YMMV / A View to a Kill

  • Awesome Music:
    • Duran Duran's opening song is the only Bond theme to make it to #1 on the Billboard charts. Even the movie's strongest detractors will admit to the song being an undeniable highlight of the movie.
    • John Barry's score also counts, especially the recurring action theme with its cheesy, yet awesome guitar riffs.
  • Complete Monster: Max Zorin is by far one of the most psychopathic and Ax-Crazy villains Bond has ever come across. A French-German Corrupt Corporate Executive who used to work for the KGB after he and his Evilutionary Biologist mentor Dr. Carl Mortner aka Hans Glaub were whisked out of the defeated Nazi Germany by the Soviets, he goes rogue to pursue his own plans for domination. His plot involves triggering an earthquake to flood Silicon Valley so his tech company can get a monopoly on the world's supply of microchips, killing millions of people in the proces. He drops a businessman to his death when he disagrees with Zorin's plan, throws a captured spy into an underwater fan to be ground to mush, and kills the San Francisco mayor before blaming Bond for the murder and leaving him and Stacy behind to die in a fire. He's so psychotic that he gleefully machine guns his own mine workers to death and betrays his lover and henchwoman May Day, all of whom were nothing but loyal to him. When his plan is eventually foiled he goes through a Villainous Breakdown as he tries to hack Bond and Stacy up with an ax in a fight on top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Stacy "James, HELLLLLPP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!" Sutton fails to notice Zorin sneaking up behind her. In a ZEPPELIN.
  • Evil Is Cool: Zorin and May Day are almost unanimously agreed to be the two best things about this movie, stealing the show from Bond and Stacy. This must have been discovered early on, since Grace Jones was given higher billing than Tanya Roberts and is the one who appears on most of the movie posters with Bond.
  • Fetish Retardant:
    • Grace Jones is a controversial choice for a Bond Girl because of her Amazonian Beauty appearance.
    • Also, Tanya Roberts' puffy 80's dresses and heavy makeup kill any sex appeal not already wiped out by "JAMES!!! JAMES!!!"
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Most people who watch this movie really only do so for Christopher Walken and Grace Jones as the villains. Well, that and John Barry's awesome score.
  • Les Yay: May Day took Zorin killing her henchgirls very personally.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: A common point of criticism is that the plot is basically a remake of Goldfinger updated to replace gold with microchips.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Christopher Walken's portrayal of Zorin is really the only reason to watch this movie.
  • Moral Event Horizon: If Zorin's murders of Tibbett, Howe, or Pola's fellow agent don't qualify, his betrayal of May Day and his hundreds of loyal miners definitely does.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Tanya Roberts shrieking for help.
  • Narm: Dr. Mortner's attempt to blow up Bond with dynamite (complete with Mad Scientist face, all while ignoring the multiple assault rifles and other weapons in the safe he could have used instead), followed by Bond cutting the rope tying the blimp to the Golden Gate bridge) and ...BOOM!
    • His cries of "MAAAAAAAAAX!" when Bond has Zorin on the ropes are also pretty funny, which makes one wonder of Walken's odd laugh right before he slips and falls wasn't actually a case of Corpsing.
    • To add to that, the aforementioned scene of Stacy Sutton galloping into Bond's arms, absolutely and totally oblivious to the GIANT ZEPPELIN approaching right behind her until she's inevitably snatched up.
    • The out-of-nowhere use of "California Girls" during the opening snowboard chase. It's not even the original, but a cover.
      • Granted, the scene was effective enough that even hardcore snowboarders acknowledge it as the pivotal moment that allowed it to emerge from the underground (where it'd existed since the mid 1970s). The "California Girls" cover was still rather cringeworthy, though.
    • Hell, almost the entire movie counts.
    • The Title Drop has to be one of the most awkward ever.
    May Day: Wow. What a view!
    Max Zorin: To a kill!
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Pola Ivanova's captured partner is shoved into a water turbine head first.
    • The infamous massacre of the mine workers also qualifies, to the point that it horrified Roger Moore; so much so that it was one of his reasons for quitting the franchise.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Russian agent Pola Ivanova is gorgeous and fun. Pity she's out of the picture after 007 swaps the tape on her.
  • Recycled Script: The story is a lot like Goldfinger, replacing gold with microchips and Fort Knox with Silicon Valley. The part where Zorin illustrates his plan to his criminal investors with a miniature model in the middle of a boardroom table and having his dragon kill the investor who wants no part of it is a dead giveaway.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Dolph Lundren (in his first film role) appears as one of the two KGB agents accompanying General Gogol in his meeting with Zorin.
  • Sequelitis: Widely considered one of the worst Bond films, with Roger Moore's advanced age being one of the most frequent criticisms (even Moore himself thought he should have been replaced with a younger actor at least two films prior, presumably either Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan).
  • So Bad, It's Good: Pretty much everyone will agree that this is near the bottom of the heap when it comes to Bond movies, if not at the very bottom. Still, there's enough goofiness and nonsensical bits on display here that some find it quite entertaining, if not always for the right reasons.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • The title sequence: It's painful to watch the animation from the mid-80s if you know how beautiful those from the 70s were.
      • "Oh, hello Mr. Maurice Binder, creator of all Bond title sequences before. Look, we've brought you a new machine we like to call a com-pu-ter. We want you to do the title sequence with it. And we need it by tomorrow."
    • Zorin's death by falling off the Golden Gate bridge looks impressive... until you notice he's just a dummy, complete with legs flapping about in the breeze. Same thing goes for the guy dropped out of the zeppelin earlier.
    • The film contains a few too many obvious rear-projection shots.
  • Squick:
    • The 57-year-old Roger Moore making out with Grace Jones. For what it's worth, he thought so too.
    • Many will also point to 57-year-old Moore making out with 30-year-old Tanya Roberts in the shower at the very end, especially since he'd spent most of the film up to this point in a more parental relationship with her. (Again, Moore himself thought so too, especially after learning he was older than her mother, which was one of the factors that drove him to hang up his tux after this film.) The dialog in this scene really doesn't help.
    Bond: Drat, I dropped the soap.
    Stacy: I'll get it!
    Bond: ...THAT is not the soap.
  • Tearjerker: May Day's anguished "Jenny!" on seeing her corpse.
    • On that note, the murder of all the mine workers by Zorin certainly warrants this, as they had been loyal to him and were utterly defenseless. This said, they were at least complicit, if not willing participants, in a plot to flood Silicon Valley and drown millions of people, which may diminish exactly how weepy you feel for them.
    • Tibbett's death, which leaves Bond visibly angered when confronted by Zorin.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Roger Moore and Patrick Macnee working together as secret agents! Then Macnee's Godfrey gets offed criminally early.
    • This blog post points out that the scenario of an aging Bond forced to confront both a younger opponent and his own increasing frailties and mortality could have made a potentially very interesting movie / swan song for Roger Moore in the role, had the producers actually went there. Interestingly, this idea would be used in Skyfall.
  • Uncanny Valley:
  • What an Idiot: Dr. Mortner tries to off Bond and Stacey along with himself atop the bridge with a roll of dynamite, completely ignoring the rack of submachine guns located in the same stash of weapons.
    • On that note, why does Zorin have dynamite of all things stashed on his private blimp?
    • Bond's inquiry into Zorin's "interest" in flycasting, the method used by May Day to murder Aubergine at the Eiffel Tower is hardly subtle.
    • Mr. Howe, who simply doesn't appreciate the kind of monster he's covering for until Zorin decides he has outlived his usefulness.
    • As pointed out by Roger Ebert, Zorin's plan is utterly stupid. He wants to destroy Silicon Valley in order to gain a monopoly on the microchip market, but the tech companies of Silicon Valley are the consumers of microchips, not the producers. All Zorin's plan would accomplish is the death of his own customers.