05 September 2018

Sometimes I wish someone would

This weekend past, I watched a featurette about The Spy Who Loved Me, and then the movie itself up to the point where Agent XXX advises 007 that when the mission is done, she will kill him.  (Wonder how that worked out for her?)

Sir Roger Moore goes on record as saying that this is his favorite of his Bond outings, which I generally read as:  In Live and Let Die and The Man With the Golden Gun, they (the actor and the organization) were getting their bearings;  they finally hit stride with The Spy Who Loved Me;  and they kinda trended downhill afterward.

Moore also, with admirable frankness, essentially stated that he would stick with the role as long as he could, to keep his family in the style to which he was now able to accustom them.  Fair enough.

I forget just which member of the team asserted that The Spy Who Loved Me is the best Bond of all time.

Phew, I do not see it that way;  no, I cannot, indeed.

On the plus side:  Moore is still fit.  We have the improbable submarine Lotus, which still maintains a reasonable gadget:gag ratio.  Richard Kiel as Jaws is one of the most fun Bond villains.  The Egyptian sequence is great Bond eye candy.

On the negative:  Stromberg is a double-plus-uninteresting villain, who makes even the double-cross of the two scientists rather workaday.  Bond’s interview with Stromberg in which he is supposedly impersonating a marine biologist is . . . weak.  Skiing off the cliff is a stunning opening stunt, but (call this a low-impact nit) he obviously was not in Austria, was he?  I get that it is only a gag, but if Jaws really dropped that block on his foot, even he would make a trip to the ER—which is to say, the Bond camp beast is already in full gallop (I still shudder at remembering the slide whistle in The Man With the Golden Gun).  I get that the Bond Stage was a magnificent achievement, and that the set for the captured submarines is huge, and it was all a technical triumph, but, well, you can see that I did not even bother to stick around for the final obligatory set-piece.  Puts me in mind of the Constable’s subtle rebuke of the Dauphin in Henry V:  Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse.

And, personal to me, entirely, I get that:  I never could stick the title song.

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