The Spy Who Loved Me was a huge success for the Bond franchise and finally cemented Roger Moore as a star who deserved the oo7 mantle.
This is the follow-up to TSWLM, so fans quickly forgot it when it didn’t live up to a classic. But this is a damn good movie. The final in a trilogy of Bond movies directed by Lewis Gilbert (with You Only Live Twice and TSWLM), it delivers the same distinguishing touches: exotic scenery, grand and lush cinematography, light comedy throughout, sex appeal, a sharp female agent as Bond’s partner, unsettling moments of violence and a megalomaniac supervillain. After an elegant and realistic first half, the film goes way over the top compared to the previous two. OO7 fights an anaconda, Jaws becomes an invincible comic relief and there’s a laser fight in space (obviously copying Star Wars). This is where it lost audiences. But the series went more cartoonish later with the Brosnan films (which paid endless tribute to Gilbert’s films), so Moonraker has aged well.
This is probably Roger Moore’s 2nd best performance in the role and he’s surrounded by a good cast. Lois Chiles is a lovely Bond girl, Jaws is a welcome return (though I miss the monster he was before) and Michael Lonsdale is as cold and believable as it gets as a man bent on rebooting the human race in his warped image. There's too much to recommend for this film to be so forgotten. And its worst bits are still fun and inoffensive. You simply can't reject a movie that ends with such a crowd-pleasing ending, one of the best in the series: After truly saving the entire planet, OO7 and his lady CIA counterpart make love in zero gravity not knowing they are being watched by both of their employers and Q of all people delivers a pun so golden that I can't repeat it. Rewatch it and appreciate it.