Moonraker rises above the rest of the Roger Moore dreck by dispensing with any pretence of plot, or even reality. Moonraker is a malfunctioning gag generator; spitting out wild, expensive, situations with zero tonal care. Brutal scenes of a secretary being savaged by two slavering Doberman are swiftly followed by 007 driving around Venice streets in an air-cushioned gondola. Moore is no longer called upon to do anything quite so outmoded as acting, instead he's a geographical reference point in a never-ending succession of action. Bad-guy Hugo Drax challenges Bond with a plan that somehow manages to combine the pliant doe-eyed dumb-dumbs of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom with vast, Gerry Anderson trumping Supermarionation. Good for him.
Michael Lonsdale plays Drax as a fascistic, high-functioning autistic who somehow holds sway over an army of Sea Org morons who can't wait to die in space. Drax's elite soldiers pile out into the void to be vaporised by NASA's death-ray commandos. We see hundreds of lifeless goons frozen in the kind of laser-scorched tableaux that would end up stamped all over 1980s toy packaging. Richard Kiel's Jaws is back by popular demand, hurrying Bond forward in lots of violent, exciting ways. A welcome change from the leaden plotting that ruined the last two 007 films. Thanks to an outpouring of support from the world's bloodthirsty schoolchildren, Kiel's gigantic, silent brute is thrust into the role of a second-lead. His popularity is such that Moonraker bends over backwards to assure us that Jaws and his diminutive bride will be able to survive piloting space station debris through an uncontrolled atmospheric entry. Moonraker is a Saturday-morning cartoon.