Watching this movie on the big screen with an audience I'm again reminded just how good a MOVIE it is, forget that it's a Bond movie.
I know what you mean. THE SPY WHO LOVED ME kind of has its own identity outside the Bond series. It doesn't "need" or "lean on" the series (unlike, say, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN or, say, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, or, heck, most of 'em). It stands proud as a fun action blockbuster in its own right, a bit like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK or something, without any "franchise baggage". I'm putting all this slightly poorly, but I'm sure you get where I'm coming from.... well, of course you do! I'm echoing your
But, yes, you do kind of happily forget about all the other Bond flicks while watching TSWLM.
I posted the following on another thread on CBn the other day, and I'd be very interested to know whether you'd agree with this:
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME - and I've only just realised this - is a very, very 60s-flavoured Bond film. It's the most 60s-ish of all the 70s Bonds. LIVE AND LET DIE was almost aggressively 70s in an "it's a new world, with new enemies, etc." kind of way, touching (albeit very lightly indeed) on serious social issues like racism and urban drug abuse. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN conjures up a 70s atmosphere of kung fu, wah-wah guitars and tacky cinema ads for the local curry house. MOONRAKER is very STAR WARS (sorry, zencat ). Etc.
But TSWLM seems a real throwback to the big, widescreen, crazy psychedelic 60s Bond epics, filled with beautiful, big-breasted, pre-feminism (apparently) women and elaborate lairs for baddies. If there's one 70s Bond outing Austin Powers would feel right at home in, it's TSWLM. Probably because it's a remake of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.