A View to a Kill is a strange one in the canon. Generally seen as one of the weakest entries, it definitely isn’t anywhere near as bad as it’s reputation would suggest. Yes, Moore was too old and there was too much stunt double work, but really the only thing that really feels off about this film is that it feels the most formulaic. It never tries to be anything more than another one. However, that is really the only downside. Well that, and Stacey Sutton being the WORST Bond girl. It’s not even close.
On to the good:
Barry’s score is absolutely fantastic and one of my favorite of the entire series (exception for California Girls). Duran Duran gives an all-timer of a theme song, still the only one to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. My favorite track is Golden Gate Fight.
Max Zorin is one of the greatest villains in the franchise. Walken is perfect and overloads on the camp, making everything better. His death maybe his best scene and that’s saying something. May Day is one of the best henchmen, strong and charismatic, her stalking of Tibbet is one of the scariest moments in the series. Her heel turn at the end and death stare to Zorin is perfect.
The film opens with a fantastic icy chase, undone only by the egregious use of the Beach Boys. The entire sequence at the French chateau is excellent: Bond’s and Tibbet’s interactions being hilarious, Zorin’s reaction when he discovers who Bond is, Stacey’s rejection of Bond being creepy (which is undrecut by her later actions. The fight in Stacey’s house is entertaining, as is the fire truck chase through San Francisco. The burning of city hall is excellent and perfectly setup by Zorin. The climax in the mine is a bit of a let down (as most Bond film’s climaxes are), but May Day’s defection and helping Bond to save the day is a nice usurp on the usual Bond formula. Also, the final fight on top of the Golden Gate Bridge is fantastic.
Overall, it isn’t a perfect film, but one that I believe is unfairly maligned. Sure Pola Ivanova should have been Anya Amasova, but that doesn’t really hamper the film or the enjoyment of the scene in anyway. AVTAK is by no means the greatest film ever, but there is so much to like here. Walken, Jones, the setpieces, the soundtrack, it makes for a fun, if maybe not the greatest of Bond films.