All good things come to an end. I take Mel’s hand and gently break it to her that this is the last time we’ll be watching Sir Roger Moore portray James Bond. She doesn’t say much, but I can tell she’s struggling to keep her emotions in check. She stoically just says, “Oh. OK.” With heavy hearts we settle down for this Bond’s swan song.
The film opens with a ski chase as Bond recovers a microchip from 003’s corpse and evades some Russians in Siberia. He ends up having to use the broken runner from a snowmobile as a makeshift snowboard. It is such a novelty that the soundtrack cuts to California Girls by The Beach Boys to make the zany skiing/surfing crossover more explicit.
“Did James Bond invent snowboarding?” asks Mel.
Yes, I tell her. He definitely did.
Luckily 007 is able to rendez-vous with a submarine disguised as an iceberg. It is being piloted by a lady submariner.
“I love how she’s unzipped to the waist.”
“This,” says Mel during the credits, “is a good song.”
After the customary briefing in M’s office (“I like Q’s outfit”),Bond, M, Moneypenny, Q and Tibbit go to the races to get a look at Zorin. He is the man whose company manufactured the microchip found with 003.
“He looks like Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter,” says Mel.
Bond flies to Paris to have lunch avec his contact, Achille Aubergine. They have lunch in a restaurant dans the Eiffel Tower.
“What a shit French accent,” Mel says of Aubergine actor Jean Rougerie.
I tell her I think he looks like a real Frenchman.
“He’s speaking English in a silly French accent,” says Mel.
So do French people, I reply.
“I bet he’s English.”
We pause so that IMDB can be consulted. Turns out I was right. He’s as French as striking and infidelity.
Shortly afterwards he’s killed by a butterfly on a fishing rod, before he can even surrender. His murderer (Mayday) does a BASE jump from the Eiffel Tower, and Bond gives chase. He commandeers a car, but during the chase it loses both its roof and then its back half.
“He’s totally —-ed that car up now. There’s no fuel tank, how is it still driving?”
A wedding is taking place on a boat on the Seine. Mel has a theory that weddings always get wrecked in Bond movies as part of some sort of anti-monogamy agenda. Wait until we watch Licence to Kill.
“He’s going to ruin somebody’s wedding now.”
Mayday lands on the top deck of the wedding barge, Bond jumps off a bridge and crashes through the deck onto the wedding cake.
“Oh, James. You knobhead.”
Mayday escapes with Zorin on a speedboat, and laughs like a cartoon villain.
“She’s evil. And weird.”
Bond goes undercover at Zorin’s house with Tibbit. He spots Stacey Sutton and opines that “she’d certainly bear closer inspection.”
“The way he talks about women is —-ing disgusting.”
Bond goes over to talk to Stacey. They are interrupted by Mayday.
“He’s going to sleep with Stacey. But not her [Mayday].”
Why do you think that?
“Because she’s soft and lovely and voluptuous and feminine. Mayday is tough and unfeminine. Even from the music they play when he talking to Stacey makes it obvious.”
Bond does some snooping with Tibbit. They have to see off some heavies and put them on a packaging conveyor belt.
“All wrapped up,” quips 007.
“He loves his puns in this one doesn’t he?” says Mel.
Zorin is practising martial arts with Mayday in his dojo.
“They love thongs in James Bond too.”
Bond is rumbled by Zorin. Mayday kills Tibbit in a carwash and the evil pair push Bond into a lake in his Rolls Royce, with Tibbit’s corpse.
“What a waste,” says Mel.
Of human life? I ask.
“No. The car.”
Bond ingeniously escapes a watery grave by breathing air from the Rolls’ tyres. He teams up with his CIA contact, Chuck Lee, and they go to spy on Zorin. Some Soviet agents, a man and a woman, have the same idea, and are recording the nefarious duo. The man is killed when Zorin has him dropped into a pipe and he’s shredded by the turbine.
“That is brutal,” says Mel.
Bond intercepts the female agent, and it turns out she’s one of his past conquests, so they go for a hot tub together.
“He’s so minging.”
“That’s ridiculous! All these women just take their clothes off as soon as they meet him! He literally just meets women and then shags them straight away. I don’t know why you like this. I makes me ashamed to be married to you that you enjoy these. I tell you what, our children will not be watching these. It is not acceptable to sleep with three women in the space of an hour and a half.”
Four if you include the one on the submarine at the start, I point out.
“That’s even worse. Urrghh. I wouldn’t want to be in that hot tub after him.”
Bond goes to Stacy’s house to see what she knows about Zorin. After a rumble with some goons, he offers to cook her dinner.
Mel tells me, “You need to pick that up from him.”
But I thought you said he was a bad role model?
“If you’re going to make me watch this then you can take the one good thing from them.”
Stacey explains that she’s only get left-overs, but Bond manages to whip up a omelette.
Mel turns to me accusingly and says, “You wouldn’t know where to start making a omelette.”
The traditional saxophone strikes up on the soundtrack.
“Here comes the James Bond sex-music. They’re going to sleep together now. For someone who said she just had left-overs she’s a had a pretty decent meal there. Now they’ve got cheese and biscuits. And wine.”
“Why doesn’t James Bond just want to settle down with her and her cat in her big house?”
I suggest that’s it’s because his office is in London and it would be a long commute.
Bond and Stacey go to City Hall, and break in to find out what Zorin is up to. But Zorin and Mayday are there too. They kill the mayor and trap our heroes in a lift which they set on fire. After climbing out into the lift shaft, Bond makes his way to a door, while Stacey hangs on and screams for Bond not to leave her.
“Oh, for —-‘s sake. Help yourself, woman!”
They make it to the roof, and Bond carries Stacey down the ladder of a fire engine. He nearly slips at one point.
“That was quite tense, I will admit,” admits Mel.
After evading the police, Bond and Stacey disguise themselves as workers to get into Zorin’s mine. Stacey luckily finds some overalls from the all-male workforce that fit her.
“As if! Look at how it fits her! She’s got a wedgie as well.”
Mel hits the “how much longer has this got left?” stage of proceedings around this point.
“I’m picking what we watch after this. And you’re sitting and watching it with me; no phone or laptop!”
The full terrible scale of Zorin’s plan is revealed. He will cause a massive explosion that will flood Silicon Valley, so that he can corner the market in microchips.
“This always happens. The last twenty minutes is always the same: They’re in some weird —-ing factory or something that’s going to get blown up.”
“Grace Kelly in her cape and thigh boots there.”
That’s not Grace Kelly.
Grace Kelly was the Princess of Monaco.
“Grace… Jones then.”
After Zorin has betrayed Mayday and killed all the workers, he escapes in his zeppelin. Mayday sacrifices herself get the bomb out of the mine. Zorin spots Stacey stumbling about, so he swoops the zeppelin in to snatch her.
“Take those —-ing heels off and run!” Mel shouts at her. “What an idiot she is.”
Bond grabs hold of a trailing rope and goes with the zeppelin as it flies off. Zorin tries to get rid of the dangling secret agent by smacking him against the Golden Gate Bridge. 007 is too wily for him though, and ties the airship to the bridge.
“More!” shouts Zorin. “More power!”
I tell Mel that I like to think he’s shouting “Moore! Moore power!”
As the zeppelin runs aground against the bridge, Bond and Zorin battle each other on the precarious structure. Stacey falls over the edge and is hanging from a girder.
“She’s useless. Don’t be such a dumb bitch! She’s always —-ing hanging off something!”
“She’s got no spatial awareness. She can’t see anything around her. I hope she doesn’t drive.”
With Zorin dropped into San Francisco Bay, back in London M is looking for Bond.
“He’s off shagging someone somewhere.”
Q’s spy robot is making it’s way through Stacey’s house.
“Look the cat’s bowl even says ‘Pussy’ on it.”
M asks Q, “What’s the position?”
Mel doesn’t like the innuendo: “Urrgghh! ‘What’s the position?'”
Mel will return… Watching The Living Daylights.
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