Jun 14, 2017
Moonraker (1979) (part 10 of 14)
We get what could have been the start of a good fight when Jaws leaps over from his car onto Bond’s. Unfortunately, the rest of the fight consists mainly of the three characters stumbling around, getting in each other’s way, and not really fighting. Bond punches Jaws once or twice, but the fight is so badly done, it makes one wonder why they even bothered with it. It’s not like it’s impossible to have a good cable car fight. Just look at Where Eagles Dare!
Bond and Holly manage to lock Jaws inside the cable car, and Bond swings the chain over the cable. Jaws recovers quickly and begins to punch through the top hatch. As he does this, Bond and Holly slide down the cable and Jaws signals Mr. Magoo to get the car started. Mr. Magoo obliges, and as the car gets closer, Bond tells Holly to jump, although “Let go” would probably have been more appropriate. They fall down to a field and remarkably aren’t splattered like eggs on impact. In the cable car, Jaws looks annoyed at their escape, but then gets a bug-eyed look. Sure enough, the cable car crashes through the wheelhouse, making sure to hit the 7-Up sign on the way through.
2012 Comments: Sort of surprised I didn’t do an oral sex joke given the positioning of Dr., Goodhead in that shot. And by surprised, I mean relieved. It also helps that somebody with a more subtle sense of humor did the original captions for the most part. Thanks, Albert.
The article continues after these advertisements...
Now comes the second dumbest moment of the film. But first, a little background. (Yeah, I’m stalling. You wanna make something of it?) In the previous film, Jaws was introduced as a metal-mouthed menace who bit his victims Dracula-style. After a strong start, his character was turned into more and more of a cartoon as the film progressed. He managed to survive being crushed, electrocuted, tossed out of a moving train, and finally being dumped into a shark tank.
One of the main selling points of this film was the return of this character, and while he was intimidating in his first appearance, the bad news is he’s simply not threatening here. And the really bad news? It’s about to get worse.
As we survey the wreckage, we find Jaws with the wheel he stopped around his head. Oh, the irony is so thick you could cut it with a knife! For some dumb reason, he can’t seem to get the wheel off. Here, we should probably be warned by the presence of soft, romantic music, but we barely have time to run for cover when Dolly (Blanche Ravelec) appears.
Dolly, a petite blonde in pigtails, somehow helps Jaws get the wheel off. Then the two look at each other and instantly fall in love [!] as Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet overture plays. I’m surprised Tchaikovsky didn’t rise from the dead to beat the crap out of composer John Barry for placing it over this scene.
Sheesh, who would have guessed that the most dignified role Richard Kiel would ever get would be in Cannonball Run II? Now, I don’t want to sound mean, but what kind of massive head injury did Christopher Wood sustain before writing this scene? I firmly believe he must have some type of brain disorder that keeps him from writing like a sensible adult.
Not to sound mean or anything.
Back in Love Field, Bond and Holly are recovering. Bond stretches his leg out, to which Holly asks him if anything’s broken. Being a nice guy, he doesn’t glare at her and call her an idiot. Instead he says, “Only my tailor’s heart.”
This inspires Holly to kiss Bond for saving her life. Damn, she’s easy! As they begin to make out, a team of medics race up. They prove to be Evil! Medics, because they knock Bond out and grab Holly. Soon, we see an ambulance racing down the mountain with Bond and Holly inside. Bond signals Holly to distract their guard by coming on to him, which of course, she does. Bond then gets loose by sliding the poles on the gurney out and freeing his hands. Eventually, a fight ensues, while the ambulance runs the Product Placement Gauntlet.
This is truly a sight to behold, folks. The product placement in this film is carried out in much the same way as the rest of the film: With all the subtlety of a tire iron to the face. For the exterior shots, the ambulance makes sure to pass billboards for Marlboro, Seiko watches, and our old friend 7-Up. The fight ends when Bond and the guard slide out the back of the ambulance on the gurney. Bond manages to get off the gurney while, for one final product placement moment, the bad guy crashes into a billboard for British Airways.
2012 Comments: I didn’t do this scene nearly enough justice. It’s hilarious! You think the films have too much product placement now? This movie pretty much earned back half of its budget with one thirty-second sequence!
2012 Comments: A little inside info, folks. This generally means I couldn’t think up anything acceptably funny at the time and decided “screw it, I need to move on”. Thank you.
The Magnificent Seven theme starts up and we see Bond riding a horse, decked out like Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars, except with a bad ‘70s shirt. Sometimes, you don’t need jokes. The description speaks for itself.
Bond gets to a monastery, which we’ll see is actually the HQ for the Secret Service. There’s a visual gag concerning monks doing kung-fu, which isn’t all that funny if you watch a lot of kung-fu films. I mean, a kung-fu fighting monk is like a hot summer in California. Par for the course. Bond finds Moneypenny at a desk, and we get a rehash of their earlier dialogue. I guess the screenwriter was too tired to come up with anything new that day.
Bond makes his way to a courtyard where Q is looking over several gadgets. We see exploding bolas, a machine gun concealed in what appears to be a sleeping bum, and a monk firing a laser gun which melts the head of a dummy.