- 2 hr 6 min
In 1979, Roger Moore starred in the eleventh installment of the James Bond franchise, Moonraker. Directed by Lewis Gilbert, the movie sees the British superspy embarking on a space adventure to stop a megalomaniacal villain from carrying out his nefarious plan that could threaten the entire world. The story starts with the hijacking of a space shuttle called Moonraker. British intelligence agency MI6 assigns Bond to the case, and he soon tracks down the culprit, a wealthy industrialist named Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale). Upon meeting Drax, Bond suspects that there is more to him than meets the eye, and soon his suspicions are confirmed.
Drax has a diabolical plan to wipe out most of humanity and start a new society of his own. To carry out his scheme, he has built a space station that can release deadly toxins into the Earth's atmosphere, leaving only his chosen few untouched. Bond must race against time to stop Drax from executing his plan and save the world.
Along the way, Bond meets the beautiful and intelligent Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), an astronaut who works for Drax's aerospace company. Together they travel to different parts of the world and beyond as they unravel Drax's plan and try to stop him. They also encounter Jaws (Richard Kiel), a terrifying henchman with metal teeth, who makes his return from the previous Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me.
Moonraker is a unique entry in the Bond franchise as it features more action and larger-scale set pieces than seen in previous films. It also marked a departure from the more grounded spy films of the earlier years, instead embracing a more fantastical approach with its space setting and science fiction elements.
As always, Moore's portrayal of Bond is charming, witty, and full of action, and he shares great chemistry with Chiles. Lonsdale gives a memorable performance as the cold and calculating Drax, who has a penchant for making grand speeches about his vision for the future. Kiel's Jaws provides a formidable enough presence to keep Bond and Goodhead on their toes throughout their adventures.
The film's highlights include a hover-gondola chase through the canals of Venice, an epic laser battle atop Drax's space station, and a breathtaking skydiving sequence that sees Bond and a villainous henchman plummet through the Earth's atmosphere.
Moonraker's score by John Barry is emblematic of the film's space theme, featuring synthesized sounds and a haunting choir that adds to the epic scope of the movie. The special effects are also impressive, given the era in which the film was made, with the space sequences in particular having a grandeur and epic feel.
The film's pacing can be uneven at times, and some of its plot points may require a suspension of disbelief, but overall, Moonraker delivers an entertaining and thrilling adventure that showcases Bond's bravado and wit in an out-of-this-world setting.
In conclusion, Moonraker is a fun and action-packed entry in the James Bond franchise that will delight audiences with its larger-than-life set pieces and impressive visuals. Moore's Bond is suave and debonair as ever, and the chemistry between him and Chiles is a highlight. If you're looking for an action-packed space adventure with a dash of humor and a lot of charm, Moonraker is definitely worth a watch.
Moonraker is a 1979 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 6 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 66.