007 Case File: ‘Moonraker’


It’s been quite a while since we revisited the adventure of the super spy and with good reason. I really didn’t want to watch Moonraker again.

The Mission: The ‘Moonraker’ shuttle project, that launches a shuttle from the a jet in high altitude, is highjacked mid-flight. 007 is dispatched to investigate, beginning with the owner of the project Hugo Drax.

Locales: Bond takes in the USA, Venice, Rio de Janerio, the Amazon and, of course, space.

Gadgets: A wrist dart gun that will launch cyanide  or explosive darts with the flick of a wrist. An X-Ray scanner for cracking safes. A wristwatch that controls remote explosives. A pocket sized camera. High powered laser guns. Although Bond is equipped with them a set of exploding bolas and a machine gun disguised as a sleeping Mexican (because of course) are being tested by Q.

Vehicles: The Moonraker shuttles features prominently. A hydrofoil boat, heavily armed and with a hang-glider. A gondola with an outboard motor that transforms in a hovercraft.

Gondola

We’ll talk about this damned thing in the review.

Sidekicks: Bond doesn’t make many allies during this mission, but he does form an unexpected alliance with Jaws towards the end of the film.

The Girls: Dr. Holly Goodhea, a scientist working for Hugo Drax who assist Bond.

The Enemy: Hugo Drax, multi-millionarie who personally funds the Moonraker program.

Evil Plot: Hugo Drax stole his own shuttle after it was sold to replace one of his that was faulty. He intends to fly a group of selected people to a space station from where he will launch poison nerve gas that will wipe out the Earth’s population. He will then repopulate using his selection members of the species.

Distinguishing Features: He has a pretty evil looking goatee.

Hugo Drax

Secret Lair: Not so secret, it’s a giant bloody mansion. His Amazon launch station and orbiting space station aren’t discovered until late in the piece though.

Henchmen: Jaws makes an awesome return, confirming his place as one of the best evil henchmen ever.

Facts About the Movie

Politically Incorrect Behaviour: Normally we would note the transition between Bind making a woman’s acquaintance and and sleeping with her as being a bit unrealistic, but Holly Goodhead makes an even more drastic turnaround between actively disliking Bond and shagging him.

Notable Firsts: For the first time a villain other than Blofeld carries across from one film to another: Jaws.

Jaws

Random Trivia: Lois Chiles plays Dr. Holly Goodhead after being a runner-up for the role of Agent Triple X in The Spy Who Loved Me.

One of Drax’s ‘perfect’ people was played by Melinda Maxwell, daughter of Lois Maxwell who played Moneypenny in most of the original Bond films.

This film features Bernard Lee playing ‘M’ in his final performance in the role before he passed away.

Moonraker featured more than twice the budget of the previous Bond outing although the expenses weren’t reflected in the box office.