The World is Not Enough. Is it really that bad?


#41

It really is a bipolar Bond film!


#42

Indeed YP…I should have sprinkled some ground up lithium tabs on my popcorn.


#43

I’ve always liked The World Is Not Enough. Overall it’s not as good as GoldenEye or Tomorrow Never Dies but it does have scenes and sequences that are equally as strong. The transitions into the action sequences are a bit awkward but I enjoy them once were into them. The stand out to me is the underground bunker sequence as Renard steals the warhead.

The weakest aspect of the film is the underwritten role for Renard. It’s setup that he’ll become stronger and stronger as the bullet in his head makes it’s way through his brain. What a great moment it would have been if Renard had out right defeated Bond in the submarine only to die right there because of 009’s bullet. A missed opportunity in my book.

Dr. Christmas Jones is criticized but I’ve never had a problem with the character or Denise Richard’s portrayal. She’s far from being one of the worst Bond girls. As is the film’s final punchline sure it’s on the nose but it makes me laugh. The far superior and witty line no one ever mentions is Bond telling her “I don’t know any doctor jokes.”

I do like that it was a bit more subdued compared to Brosnan’s previous films. You can start to see the seeds planted for a more character and story oriented Bond franchise that wouldn’t come to full fruition until Casino Royale.

It’s a good solid mid-level Bond film. I give TWINE *** of ****.


#44

I like Bond’s dive from the tower after he kills Elektra. I also like the submarine sequence for the most part - especially Bond having to hold his breath for an extended period of time. I agree with you that Renard dying from the bullet was a missed opportunity.


#45

The nosedive was appropriate, I grant you.

The problem with the submarine fight (besides the fact that Robert Carlyle is the one actor whose physique can make Brosnan look like Steve Reeves) is that Bond and Renard are juggling plutonium fuel rods barehanded like it’s no big deal. Shouldn’t Bond have died of radiation poisoning long before DAD? (In retrospect it would’ve saved a lot of grief).

On the upside, this is probably my favorite outfit for Brosnan. Even with the jacket gone, the shirt and slacks look awesome on him. Too bad they got soaked, but at least they don’t shrink to Pee-Wee Herman proportions like the suit he wears at the gene therapy clinic in DAD.


#46

I very much like his more casual attire.


#47

I do think Brosnan was actually graced with the best wardrobe out of the whole franchise.


#48

There are a lot of things TWINE attempts that are worthy. It references OHMSS (the ski chase and its music, Elektra’s outfit, “Have you ever lost anyone close to you?”) in a way to underscore Bond falling for her. It also throws in a milder version of chair torture which brings to mind Vesper’s betrayal for those that read the books. It also makes it personal for M, something which Skyfall was to repeat with greater effect. And speaking of SF, MI6 is blown up, M is attacked, Bond is injured and unable/unwilling to return to his duties at the beginning of the film. But whereas Skyfall made M the “good Bond woman” in a way, TWINE played it safe with the backup Bond girl.

There are many other tropisms TWINE gives in to to remain a Bond film–the bloated action in the PTS, double entendre girl names, Q/R scenes, casting of bad actress in the lead. These failures perhaps led EON to take bolder risks with CR, SF, and even QoS (Bond doesn’t end up with the girl) in the years to come. So TWINE in a way sets the table for the Craig era.

It also has a funny sense of humor (“Is nothing in here straight?” Zukovsky muses at his caviar factory before opening the door on Christmas Jones, the phallic imagery of the logs being cut as Bond drives into Kazhakstan, as well as the plutonium rods in the submarine finale.) But overall this makes for a schizophrenic tone throughout the film (unlike the two distinct bipolar halves of DAD.) The set-pieces are inserted without any segue or flow (we need a casino scene, a ski chase, etc.) Plus it has to explain everything in exposition–nuclear technobabble, Stockholm syndrome, Brosnan’s dialogue about “I feel nothing.” We already know Bond can’t kill in cold blood! This dialog is a sign of bad writing. At best, it’s a rough draft for Skyfall.

The World Is Not Enough would have been better had it either taken itself more seriously, or not taken itself seriously at all.


#49

Do we? I mean, we do know that Fleming’s Bond can’t kill in cold blood, but in case of cinematic Bond I wouldn’t be so sure. He does it from the very beginning.
In fact in my opinion one scene that defines him (and distinguishes from literary 007) is the one where he kills professor Dent in Dr. No. Bond in films usually seems not to think about killing, at best. There are exceptions of course, like The Living Daylights or For Your Eyes Only for example, but I really liked the line about not killing an unarmed man was in the movie.

Nice parallell to Skyfall, by the way. I’ve never thought of it. And I agree that TWINE in some way sets the stage for Craig era.


#50

There’s an old literary maxim that goes something like “Truth may be unrealistic, but fiction cannot be.” Even if something is possible in the real world, it might be too implausible to work in a fictional work. I would argue that Dr. Christmas Jones is a perfect illustration of this principle. No doubt there are model-pretty, big-boobed, thirty-something nuclear physicists walking around in the real world, but if you create a fictional character with these qualities, it doesn’t work. It comes off as schlocky and incredible.

To be fair, I think Denise Richards delivered a decent performance. And she would have worked as a different sort of Bond girl. I just think she was badly miscast in this particular role.


#51

I see what you mean although I still disagree. No one would actually believe that a secret agent looks and behaves like James Bond, nor that he is so well known around the world and still is, um, a secret agent? So, that argument goes out of the window already.

Then again, the joke is not lost on me that the character Christmas Jones gets a typical Bond girl introduction and is treated like one. Of course, we are meant to smile and maybe even roll our eyes when the nuclear scientist gets out of her overall and Denise Richards in a Lara Croft outfit is revealed.

So, miscast? No, just the typical kind of casting for Bond girls, and parts of the audience will expect that. A part of me, too. (Yep, the level of that joke was an homage to TWINE´s ending.)


#52

There’s no point in living, if you have to watch TWINE.


#53

Me too. That white jacket and pants combination is similar to another Bond outfit I like - what Moore Bond wears upon arriving in Rio. Very classy and cool.


#54

One other thing about TWINE that I like but forgot to mention …

The whole scene at Devil’s Breath with Renard is a great villain introduction. In continuing with their OHMSS obsession, the scriptwriters take great pains to set up a Blofeld parallel here, right down to the scar makeup somewhat reminiscent of Donald Pleasance.

And the Russian double-agent in the beginning of The Living Daylights is probably more like what an actual nuclear physicist looks like.

But while we’re discussing wardrobe…what they gave Denise Richards to wear was not flattering to why they cast her in the first place. Lacking the professional attire of Lois Chile’s Holly but unable to unabashedly embrace the bikinis of Britt Ekland, they deny Christmas both the brains and the beauty despite trying to have it both ways. It’s even a failed attempt to recreate Goldfinger’s Pussy Galore lifestyle reputation.

But to end on a positive note…TWINE bringing back Zukovsky was one of the best parts of the movie. Robbie Coltrane makes a way better sidekick character for Bond than Jack Wade.


#55

I’ve posted this opinion before and I’ll do it again. I’ve always said that an actor’s 3rd 007 outing is probably his best one. Sir Sean/Goldfinger the blue print for the series to this day.
Sir Roger (R.I.P.)/Spy Who Loved Me- proved he could act and be a killer and lover at same time. Sir Roger also stated that SWLM was his favorite film.
PB/TWINE I feel the pre title sequence is the 2nd best in series(After Goldfinger) and I agree that “I never miss” is PB at his best
On a personal note I attended a small stage performance of Garbage at University of Delaware 3 months before the movie’s premiere so it is my favorite theme.


#56

I don’t think that TWINE is inherently bad. Weak is a better word. In itself it is not terrible, but there are 22 other Bond films that I enjoy watching more. I appreciate that they were trying to inject the action formula with some genuine human drama, but I think we end up with neither. As others have said, in some ways SF is like TWINE redone, but much better. I think Renard’s character is horribly underwritten and Robert Carlyle could have done so much more with the part (he was genuinely scary in Trainspotting, not so much here).

I like the Q boat and the theme song. I appreciate that we have a main villain who is female ( haven’t since FRWL), and more Robbie Coltrane is always a good thing. But that is about the sum-total that I like about TWINE. It will always live in my bottom 5, I’m afraid. But then again my first Bond was Moonraker and I will defend that one to the death, so you keep on keepin’ on with this one.


#57

In all honesty, it’s actually my favorite 007 film starring Pierce Brosnan. Yes, it has it’s flaws and yes it does go offtrack after the first hour-the Brosnan films tend to do that-but I still held on and didn’t let Christmas Jones ruin it for me. I love the style and mood to the movie. The visuals take a bit of a step back in terms of execution, but the story makes me intrigued and it even made the oil rigs in Azerbaijan interesting and unique.


#58

Not a bad film. Better than DaD but not as good as GE or TND. Best thing was probably Coltrane.


#59

I’ve always liked it and even started a thread called “For TWINE fans only” on here.

I love the PTS (possibly the best of the lot), Zukovsky, the ski sequences - the slow meander down the mountain followed by the action, the casino and the finale.


#60

Exactly how I feel about DAD. I’ve always had a soft spot for TWINE, since it was the second Bond film I was ever exposed to following TSWLM. I like what it’s going for (something that was more or less achieved with Skyfall) but I’ll agree that it lacks personality. Given the locations I feel like the one aspect that visually should have been a slam dunk would have been the establishing shots but there really wasn’t much splendor to any of it (ski sequence aside). Still, I’ll always have an affection for it.