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