007 December – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – Oracle of Film


007-December Blogathon

For today’s first review of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), here’s a review by Luke of Oracle of Film.

Thanks Luke.

 

1THE SPY WHO LOVED ME

“Maybe I misjudged Stromberg. Any man who drinks Dom Perignon ’52 can’t be all bad.”

Number of Times Seen: 4

 

Brief Synopsis: Bond is paired with a KGB agent, the beautiful Triple X, both of them unaware that Bond shot her lover in a previous mission.

 

My Take On It: Quick, how do you make a Bond movie? We need a beautiful girl, exotic locations, a despicable villain, preferably with a secret base hidden from the public eye, and a hard-as-nails henchman figure. That will always be The Spy Who Loved Me’s downfall. It is James Bond 101.

 

The Spy Who Loved Me is a good Bond film. It is a strong entry in the canon. My problem with it is that it is just so routine. The final twenty minutes play out so predictably that it really kills the tension that the movie worked so hard to build up. The fights are heavily choreographed (watch any punch-up with Jaws and on a third watch, you have memorised every step of the fight), and there are very little surprises in store for anyone. It might be one of the more celebrated ones when it comes to the Bond fan-base, but I have a feeling any newcomer that started with this movie would not be convinced to watch another.

 

The one thing the Spy Who Loved Me does have going for it is Anya, the Bond girl of the piece. On paper, she is by far the most interesting one we’ve had so far. She starts off as a counter-piece to James Bond, doing everything he does but as a female. That would be impressive enough for this era, especially following Mary Goodnight, but the plot gets better. By the halfway point in the movie, she suddenly realises that Bond was her boyfriend’s killer. As soon as the mission is over, she vows to kill him. It makes the chemistry far more interesting. Sadly, that plotline doesn’t really go anywhere interesting, which is one of the points where you wish we were in the Daniel Craig era of Bond movies. Then we might have had writers who had the confidence to give the Spy Who Loved Me the ending it deserves.

 

One more point. Thank you to MovieRob for arranging this Bond marathon. It really is an impressive anthology of reviews. Nobody does it better!

 

Bottom Line: The Spy Who Loved Me is a solid Bond movie – even if it is a little too comfortable about it.

2 thoughts on “007 December – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – Oracle of Film

  1. Damning with faint praise! This movie was a huge hit, for good reason. I saw this movie first and it made me a lifelong Bond fan. You have to reassess what you’re watching – in the mid-70s, Bonds were family films and had to keep everyone entertained. You can’t compare this to the likes of Skyfall. From this film, Roger’s Bond had little to do with Fleming and became a more avuncular, leading man. Trust me, as a kid of 7 seeing this in 1977, this film is awesome – even when I found out later the plot was a complete copy of You Only Live Twice, I still adore it. A submarine car! Jaws! Pyramids! An undersea base! Biggest set ever! When I saw this blog was hosting a Bond marathon, I’d have hoped the reviews would show a bit more love! What’s the point in doing it otherwise?

    Like

    • Thanks for your reply Gypsy King.

      The point of this blogathon is get varying and (sometimes) differing opinions on ALL of the Bond movies.

      Some are loved, some are hated and some are just enjoyed because they are Bond!

      I appreciate all comments here especially ones like yours that truly express your own opinion.

      You are also welcome to still participate and send in your review of any of the Bond movies still not reviewed yet. Just send me your review to bond@movierob.net

      Thanks and I all look forward to many more comments by you in the future!

      Like

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