“The World Is Not Enough”
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.