Roger Moore still had another Bond film left in him after this one, but you can see that he’s really aged since Live and Let Die. The actor that was once a cheerful and happy Bond is now sluggish and has wholly embraced the goofy nature that he’s brought to the character’s films. There’s only one really exciting point in this film and for good reason. Bond is trying to stop a nuclear bomb from going off on Octopussy’s circus train. He runs across the top, shimmies across the side and even dodges swords and bullets all while the train is careening through the country side. This movie is full of short lived action sequences and while this one happens to be the best, it’s also the longest.
Bonus moment: When Bond smashes a goon’s face into an aquarium and he’s choked to death by an octopus.
A View to a Kill (1985)
You wouldn’t think that a scene with a blimp, which are the goofiest of air traveling options, would be rittled with tension, but the closing scene to this film is indeed a tense blimp scene. Bond is going after this film’s big bad Max Zorin (played by none other than Christopher Walken) and he hangs onto a rope dangling from Zorin’s blimp. He gets a little air tour of San Francisco before the blimp makes it to the Golden Gate Bridge. Assuming they can knock Bond off they get as close as possible, but Bond simply ties the rope connected to the blimp to the bridge. While this seems really outlandish at the time, the ensuing struggle is great.
I think one of the main aspects of Bond that people really enjoy, like Indiana Jones and John McClane, is that he’s a normal guy. He doesn’t have superpowers. Though sometimes his antics go beyond the border of reality, at his core he’s still just a man. The few times that Bond almost slips from his balance atop the bridge leave you with a jolt as you think ‘Bond can’t fall!’ and he doesn’t. When he regains his balance, he gets into a fight with Christopher Walken who happens to be carrying an ax. Bond overcomes eventually and sends Zorin falling to his death in the water below, one of the better onscreen deaths in the franchise history.
The Living Daylights (1987)
I like the opening to this movie for a few reasons. We don’t often get to see the other 00 agents of MI6 in the films and we get two here. Bond and the other agents are participating in a war games scenario where they’re tasked with breaking into a base. They descend from a plane to the base and all land in different spots. The first agent is tagged by one of the guards with a paintball and is thus ‘out’ (Theory: I think this is where the idea for ‘Paintball Mode’ came from for GoldenEye 64). The second tries to ascend a cliff with a hook but has his rope cut by a KGB spy trying to sabotage the game and kill as many of the 00s as he can. Bond lands safely and while repackaging his parachute notices the 00 agent falling from the cliff. He finds the cut rope and begins to chase the saboteur.
The killer steals a truck that Bond leaps onto the roof of and they begin to race through the town. This is our first introduction to Timothy Dalton as Bond and he starts it out with a kick to the teeth (if we’re sticking with fight scene parlance). What I really like about this scene is when Bond cuts through the tarp and enters the cabin of the stolen truck. He causes the driver to crash through a barrier and over a cliff. Bond then ejects his parachute and is pulled form the truck just before the flaming ammunition boxes in the rear cause it to explode. Then in true Bond fashion he lands on a single woman’s boat.