For Your Eyes Only (1981)

For Your Eyes Only (1981), directed by John Glen.

The Brits have lost a code machine and Bond has to recover it from a sunken ship before the Russians get it and turn all those missiles around.

We forget about that for most of the first half. It has a fine beginning moment, with Bond visiting his wife's grave. (Did you forget he was married for a few hours in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)?) Then we have a silly segment disposing of Blofeld; his final appearance in the series, not counting Never Say Never Again (1983).

Then it's escapades in various Euro resort areas, with a Winter Olympic theme.

The second half improves with lovely underwater photography and combat scenes, and some really fine technical climbing stunts. But I don't know why Mr Big didn't pick up the code machine from the wreck: he was parked above it and had all the deep diving gear. Or how our heroes manage a sneak attack on the villains' base in a boat with tall sails.

This one gets credit for being less gimmicky and comical than other then-recent entries in the series, but it's still Roger Moore. He has his defenders but they are a minority of Bond fans. I have nothing against him, but he does seem to coast through the movies. He's ok at the wry and comical aspects, but we hardly ever see from him the passion, hardness and violence the character requires. This film has one exception: the bit where he kicks the car over the cliff. But apparently Moore didn't like that type of scene.

Girly theme song, and the action score is the peppy, funky film music popular at the time. Bond Girl fatality rate: 33%.

Available on Blu-ray.