One of the more iconic Bonds..
The best thing (or, rather, the good thing) about the movie is the villain. Drax is given the best lines (by far), and Michael Lonsdale's pitch-perfect, smugly deadpan delivery squeezes every drop of juice from them. Like his predecessor, Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens, in TSWLM), Drax is a complete megalomaniac, who can't be bought off or swayed from his self-righteous certainty that he's doing the world a favour. He's just a better version of that type than Stromberg, with a more evil plot. Drax is my favourite Bond villain; it's just a shame the movie around him isn't better.
In this PG-rated spy adventure, James Bond (Moore) investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle and discovers a plot to commit global genocide.
The only best-forgotten chapter, Moonraker marks the lowest point of both Moore's tenure and the Bond series in general. It remains a horribly calculated attempt for this tiger to change its stripes. Just as it would have been franchise suicide for the producers to turn 007 into a jive-talking hippie in the late '60s to meet with the changing times, it is just as bad an idea to have this iconic character space-walk a mile in Han Solo's shoes. Even if you could toss the Space Shuttle Laser Tag scenes aside (and you can't-just try), the rest of the storyline is strictly standard-issue and redundant spy stuff.
Bottom line: The Empire Strikes Out
Often chastised by Bond aficionados, Moonraker's 1979 release hoped to capture the hearts of the same audience as Star Wars by riding on the latter's mammothly successful coattails. To do this, Director Lewis Gilbert introduces slapstick comedy and quirky characters (ie: Jaw's girlfriend, Dolly, to name but one) with the intention of appealing to an adolescent viewership. Yet all this is acceptable right up to the third act which is when things shift closer to the ridiculous. Still, this 00-Adventure may be zany and more than a little left field, but at the base of it, there's an interesting story, cool sets and exciting action scenes, not to mention one of the franchise's most fantastic opening sequences in a parachute-free midair fistfight. Whoo-whee Nelly!