For Your Eyes Only
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that beautiful and sexually available women continue to be part of the 007 furnishings here, just like the decorative nudes in the opening credit sequence. One of the women who attempts to seduce James Bond is a perky teenage figure skater, which is even too much for the secret agent. A phony countess does manage to get the spy into bed, but she's figuratively punished the next day, run over by an assassin in a dune buggy. Other deaths result from arrows, bombs, knives, and machine guns.
What's the story?
A NATO spy vessel in the Mediterranean is struck by an old, derelict sea-mine and sinks with no survivors off the coast of the chilly Communist dictatorship of Albania. A high-tech surveillance-communication console on board the wreck would be a prize for the Soviet Union, so the superpowers race to recover it, via their assorted agents and hired stooges and gunmen. A Greek archaeologist and his wife who saw the wreck are quickly killed by a Cuban agent. James Bond is on the case, but he sees the assassin in turn slain by Melina (French actress-model Carole Bouquet), the victims' pretty daughter, who favors crossbows as her weapon in exterminating all those responsible for her parents' deaths. Next in line on her list is a smuggler (Julian Glover) in league with the Russian KGB.
Is it any good?
Propelled by a hit Sheena Easton song as an especially popular main theme, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was the 12th entry in MGM's "official" series of James Bond movie adventures. The tone is consistently lighthearted and comedic. When a talking parrot provides a vital clue, viewers know not much of this can be taken seriously. For Your Eyes Only indeed gets by as undemanding entertainment for the fans, with some particularly excellent underwater cinematography and action sequences. There's a little moral lesson in Bond chastising the fierce Melina about seeking vengeance, but these words seem a little hollow coming from a spy who has just killed, what, 20, 200, 2,000 bad guys?
Viewers can insinuate a little Greek-myth lesson in there by emphasizing how Melina compares herself to the avenging heroine Elektra, of ancient drama (the name and vibe was later hijacked for a comic-book heroine and movie Elektra ). And you can amaze kids with your 007 I.Q. by telling them that the late actress Cassandra Harris, playing a phony countess who has a romantic fling with Bond, was in real life the wife of an actor who would later play Bond -- Pierce Brosnan.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the way Bond settles a Cold War standoff at the end, enforcing "détente" so that even the villainous Russians go away satisfied. You might have to explain to younger fans exactly what the Cold War was anyway (and the joke appearance at the end by a Margaret Thatcher impersonator). Of course, Bond kills numerous henchmen and attackers throughout; does this make his negative attitude toward the heroine's quest for revenge seem a little hypocritical? Also, do kids think James Bond is a good role model? Why has this movie franchise been so successful?