Monday, 30 May 2011
The Spy Who Loved Me
I watched this film the other week with my boys as they'd never seen a James Bond film and wanted to know what one was like. We didn't survive past the credit sequence, but for the few minutes I was watching I was struck in quick succession by these thoughts.
- How did they think they could get away with just remaking You Only Live Twice just by substituting nuclear submarines for space ships? I suppose Roald Dahl's 1967 script, with its gratuitously exotic location, outlandish plot to take over the world, random and bizarre assassination attempts on Bond and climatic battle in the baddie's lair, is what they've been remaking for the last 44 years, but this is a bit blatant.
- Barbara Bach is decent eye candy, but who told her she could act?
- On the other hand, how did an ugly git like Ringo Starr end up marrying her? (Yes, I do know the answer.)
- What does Roger Moore think he looks like in that yellow ski suit? It even has flares.
- The opening stunt though is really, really good. There had to be a reason we watched this rubbish, and Rick Sylverster's leap into the abyss is one of those reasons.
Even in these days of CGI wonders, it's still jaw dropping. In fact the way it is so obviously not CGI is what makes it so great. Sylvester actually does what James Bond does; ski off a sheer cliff and then wait an interminable age before deploying his parachute. The tracking shot as he falls in absolute silence is heart stoppingly good and makes the corny Union Jack parachute forgivable.
We switched off then, and from memory the only thing I missed of interest in the rest of the film was the gorgeous Caroline Munro, star of various seventies fantasy films, usually involving Doug McClure and a rubber dinosaur, who has a cameo as a baddie helicopter pilot.
Unfortunately this was her only Bond film, a pity because she's have acted the likes of Barbara Bach off the screen.