinates Tibbett. Zorin identifies Bond and tries to have him killed too, but 007 survives.
General Gogol of the KGB confronts Zorin for murdering Bond without permission as Zorin was trained and financed by the KGB, but he has now gone rogue. Zorin unveils to a group of investors his plan to destroy Silicon Valley to gain a monopoly in the microchip market.
007 goes to San Francisco where he learns from CIA agent Chuck Lee that Zorin is the product of medical experimentation with steroids performed by a Nazi, now Zorin’s henchman Dr. Carl Mortner, who took refuge in the Soviet Union after World War II. He then investigates an oil rig owned by Zorin. While recording conversations there, he finds KGB agent Pola Ivanova trying to blow up the rig, but her partner is caught and murdered. Ivanova and Bond escape together. She tries to steal his recording, but then finds out that Bond had switched tapes. Bond tracks down the woman Zorin attempted to pay off, State Geologist Stacey Sutton, whose family oil company Zorin has been trying to buy. Posing as a journalist, he rescues her from Zorin henchmen and the two attempt to steal documents about Zorin’s plans from the San Francisco City Hall.
Zorin arrives and kills the chief Geologist with Bond’s gun, then sets the building on fire in order to frame Bond for the murder and kill him. Bond and Sutton escape from the fire, but when the police try to arrest Bond, they escape in a fire engine.
Bond and Sutton then infiltrate Zorin’s mine, discovering his plot to detonate explosives beneath the lakes along the Hayward Fault and the San Andreas Fault, which will cause them to flood. A larger bomb is also on site in the mine to destroy a “geological lock” that prevents the two faults from moving at the same time. Zorin and his security chief Scarpine flood the mines and murder the mine workers.
Sutton escapes while Bond fights May Day; when she realises Zorin abandoned her, she helps Bond remove the larger bomb, putting the device onto a handcar and pushing it out of the mine. May Day stays on the car to hold the faulty brake lever, sacrificing herself as the bomb explodes.
Zorin, who had escaped in his airship with Scarpine and Mortner, abducts Sutton. Bond grabs hold of the mooring rope as the airship ascends. Zorin tries to kill Bond by flying him into the Transamerica Pyramid, then the Golden Gate Bridge, but Bond manages to moor the airship to the bridge framework. Stacey attacks Zorin and in the fracas, Mortner and Scarpine are temporarily knocked out. Stacey flees and joins Bond, but Zorin attacks them with an axe: Bond sends Zorin falling to his death. Mortner also attacks Bond, but Bond escapes, blowing up the airship, killing Mortner and Scarpine.