James Bond: Classic, Cheese or Crap? – “The World Is Not Enough”

“The World Is Not Enough”

1999

Bond: Pierce Brosnan

Classic, Cheese or Crap?: CHEESE

I really like this one. I know, I know. Its one of those Bonds that Bond fans love to kick around. But I’m a big fan. I swear, if it weren’t for Denise Richards, I might have put this movie in the “Classic” category.

This movie begins with the longest pre-title action sequence in the history of the franchise. There’s an escape from tight quarters, an explosion at MI6 and a high-speed boat chase. The sequence culminates with Bond dropping off of an about to explode hot air balloon onto a rooftop below. I mean, that’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about!

A couple of the action scenes get a little silly (In a Bond movie? Nooooooo) but there are also some really good ones. In addition to the opening, I also really like the shootout in the bomb silo and the parahawks sequence. Of course, on the other hand, the finale is widely (and rightfully) renowned for being lame and the helicopters with huge circular saws are kind of ridiculous.

But this movie is all about the Bond girls to me, which is both good and bad.

The Good is the incredible Sophie Marceau, who was my favorite Bond Girl of all time until Eva Green came along. She’s beautiful, she can act, she has a decently written part, and the chemistry between her and Brosnan feels authentic. I love how she turns evil in the middle of the flick, I love that scene where she puts Bond in the torture chair… Honestly, Sophie Marceau is still my #2 Bond Girl ever.

The Bad, LOL…give me a second… (snicker)… is Denise Richards (head shake).

Listen, I KNOW why the producers cast Denise Richards in this movie. If you turn back the clock to 1999, Denise Richards was the IT girl, man, she was IT. She was coming off of “Starship Troopers” and “Wild Things” and I’m sure that searches for her on the infant internet were off of the freaking charts.

So to score a star like that who is THAT kind of the flavor of the moment is a boon to any piece of entertainment.

But good grief. Didn’t ANYONE see this woman’s limitations? I mean, ok, I know, lots of attractive women who can’t act have been cast in completely ridiculous roles in this franchise before (Tanya Roberts as a Geologist comes immediately to mind) but come on. A Nuclear Physicist? Are you for real? I mean, didnt people realize that that meant she would have to deliver lines about bombs, and radioactive materials and… physics? I mean, LOL. Gawd.

And thus, she practically “brings the cheese” singlehandedly to this movie. Within two seconds of appearing onscreen nonetheless. Her first line? “I pulled the plutonium out of the one inside. You can detonate the triggers now”. After which, she begins to strip out of her hazmat suit. LOL. It sums it all up right there. Her acting skills leave you thinking she would need a dictionary to understand the sentence she just spoke, and then, she’s immediately stripping! Good grief.

If you’d care to watch her highlights, a generous Bond fan has edited together her moments only and put them out on YouTube for us!

You know though? The majority of this flick I still like a lot.

Brosnan is Bond here, and that’s always a plus in my book (although that plus isn’t enough to elevate more than one out of his four movies into the “Classic” category). He’s got a touch of smug arrogance to everything he does. It just clicks with my imagination of what Bond would be like. I never 100% bought him in fight situations, but he’s definitely no Roger Moore. And it was believable that women would throw themselves his way.

He’s supported by Judy Dench as “M”, who’s been fantastic in that role. She’s really brought a lot to the series. In my opinion she’s a complete upgrade over her predecessors.

Finally, this is the film in which Desmond Llewelyn makes his final appearance as Q. Allegedly it wasn’t planned that way, but his final speech about the things he’s always tried to teach Bond, and his final line “Always have an escape plan” seem too serendipitous to be true otherwise. Llewelyn played Q in 17 films and worked with each of the first five Bonds. I read somewhere his role as Q holds the record for a single actor playing the same part. No other actor has played the same recurring role in as many films as he did.

He was a invaluable contributor to the Bond franchise, and I don’t care what kind of a “TWINE” hater you might be… if that scene doesn’t get to you a little, you shouldn’t consider yourself a Bond fan.

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9 thoughts on “James Bond: Classic, Cheese or Crap? – “The World Is Not Enough”

  1. The Q scene I’ve always found sad. Especially the way Bond sounds worried when he asks Q about his retirement. Sort of showing Q meant more to him then he showed. Apart from that, I find this film a really mixed bag. Sophie Marceau is fantastic, as you said, and the final scene between her and Bond is awesome. But Renard is a really disappointing villain because he had a cool concept and was played by a really great actor. And of course, you have Denise Richards who…yeah.

    16

    • It’s got enough cheese to it though that I really like it. It’s one of the Bond films I like more than most.

      Don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but right around QoS I did this spreadsheet I called “The consensus”. I found every complete 1-23 bond film ranking I could online. Weighted them, averaged them… I forgot exactly how I did it, but then I took the Rotten Tomatoes scores and the IMDb scores too and came up with this “consesus” on the best to worst ranking.

      It really came out great. Made perfect sense.

      The reason I did it was more to find out which movies I like and/or dislike more than others, and TWINE was a big mover. I think the general opinion had it like 16th or 17th and I have it 10 or 11.

      I’ll definitely share that list at some point, I just have to figure out how. It’s in excel…

  2. On ranked this as the worst Bond movie ever made on my blog. Here’s an excerpt:

    “they had the best idea for a Bond villain ever (he feels no pain whatsoever), and totally fucking wasted it by making him a big sensitive pussy with feelings. Nobody wants a sensitive villain in any movie let alone a James Bond one. We want a guy who would blow up the planet without a second thought, not someone thoughtful and introspective.”

    I agree on the final scene with Q, that was sort of touching. Also, I could see how the cheese factor could allow one to enjoy this movie, but for me, I just can’t stand it.

    • Yeah… I do have to cede the fact that it sucks. Its kind of like my guity pleasure Bond movie. One I like way more than I should.

      But hey, thats what movie discussion is all about anyways right?

      There are some I know people like a lot more than I do too, so I’m wondering how those will go over once I start kind of ragging on them.

  3. Okay, give me a sec……..I’m channeling the Smurfs…..okay remember the theme song right?

    Here is what I think of this movie:
    “CRAP CRAP, CA CRAP CRAP CRAP, CRAP CA CRAP CRAP CRAP! CRAP CRAP, CA CRAP CRAP CRAP, CRAP CA CRAP CRAP CRAP!”

    Worst Bond girls, villain, and plot combo in ANY of the Bond films. Period.

    It sucks that this worthless steaming pile of cowdung (figuratively speaking) was Q’s last.

    • LOL. I know. I know.

      I actually know that this is one of the ones that I’m … offbase on.

      But I really like this one. I dont know. It’s cheese at best but I like Brosnan as Bond (which can be a big difference maker as you and I can tell on your recent Octopussy comment) and I think Sophie Marceau is actually really really good as a bond girl. She’s one of my top three! I love that chick here man.

      Plus the action scenes are alright, and Denise Richards gives it that flavor of cheese for me. I love watching her trying not to hurt herself with her physics related dialogue. Thats some good fun right there!

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