I think it lacks personality and, just as importantly, it lacks style. Its overall look and feel is very pedestrian; its action sequences fail to generate excitement. It’s complete “by the numbers” Bond. And this is a shame as I believe the core elements of an excellent movie are there, just unexploited.
I love Sophie Marceau’s icy coldness and think she makes a great villain, but remember being really underwhelmed by Reynard: such a great villain quirk deserved more. My two biggest problems are that some of the acting is just shoddy (PB’s ‘aaargh’ when Reynard grips his shoulder is particularly cringe and overdone) and the film overall just doesn’t look Bond enough. I wonder how much more entertaining the film would have been with some vintage KennAdam style. To be honest, I don’t think any of the post Moonraker films really captured what I see as a vintage Bond look until Gassner did QoS, which I thought looked great… at least when the camera was still!
I really want to like TWINE, but unfortunately for me, the film just gets worse everytime I watch it. To me, SF is a better version of TWINE. That’s not to say the film doesn’t have merit. Sophie Marceau is easily the highlight as is Desmond Llewelyn’s final scene. The locales are great (Scotland, Baku, Istanbul) and I love the theme song. However, Michael Apted is probably the weakest director of the whole series, except for maybe Lee Tamahori. Brosnan tries to give a more serious performance, but it comes off as stilted and don’t even get me started on Denise Richards.
The half directed by Apted about identity, betrayel and what makes us vulnerable, even apparently invulnerable, is pretty good.
The half directed by Vic Armstrong about explosions, explosions and explosions is pretty bad.
If either of those men had been given the whole movie to do their own way both versions would’ve been a darn sight better than the schitzo-patchwork quilt we were given.
Films made by committee are seldom good…
Those made by a Committee of Directors are never good (see the original Peter Sellers-CR… TWINE is in this respect its bastard heir).
TWINE is an odd Bond entry,
despite the production challenges, I think TND is excellent,
and for me, far better than GE.
I had high, high hopes for TWINE,
Not least because as someone posted above, 3rd time is usually a charm for Bond.
But…but…there’s just something amiss about TWINE,
All the elements are in there, but most of them just don’t work.
It’s a shame as I always felt that Brosnan never got the Bond movies he deserved
Also a quick note about Denise Richards, unlike say Tanya Roberts, Richards can act,
she was just saddled with a horrible and really underwritten role
I agree with comments above, casting her as the spoiled child would have worked better and fed into the work she did in 'Wild Things" (which got her the Bond role) quite nicely
I will agree that Denise Richards is better than Tanya Roberts, but that isn’t saying much. Richards has absolutely no chemistry with Brosnan and is totally miscast as Christmas Jones. I don’t personally think Christmas Jones is a bad character and could have been better with a better actress portraying her. That said, I don’t think Bond should have bedded her at the end of the film. TWINE was attempting to trim a lot of the then recent fat off the franchise and it would have done well to not have Bond end up with the girl. Especially seeing as the story seemed to have Bond falling in love with Elektra, it doesn’t really make sense that he would immediately bed another woman having just been forced to kill her. A Skyfall-esque exile seems more likely.
Brosnan kept pushing for deeper characters and storylines but EON wasn’t quite ready for it yet so they would pull back and fall on the formula. That’s more true in Die Another Day which starts out with Bond imprisoned and disavowed but instead of following through on a gritty realistic thriller it chickens out and goes in the opposite direction of a sci-fi CGI spectacular.
I think if you take Christmas out of the film it improves substantially. She seems to have been there for Bond to have a pretty girl to accompany him in the second half of the film. While her character had purpose in the pipeline scene otherwise she serves no other purpose. In Skyfall the producers trusted the material enough to engage the audience so Bond did not have a young pretty girl in the third act. TWINE would have been better off had it taken a similar approach.
It would have strengthen the plot twist of the Bond girl being the bond villain if there wasn’t a secondary Bond girl in the film.
Full disclosure: I like Christmas Jones, I consider the notion that a nuclear scientist cannot look like Denise Richards misogynistic and just based on movie clichés (the scientist has to be the mousy bespectacled one) and I do know female scientists who look absolutely stunning. Also I do believe that Richards gets a bad rap for this role simply because she is Denise Richards.
As for TWINE: it was my favorite BrosnanBond for many years - until my re-watch sessions in 2015 when I was massively bored by it. But maybe that was due to the rigorous schedule of watching one Bond a day. The cumulation of these films probably made me tire of them and became work rather than pleasure.
So, time for a new spin of that blu-ray, I think.
If such a character were in, say, a Wim Wenders movie and was getting this flack i’d agree it was misogynistic, since Wim would be using the character to ask these very questions.
However, there’s only one reason Richards was cast and it’s not to question out preconceptions. It’s to give the menfolk some T&A. So any complaints about misogyny should first be levelled at Eon.
I absolutely disagree.
Of course, Denise Richards was cast for her looks. But it does not matter whether this happened in a Bond movie or an arthouse flick at all. People criticized the casting because “a nuclear scientist does not look like her”. And that is absurd. Are they criticizing that a secret agent does not look like any of the great looking men who portrayed him?
And if you argue that she was only cast for the male audience, you’re automatically arguing that a beautiful scientist is not also a nod towards the female audience.
Why does she need to be beautiful to nod towards a female audience?
Ultimately, the blame for this film has to be laid squarely at the Producers’ feet. But, as they were still finding their feet in terms of the long term view of the Bond series, one can understand their thinking, if indeed the resultant product is a failure.
And in this blame, I mean the hiring of Apted who was so hopelessly out of his depth on something of this scale. ‘Directing women’ does not a Bond movie make.
And so while the team were looking towards a higher quality product, they unfortunately thought that a little bit of everything might actually tick all the demographics. Little bits of acting, drama, buffoonery, danger, comedy, silliness, tears and so on and so forth. Ultimately, for me, it had the opposite affect as I remember sitting there, watching for the first time and thinking, when is this film going to decide what it wants to be?
And woefully, all the action was dreary beyond belief. Which for an action film is a bit unfortunate.
I remember answering one of these threads some time ago, suggesting all the cuts that would be needed to leave one with something urgent, exciting and interesting. And such were the number of cuts that one was left with barely enough to fill a half hour short.
An utterly dreadful film. I cannot even remember when I last saw it. Over 10 years ago, at least. And that was due to some self inflicted, self imposed desire to go through the series in order.
She does not need to be beautiful - but casting a beautiful woman as a scientist says: brains are beautiful, and a beautiful woman should not be reduced to her looks.
Of course, movies are a visual medium, and Bond movies are made for a mass audience. So naturally, everyone is cast for their looks. Again, James Bond would not have become an international phenomenon if EON had said: let’s cast Wallace Shawn as 007.
It could go even deeper: there may be some question among viewers about who’s “secondary.”
Consider: by the time of TWINE, there’s a well-established tradition of Bond entertaining a brief dalliance with a “bad girl” who ends up dead before a happy ending with the “real Bond girl” (heck, we’d just seen it in GE). It’s entirely possible to interpret this film as just another iteration of that formula. If so, Christmas is the “real” Bond girl and Elektra was just another Fatima/Fiona/Xenia type. The trope is just more overblown and lengthy here, like everything else about this film.
By hedging bets with Dr Jones, EON sabotages its own plot; the affair with Elektra can be interpreted as a miscalculation by Bond but not one that rises to anywhere near the level of “broken heart”: the insinuation of all the earlier films is that despite his wanderings, Bond will end up in the final reel with the girl that really matters. Thus, Jones must matter, and Elektra must not. If they’d left out Jones and had Bond alone at the end, drowning his sorrows in a martni, or maybe volunteering for a suicide mission to the great concern of the office gang, maybe it would have worked.
People are attractive in a big budget action movie…shocker…
Well, it would have worked for those who want Bond psychologically broken and tortured.
But it sure would not have worked for a mass audience who want Bond to end up with the upper hand on the good girl.
A few people on a message board - a mass audience worldwide…
Jones most definitely is not Tracey, Tania (the Russian not the Roberts), Domino, Vesper, or Camille, in which the character and plot are intrinsically linked, but neither is she a Honey or a Goodnight in terms of her relevance as a character, or performance as an actress.
Unfortunately for Richards - who to be fair by Bond-standards puts in a decent performance considering the lines she’s been given - Jones the character exists for the large part because, well, because she’s supposed to. The EON playbook from the beginning has been “good girl for the 3rd act” and Jones is the 1999 edition of that.
Ultimately though, I agree that the playbook then completely undercuts the mystery of Elektra (without another female lead the ambiguity of Elektra would have worked for longer, the twist having a pay-off that it never does). But even worse, the decision has the knock-on effect of completely undercutting Caryle/Renard. A waste of opportunity with an actor who could have turned in a truly memorable villainous performance, but instead is left a character who frankly ends up being little more than an homage to a Guy Hamilton secondary henchmen. Except even less funny than Nick Nack, or nowhere near as threatening as Oddjob. Or should that be the other way around…