(Review originally written at 26 March 2006)
Roger Moore was by far the most entertaining Bond. Not the best but really the most enjoyable. His Bond movies are definitely the most fun to watch and have a very large amount of humor in them.
The story is basically below average and is also really confusing at times. Also the way the story is handled in the movie is truly lacking at times. The movie at times totally abandons the main plot-line and therefor most elements of the movie don't really work out the way they were supposed to. Best example of this is the villain. His role is quite limited in this movie, even despite the fact that the villains are always one of the most important aspects of a Bond movie. They can make the movie a memorable and good one, even when the story isn't. Curd Jürgens is a good actor and he is also certainly good in his role but his part is simply too limited to really leaves his mark on the James Bond series. His villainous-plot doesn't play a prominent enough part in the movie and therefor the movie gets really messy to follow at times. It even gets confusing at times, even though the story itself is of course quite simple.
Still "The Spy Who Loved Me" is an above average Bond-flick. This is mainly due to the humor in the movie. It makes the movie extremely entertaining and fun to watch. Main reason why the movie is so entertaining and fun is thanks to Roger Moore, who portrays Bond with a dry sense of humor and also thanks to Richard Kiel. Kiel who plays the hit-man Jaws in this movie. He does not only play one of the most memorable Bond villains out of the long series but also one of the most memorable characters out of movie history, even though he has no lines at all in the movie. The look and strong presence of Jaws makes him an extremely good and memorable character, that also truly uplifts the movie and its action at times.
The movie fortunately also has some real good and memorable moments. Like I mentioned before, all of the moments and action with Jaws are really good and memorable and so is the massive end fight aboard the tanker. Unfortunately that's not the finale of the movie and after that another fights follows and the rather disappointing stand-off with the main villain Stromberg, played by Curd Jürgens.
The cinematography by Claude Renoir, who was slightly getting blind during production is quite fantastic at times and help to make this movie an above average Bond. None other than Stanley Kubrick helped out with the lighting during the massive tanker sequences because of Renoir's decreasing eye sight.
Ken Adam once more provides some impressive looking sets and also the art directing from Peter Lamont is fine.
The unusual funky musical score is from Marvin Hamlisch and is surprising good and fits in well with the movie.
So Roger Moore and Richard Kiel are basically the reason why this movie works so good as entertainment but of course they are also helped by other Bond regulars such as Bernard Lee, Walter Gotell, Desmond Llewelyn and Lois Maxwell. Unfortunately Barbara Bach is an horrible Bond-girl because of the very simple reason that she just can't act. Truly one of the worst Bond-girls out of the series, even despite the fact that she is very good looking.
All in all it's a very entertaining Bond movie with some spectacular moments and good action, all brought with some good humor and with a Roger Moore in good form. The movie is good to watch even though the story itself is extremely shaky and messy told.