I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. The franchise has been around for over 50 years for a reason. Let’s get started!
When I share my thoughts on Bond films, I typically discuss the movie as a whole, specifically focusing on the changes and growth from one film to another. But the Spy Who Loved Me leaves me no choice but to approach this post differently than the others. If Eon can throw a bunch of stuff onto the screen without worrying whether or not it works, so can I. Let’s break this s*** down.
Here’s the good news.
The opening cliff jump had me in awe. That long shot of Bond falling is one of the best stunts in the series to date.
The first shark scene was intense, made even more intriguing by the soothing music and the lovely set pieces.
It is good to see that Bond still practices chivalry, as he uses a woman as a bullet shield on one particular occasion.
As is almost always the case with Bond, the car was tricked-out and a joy to witness.
The sailor escape scene was grand, bringing to mind the Fort Knox scene in Goldfinger.
And I must mention that the hookah gun is hilarious.
That is where the praise ends. The Spy Who Loved Me was a poorly written, poorly directed disaster.
The Spy Who Loved Me offers a drastic departure from the tightly-filmed fight scenes in the Man with the Golden Gun. The fight sequences in this film are ineffective, as they are noticeably choreographed. Each actor engaged in a “fight” hesitates and allows the other to gain ground for the sake of the “fight”. As a result of the poorly-directed fight scenes, there was no intrigue or drama involved in any close-quarters combat.
The henchman, Jaws, is horrible. He literally appears to be mentally impaired. Despite his big stature, Jaws comes across as oafish, popping up in closets and rounding corners impossibly. His dumb stare in the closet legitimately angered me. For being such an iconic villain, I was surprised that Jaws was so underwhelming.
The writing in this film was sloppy. Here are a couple of instances in which the writing was nonsensical:
Bond says, “I’m looking for Mr. Kalba.”
The employee responds,”He’s the owner of the club. He’s right over there.”
That’s like me asking where my father is and having somebody respond, “He’s your father. He’s right over there.” If I asked for the whereabouts of a particular individual, it is assumed that I am familiar with the individual.
Another example: A chick says that she is cold. When Bond asks if there is anything he could do, she says no. She proceeds to say that she took a survival course in Siberia. They then proceed to make out. What? Bond was just rejected, and quite harshly at that. What kind of convoluted switch was switched in the girl’s head that told her to allow Roger Moore to perform the Dementor Kiss of Death on her? (Seriously, Roger Moore kisses women like he wants to devour them).
On the topic of the Bond girl, she was not good. Her inclusion in the film was to add nothing but cleavage. This is indisputable, as she was simply not good at the role.
But nay, I am not finished yet. I must remark that the disco Bond music was out of place. I understand that Bond films attempt to mold to contemporary trends, but disco music? The disco Bond music dated the film and added nothing positive to the final product.
Another thing that bewildered me is the fact that Bond uses his turn signals underwater while fighting off bad guys. This wasn’t done for humor. No, this is a thing that Bond apparently did for himself, or perhaps as a caution to the other drivers cruising along the oceanic highway.
But nay, I am still not finished. Bond villains are not known for having the most practical schemes, but this villain’s motivation is perhaps more ridiculous than that of any other Bond villain thus far. Stromberg wants to build Atlantis. Yes, that is his evil scheme. To build Atlantis.
I must mention that Bond plays Operation with a nuclear missile, buzzing noises and all. At this point, the film had lost me. The last half hour was a painful, dragging, slow segment where nothing happens. Nothing.
Over all, the Spy Who Loved Me felt forced. The fights were forced, the shots were forced, the plot was forced, the music was forced, most everything was forced. Thus far, this movie is Roger Moore’s worst Bond installment. I pray that Moonraker throws Moore and the entire crew back on track.