Thursday, 25 January 2018



So what does James Bond do when he gets too old to be James Bond? The snarky answer is that he makes A View To A Kill, but what really happens? Does he get pensioned off and he opens a pub somewhere? Does he, as the blasphemous Never Say Never Again suggests, spend his time teaching and training the next generation of Double-Ohs? Does he just keep going until the villains finally manage to shoot him? Or, as this Canadian cable thriller might imply, does he eventually move up the ranks into management, directing operations remotely by phone instead of leaping onto the nearest jetski or curvaceous floozy?

Sixteen years after signing off from 007 (typically in the shower with a woman half his age), the great Sir Roger Moore turned up in The Enemy as one of the few bright supporting lights in this mostly dull Canadian thriller. It's always good to see Moore in anything (even Boat Trip) but he's not in this one enough: he claims to be a senior Mountie but is actually a senior highup in MI5 trying to track down a missing scientist who hid the formula for a biological weapon and was then abducted. Now his son (Luke Perry) and a Canadian cop (Olivia D'Abo) has to find the formula and its antidote or they'll kill him...

This is unusual as it's one of the very few times I've read the book before seeing the film. I'm (not in the least) sorry: I'm ultimately a film person rather than a book person, cinematic rather than literary, but I'm not sure that it matters because appropriately enough they've decided on the Moonraker technique of adaptation: throwing the bulk of Desmond Bagley's novel in the bin, simply retaining a handful of fragments and character names and concocting a whole new story with them. They've ended up with something vaguely passable as an evening distraction, but it's all very wet, bland and colourless, it's not that exciting or thrilling, and if you can't spot the Third Act Twist Mystery Villain from about three seconds after they wander on screen you're not trying. Another film that's dropped through official distribution channels in the UK.


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