YMMV / A View to a Kill

  • Arc Fatigue: As noted by some, aside from the use of microchips in Max Zorin's scheme to implant them into his horses to enhance their stamina, his horse races are largely detached from his actual plan in Silicon Valley, yet it takes up nearly the entire first act of the movie.
  • 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. The soft instrumental version of the Duran Duran song by Barry is also melodic.
    • Fans may recognise that the theme tune from On Her Majesty's Secret Service was adapted for use as the film's instrumental score.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: There are two, both of which involve the two mid-movie sex scenes:
    • May Day. The setup made no sense—Zorin and May Day were searching for Bond after realizing he wasn't who he claimed to be; they find him in May Day's bed and he reminds her that she said someone would "take care" of him. Zorin walks away amused and May Day just goes with it, even though by this point she and Zorin are fully aware that he's the same man who chased her in Paris after she killed his French contact. Their sexual encounter goes unmentioned for the rest of the movie, and even her Heel–Face Turn at the end of the movie has nothing to do Bond], making the scene meaningless.
    • Arguably, the two KGB agents investigating Zorin's ties to Silicon Valley. The man is captured and killed by Zorin and May Day, while the woman escapes and turns out to be an old flame of Bond's, Pola Ivanova. Even though this is how Bond finds out about Zorin's plan to destroy Silicon Valley, the scene with Pola goes longer than necessary since she never appears again. The scene was intended to feature Anya Amasova, but Barbara Bach declined to reprise the role, and rather than scrapping the scene, we spend ten minutes watching Bond get it on with a random girl from his past.
  • 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.
  • Critical Research Failure: Roger Ebert pointed out that Zorin's plan makes very little sense if you have any knowledge of the computer industry. Destroying Silicon Valley would do very little to give him a monopoly on microchips, since those are generally manufactured overseas in places like Japan. Firms in Silicon Valley usually create tech that requires microchips, meaning Zorin is essentially killing his own customer base.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Stacy "James, HELLLLLPP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!" Sutton fails to notice Zorin sneaking up behind her. In a ZEPPELIN.
    • She was knocked to the ground from the same explosion that killed May Day during her Heroic Sacrifice and also knocked down Bond. It's possible that she was stunned and had hearing loss. Between that and having tunnel vision on reuniting with Bond, she didn't notice.
  • 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:
    • Zorin's line "More, more power!" has become funnier in light of the "More cowbell!" sketch from Saturday Night Live.
    • Christopher Walken's role as Max Shreck in Batman Returns could be considered a Shout-Out to Zorin, especially since he, too, is obsessed with more power (literally, as in electric power.)
    • In the film itself, microchips are being replaced with new ones that are supposedly impervious to electromagnetic pulses. Guess they didn't work out so well.
    • Lois Maxwell asked the producers if she could play M in subsequent Bond films, but was declined. A decade later, Judi Dench was cast as a female M in GoldenEye.
    • Allison Doody made her film debut as Jenny Flex in this film (the youngest Bond girl, to date), however, she doesn't spend much time with Roger Moore's Bond. A few years later, she'd play Dr. Elsa Schneider in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, who has sex with another Bond, Sean Connery.
  • 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.
  • 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 (it ironically came out two years after another "remake" of an earlier Bond film; that movie was Never Say Never Again, which was EON's opponent in the 1983 "Battle of the Bonds". A View To A Kill, however, is considered a bit worse).
  • Les Yay: May Day took Zorin killing her henchgirls very personally.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Christopher Walken's portrayal of Zorin is really the only reason to watch this movie.
  • Memetic Mutation: "More! More powah!"
  • 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. It's not only extremely high-pitched, it is done at the merest excuse, even a anticipated very short drop onto a pile of sand has she belt out a full lung scream.
  • Narm:
    • Dr. Mortner's cries of "MAAAAAAAAAX!" when Bond has Zorin on the ropes (which makes one wonder of Walken's odd laugh right before he slips and falls wasn't actually a case of Corpsing), followed by his 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), ending with Bond cutting the rope tying the blimp to the Golden Gate bridge) and... BOOM!
    • 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), but the "California Girls" cover was still rather cringeworthy, though.
    • The French detective who is killed at the Eiffel Tower when May Day flings a fake butterfly complete with a hook at his face, which kills him instantly. Even more jarring if we are to assume it wasn't poisoned in any way, thus leading to thus pun;
    Bond: There's a fly in his soup! (Gives chase to May Day)
    • The Title Drop has to be one of the most awkward ever.
      May Day: Wow. What a view!
      Max Zorin: To a kill!
  • 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.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Dolph Lundgren (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, if not the worst, 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).
  • Signature Scene: The final fight atop the Golden Gate Bridge between Bond and Zorin.
    • Also worthy of note, the mine massacre, noted for being one of the most violent scenes in any of the Bond films.
  • 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 (and even the ones made for the Dalton films afterwards) were.
    • 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.
    • As impressive as the jump from the Eiffel Tower is, one can't help but notice the obvious diving board atop the tower deck.
    • Bond and Stacey taking the fire truck over a rising draw bridge; the stunt is obviously completed with a ramp and shot to obscure its presence.
    • A sharp eye will easily make out a good number of Roger Moore's stunt doubles during the action sequences, a further indication that Moore had clearly outgrown the part.
    • The blood pack didn't burst when the City Hall official is shot, so you see an unbroken red brick under the shirt when the squib fires.
  • 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 the aforementioned shower scene really doesn't help, for a whole lot of other reasons.
      Bond: Drat, I dropped the soap.
      Stacy: I'll get it!
      Bond: ...THAT is not the soap.
  • 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:
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Yes, Stacy's constant shrieking is annoying as hell. But who can blame her? She's an ordinary girl caught up in a typical "Bond" situation, something she has no training or experience in. It's actually pretty understandable.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Dr. Mortner tries to off Bond and Stacey atop the bridge with a roll of dynamite, completely ignoring the rack of submachine guns located in the same stash of weapons. In his defense, he was angry and upset over losing Zorin.
    • On that note, why does Zorin have dynamite of all things stashed on his private blimp?
      • Likely for the same reason he killed his own mine workers: to eliminate any witnesses that would expose his scheme. Also For the Evulz and Fridge Horror. It would have been well within Zorin's character to shoot and blow up any survivors they came across as well as disrupt any rescue efforts and take out any infrastructure that the disaster missed. Or it's a case of Crazy-Prepared where if they were found out or attacked, they would have a stable platform to shoot and drop bombs from.
    • 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.
    • The police captain, who while trying to arrest Bond doesn't seem to acknowledge his acquaintance with CIA Agent Chuck Lee (Who was found dead hours earlier), and tries to cuff him anyway.
      • Bond for admitting that the gun used in Howe's murder was his and thinking he'd just have it back. His cover identity was James Stock; a reporter for the London Financial Times. A financial reporter in the USA would have absolutely no reason to carry a gun.
    • The police for trying to follow Bond over the bridge instead of stopping and terminating the pursuit. Points go to the Captain for carelessly parking his car where it would later get crushed. Those lighted barriers are there for a reason. The laugh his men have at his expense was well deserved.
    • 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.
      • Unless the microchip monopoly was only one part of his plan and monopolizing the design and manufacture of Consumer and Military products that used microchips was another. More Fridge Horror.