When one of my friends found out I was doing Moonraker, he said (and I paraphrase): “I love James Bond but I don’t even own that piece of shit, Caitlin”. Praise, indeed!
The nominators for this one were the sisters Pookie and Schnookie, who have long James Bond marathons and enjoy such things as Murder, She Wrote and quilting, so you know we get along well. I was warned in advance that this was awful. I believe there were some admonishments about how none of Bond’s quips even make sense given the situation at hand, but nothing, really, can truly prepare you for the cataclysmic ineptitude that is Moonraker.
There’s no real use in summarizing the plot since every James Bond movie has the same plot for the most part. In this one, Bond must stop the villain Hugo Drax from doing something villanous involving outer space. He must battle Hugo Drax’s feared henchman Jaws and Bond’s contractually obligated to have sex with a couple of pretty girls who have vaguely pornographic names, too. In theory, it’s hard to completely fuck up the premise of Bond. He uses some gadgets, drives a cool car, gets laid and bests the baddie. If you’ve seen one…
Moonraker, however, is in a league of its own due ot the fact that nearly every aspect of it is shitty. Hugo Drax, the villain, is so bland that I didn’t even bother to take a screencap of him. His dullard henchman is more interesting than he is.
Jaws is a simple fellow who likes to bite things with his metal teeth, stand around being intimdating and generally walking around with a big smirk on his face. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the mark of a great Bond villain.
Oh, except for the fact that Jaws turns “good” in the end…for love.
The man just runs around and bites things and is a strong freak, okay? That’s all he does, right up until the very end. How memorable.
Every Bond movie has a great action scene. Even this one! Just replace “great” with a liberal dose of “what in the sweet hell” and you’ve got this one. Now, when a girl thinks of James Bond, her mind springs to tuxedos and martinis and Aston Martins. What are you to do if James Bond is in Venice? Shit, y’all, I don’t know if you’ve heard but they’ve got these fancy waterways in Venice and I don’t think you can drive an Aston Martin on those. What’s the sexiest watercraft you can put James Bond in?
If you guessed an inflatable gondola, then spin the wheel again. You know, nothing is best paired with a sexy, suave secret agent like a gondola that can inflate to travel on land. Thankfully, the producers ran out of time to enter James Bond in the annual Red Bull Flugtag, which is equally as lust-inducing as the gondola above:
Ah, but the final scenes have to be better, no? Bond triumphs over evil, all is right with the world and we get a satisfying quip at the end. Too bad they’re on a space station where the dialogue is as recycled as the suits they’re all wearing, which were made out of latex gloves, I think.
Costume designers of the world: you have a very difficult job. Not so difficult, however, that I don’t think we can’t dream up some futuristic space outfits that look like you’re going to be brined like poultry in short order.
What kills me on Moonraker isn’t the absurd plot, the terrible costumes, the puns or the ridiculous aspect of it all. That’s to be expected from any James Bond movie, if I’m being honest. No, the devil is in the details, as they say, and my god, did someone overlook some damn details.
This may be picky but I don’t want to know the snake is fake. When Bond is attacked by a feisty boa constrictor on a sojourn to Rio de Janeiro, the director lovingly shoots the vicious struggle between man and snake all up close and personal. A note to the director: when you shoot that close, it only makes it woefully obvious that the snake is not even a damn puppet. It’s one of those cheap toys you win at a carnival.
At the end of the movie, Drax’s plan to create a race of superawesome people in space is – drats! – totally foiled. When James blows him out of an airlock into outer space, he drawls, “He had to fly”. At least that’s what my subtitles say.
My response to this was fairly indicative of my response to the entire movie:
“What the hell kind of drugs are you smoking, nitwit? This doesn’t even make sense! What in the holy fuckery fuck is going on – this is outer space. THERE IS NO FLYING IN OUTER SPACE.”
I think booze might be needed in order to enjoy Moonraker. I’m thinking screwdrivers or Bloody Marys, in case you want to man up and pop this one in your DVD player.