Ahh poor Roger Moore. Two films as Bond and both are held in pretty low regards by most fans. When will your luck change? Oh, right now. The Spy who loved me is considered by many fans to be the best film of the franchise and I personally believe it to be the best of Moore’s. Shall we take a look??
The plot is simple. Bond must hunt down the person responsible for creating a submarine tracking system and discover what they are using it for. Eventually his search leads him to multimillionaire Karl Stromberg (played by Curd Jürgens), his henchman, the legendary Jaws (played by Richard Kiel) and his…pilot…Naomi (played by Caroline Munro). Along the way Bond must join forces with Major Anya Amasova (played by Barbara Bach) whilst wooing her.
This is pretty much a damn near perfect Bond film. Great actor playing Bond? Check. Great Bond villain with megolamanic scheme? Check (Stromberg wants to cause WWIII). Beautiful Bond girl who challenges Bond physically and mentally? Check. Good henchman? Check, Jaws is freaking awesome. Good villain lair? Check, Atlantis is awesome. Femme Fatale? Kinda, we don’t see near nearly enough of Naomi. Beautiful locations? Check, absolutely. Great song? Check, Nobody does it Better is one of the best. Right time to expand on these points me thinks. Firstly Moore exceeds in this film and that is almost certainly helped by the fact that the story is good, something which may have hampered him before. In this film he is perfect and I mean that. This is a flawless performance. Secondly Stromberg is THE Bond meglomaniac. He is extraordinarily wealthy, has an army of subordinates, a nuclear device, and plots to destroy the world as we know it. He’s a stereotype before it became cliché. Thirdly XXX (Anya) is actually Bond’s equal. Now, we’ve seen this before in Dr No (kinda) and defiantly in You Only Live Twice but here it’s different. Here Anya and Bond are supposed to be enemies. They join forces for the greater good and believe me the sexual tension is immense. Then Anya discovers Bond killed her lover and threatens to kill him which adds more to the plot. The writers would continue to write Bond girls who could take care of themselves and I think that this film may have started it. Furthermore, she’s beautiful and on this point I’d like to share an anecdote. It was a t this time that the Cold War was still ‘raging’ and comedians got a lot of material out of the stereotypical Russian lady, fat, dumpy and unattractive. When this film was released it destroyed acts because Anya was so beautiful Think about that. Next we have Jaws. Richard Kiel has based his career around this character and has provided me with my favourite description of him. Kiel compares him to the coyote from the road runner cartoons. He just won’t stop. You can throw anything you want t him but he will not die. The sets are fantastic and Atlantis is really very imaginative. The locations are beautiful, especially those in Egypt and Sardinia. We really should have seen more of Naomi, evidently the writers haven’t gotten the Femme Fatale thing down to a T yet. Hell I’m not even sure Naomi was written to be a Femme Fatale but she should have been. The gadgets are good but the one thing that really stands out is the car which turns into a submarine leading to some of the most memorable scenes of any Bond film. Finally Nobody Does it Better is possibly one of the best Bond songs ever and I think the way it is introduced has a lot to do with this. The opening of this film, where Bond ski’s off the cliff and then opens up a parachute, is a work of stunt co-ordination magic.
defiantly Moore’s best film and one of the best of the series. If you haven’t seen it then watch it because it is pretty much perfect.