A View to a Kill

1985
LP: Capitol SJ-512413
CD: EMI TOCP-6768
CD: Capitol 41448 [remastered]

  1. Main Title [cowritten and performed by Duran Duran]
  2. Snow Job
  3. May Day Jumps
  4. Bond Meets Stacey
  5. Pegasus's Stable
  6. Tibbett Gets Washed Out
  7. Airship to Silicon Valley
  8. He's Dangerous
  9. Bond Underwater
  10. Wine with Stacey
  11. Bond Escapes Roller
  12. Destroy Silicon Valley
  13. May Day Bombs Out
  14. Golden Gate Flight
  15. End Title [cowritten and performed by Duran Duran]

poster of A View to a Kill


The Movie

You can sum the movie up simply as a remake of Goldfinger. It's that simple. I find it interesting because it pulls back the curtain on how the movies were made—you can see the charm, the exotic locations, the beautiful girls, the witicisms, the obligatory chases. But since the movie is Goldfinger, it's like looking at a beautiful girl wearing a different suit of clothes.

I like Roger Moore and I like the Moore era Bond movies, but it was obvious even to me that this movie was a mistake. I think a lot of the fault was casting Tanya Roberts. She was fine as a Bond girl per se, but whereas Maud Adams was 18 years younger than Roger Moore, she looked closer to his age in both The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy. Tanya Robert is 28 years Moore's junior, and in this movie she looks like his daughter. I had the same problem with Grace Jones—I just don't see her hopping into bed with Moore, much less being turned by him. Fiona Fullerton looked more natural here—and at least they had the sense to keep Alison Doody out of his bed. But they really needed to cast girls who looked more natural paired against Moore.

And then there's the fact that, as was the case in Octopussy, he simply looks too old to be tear-assing around like that—Connery looked similarly out of place in both Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again, just as Pierce Brosnan is beginning to look now. Bond is a young man's game.

And then there's the fact that the movie is clearly Goldfinger. There is nothing that shows the scripwrighters were so clearly out of gas than in remaking one of their own movies. But if you're going to do that—don't remake a classic. Remake a bad one and improve it.


The Music

John Barry had gotten bored with scoring the Bond movies, and it's obvious here. Used to be I could tell the Bond scores apart simply by their orchestration—but Octopussy and A View to a Kill are cut from the same cloth—the only way I can tell them apart is to recognize whether the musical theme is "All Time High" or "That Fatal Kiss." And like what I said about the movie—I get the feeling that Barry was working from the formula—rework the title, use it here, use it there—throw the James Bond Theme in here. On to the next project.

The big difference here, however, is that for the first time since From Russia with Love, Barry didn't have total control over the title song. Popular rock band Duran Duran came up with the basic song and Barry arranged it and put it together. Regardless, the pairing worked well—Barry and Duran Duran worked well together, and the resulting single reached #1 on the US Billboard charts, and was nominated Best Song for the Golden Globe Awards.


Release Notes

I do not believe that A View to a Kill ever got an initial CD release. It was released on LP on Capitol Records and as an extremely popular single. For a long time it was only available on CD on a Japanese pressing on the EMI label. But it has since been re-released in remastered edition on Capitol, though without additional music.