Moonraker (1979) – By Brian Lindsey

James Bond’s biggest cinematic turd. No, really. Despite its popularity at the box office, Moonraker is far and away the worst of the twenty 007 films made by Eon Productions since 1962. It’s a big, thundering brain-dead mess that moves from one set-piece to the next as villain Hugo Drax wouldd say “with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season.” In hiss fourth appearance as Bond, Roger Moore is strictly on autopilot, smarmily arching his eyebrow at every dangerous turn in the plot. Vacuous female lead Lois Chiles’ performance as the ill-named Dr. Goodhead is wooden; while sufficiently sinister, Michael Lonsdale’s Drax looks uncannily like a goateed Richard Nixon in a Mao jacket. Super-strong baddie Jaws (Richard Kiel), a fun character in the enjoyable comic book Bond entry The Spy Who Loved Me, even finds a girlfriend in one of the dumbest moments ever in a 007 film. Basically a pseudo-remake of Thunderball, Moonraker is riddled with plot holes big enough to pilot a space shuttle through. (For one: Despite its powerful radar jamming system, how can Drax expect to hide a personal orbiting death star that could be seen from Earth with the naked eye?) Boiled down, it’s nothing more than a live-action Road Runner cartoon with Bond as the perpetually elusive bird and gigantic henchman Jaws as Wile E. Coyote. And it’s a wonder that Roger Moore didn’t use a stuntman to open doors or walk up stairs… The younger, more athletic Timothy Dalton should’ve taken over the role after this one. Instead we got an increasingly geriatric 007 for three more films the “Grandpa Bond” trilogy.