Rewatched Jun 29, 2012
Silent J’s review:
Continuing my journey to see every single 007 film before the release of Skyfall, I just got finished rewatching the tenth Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, and this time it holds up even better on a second watch.
I remember catching this on tv a couple years ago and until now, I never completely saw it from beginning to end. Now I am able to see it in a new light not only because I've seen it in it's entirety, but I can appreciate it as a much bigger contribution to the series than I've imagined.
Like Connery, Roger Moore has proven to just get better and better with each film and this has to be his best outing yet. His humor again works on many levels, but here his version of Bond is given a more serious side as well. In fact, this is the first time you get to see a bit of a ruthless side of his character that we had'nt quite seen since Connery played the role. You know at this point that Moore is completely comfortable in the role now and you believe "This guy is James Bond". If he keeps giving performances like this, he might just become my favorite Bond.
The main villain is Stromberg who is played by Curd Jurgens. Jurgens does an excellent job as the villain an Stromberg is a pretty solid villain for Bond. Stromberg comes off as cold and ruthless enough that you believe he is a guy you just don't fuck with. While not a physical threat to Bond, he provides the right levels of menace and pure ruthlessness that makes him a worthy adversary. He always seems like a man with a plan or a trick up his sleeve to keep you wondering if Bond can survive this mission. As excellent of a villain Stromberg is, the biggest threat comes from one of the most iconic and one of my favorite Bond henchmen, Jaws played by Richard Kiel. Jaws comes off as this indestructible monster who takes a sheer plasure in causing pain and whenever on screen, you get a feeling that no one is save especially James Bond.
This time, The Bond Girl is Major Anya Amasova who is played by the beautiful Barbara Bach. After starting this little series, I realize now just how important and groundbreaking this Bond Girl is. For the first time, this is the first time a Bond Girl was really an equal to James Bond. Someone who can be attracted to Bond, but can hold her own and does'nt feel like a damsel in distress or just a girl who ends up with Bond in the end credits. She is a strong character who can match Bond in wits and can resist his charms. There is also a certain mystery to her that makes you wonder not only will they really end up together, but can she turn on him at any moment given their circumstances. This provides a new and fresh twist on the Bond/Bond Girl relationships of the past. Both Moore and Bach have amazing chemistry. Their dialogue exchanges come fast and strong while just their prescence together feels especially strong.
Not only is this the best portrayal of James Bond Moore has given yet, by this is so far the best Bond of the Moore Era so far. The comedy and drama balance each other out well. It never gets too silly and there the film keeps a serious tone throughout. The soundtrack is great and the action sequences are exciting. The gadgets look cool as hell. The set pieces look fantastic. The story is interesting and feels fresher and on a bigger scale than most Bonds. Everything is such a thrill to watch and I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout.
Not only is this the best of the Moore Era yet, but this is one of the best Bond films of the franchise.