For Your Eyes Only (1981)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Back to Snoreville.

I may be the only person in the universe that actually liked Moonraker and subsequently didn’t like For Your Eyes Only. Maybe I’m not programmed right, but if I had to guess, it is because I’m a part of the modern audience that I like to talk about all the time. Some things translate to today’s standards better than others do, and the unique style offered in Moonraker is interesting, even still today. For Your Eyes Only again has a great title, and lackluster story…which is a growing problem in the series. The main problem, summed up, is unoriginality.

The story, in all of its confusing splendor, goes a little something like this: A ship stupidly grabs a sea mine, and reels it in to the side of the ship, explodes, and down goes ship. Inside the ship held an ATAC, which is probably the most confusing plot device I’ve come across in the series. It somehow controls…something or other with nuclear missiles, to which they can use to attack their own home cities…or something. So James Bond is sent to retrieve the ATAC, but his mission is delayed when the man responsible for tracking the sunken ship is killed. So Bond has to, ya know, sleep with women and have a few dangerous skiing competitions and stuff.

The plot here made more sense than Moonraker in terms of the James Bond theme, but there wasn’t really anything special about it. Most of it was just copying off other Bond ideas that have already been pursued. How many more times can Bond go after a stolen nuke? How many times will he be shot at as he skiis? How many times is he going to run into a villain underwater? Ladies and gents, this is rehashed material. If you want to ever make a James Bond music video with a montage of the main things James goes through, this is good material, otherwise, it’s not that great of a film.

There was some memorable aspects to this film, but not much. The main one that I wanted to point out was Bond girl Melina. This was the first moment in Bond history that I can really think of that I actually liked the girl. Why? Because she’s not just some Bimbo robot that melts at Bond’s womanizing ways. This girl has revenge in her heart for her parents’ death. She’s frickin’ Batman, and I liked her character even more than Bond this time around. Then again, the other Bond girl, Bibi was…a Bimbo Robot. So much for that.. The other memorable aspect to this film was the rock-climbing scene towards the end. I will remember this film for these two aspects, but that is it.

Unfortunately, the rest of the film is more negative than positive. Roger Moore is rapidly aging. I have never really liked him, and always thought his looks were all wrong, but now they are all wrong and getting older by the second. There’s nothing creepier than an old man trying to do stunts and hitting on young women. The ATAC plot device was completely forgettable and insignificant, making the plot as a whole one of the blandest Bonds out there. As I’ve mentioned before, the re-hashing of other Bond moments is also something this film shouldn’t feel proud of.

The beginning intro sequence to this film was rather interesting. They brought back Blofeld just to kill him off for, I don’t know, closure for Sean Connery? You ask me, I thought he was already dead and the scene was kind of unnecessary. Regardless, it was still fun, and Bond visiting his late wife’s grave is kind of cool, I suppose. I’m sure he’s so sad that his wife is dead that he gets over it by sleeping with every single woman he comes across. Just saying.

For Your Eyes Only attempted to get back to the glory days, but just came across as unoriginal and bland.

4 thoughts on “For Your Eyes Only (1981)

  1. I’m not a big Bond fan and haven’t seen many of them (one Brosnan and two Craig), which might be why this amazes me. By your reviews and many others, it seems that the series, early in its run, had a near decade long funk with bad flick followed by bad flick, which leads me to ask: how did the series manage to survive?


    1. you got me, but back then, people had different expectations. Campy Bond making pun after pun is apparently what they wanted. As for a modern audience…yeah…better skip it


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