23/07/2012

BlogalongaBond: The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Considering Pierce Brosnan's time as Bond was bookended by the surprisingly decent (GoldenEye) and a film that literally made me vomit (Die Another Day, more on that next month), the two films in the middle meshed into one indistinguishable instalment separated only the girls and the below-par theme songs. But actually, The World Is Not Enough is one of the stronger Bond outings of the 90s and only loses points thanks to an unfathomable doctor, wasted opportunities for some genuine drama and John Cleese.

The pre-credit sequence (y'know, the one with the Millennium Dome) gets the action going and sets things nicely despite the inclusion of the now obligatory shot of Brosnan fixing his tie (in the Thames!) and some bird in red leather who tries to escape via a bloody hot air balloon, of all things. Stolen money, a terrorist with a bullet in his head, Stockholm's syndrome and Goldie all play a part, but the masterstroke of TWINE was the decision to include M in the plot as more than just Bond's nanny. What's her connection to the Sir Robert King? Did they have an affair? Does she regret using Elektra as bait? Trust Dame Judi to give a paper-thin character some depth with just a few looks. And despite having a superhero's name, Elektra (Sophie Marceau aka Mrs Christopher Lambert) goes from typical Bond girl who drops her knickers in the blink of an eye to an interesting and complex character. But of course, seeing as this is a Bond movie they had to go and cock it up with a ridiculously-named character who just ruins everything.
I can almost envision the discussion between the screenwriters and the producers who thought that the unspeakably gorgeous, C├ęsar-award winning French actress wasn't quite enough to fill the tit quota so they dragged in the magnificently-browed Denise Richards, star of Starship Troopers (FYI: not an insult). Having her there to look pretty and moan about her dumb-ass name (which I'm betting was only used so Bond could drop his infamously-bad final quip) is one thing, but parading a 28-year old around in a crop top and shorts and making her pretend to be a world-renowned nuclear physicist is just embarrassing for everyone involved. Actually, the only thing more embarrassing is Ms Richards trying to convince everyone that she's not a complete waste of space. ACTUAL QUOTE:

"I liked that the character was a Bond girl that was both brainy, athletic, and had depth of character, in contrast to Bond girls from previous decades."

It's that kind of fucked-up thinking that leads to being legally bound to Charlie Sheen. Off you trot, luv.
What a shame she wasn't completely cut out, because maybe then Elektra's death at the hands of Bond in front of M would have actually meant something after 90 minutes of build-up. Still, I'm not going to let that cloud my judgement of TWINE even if it is yet another example of a good Bond film that could've been great. 

Next Month: Die Another Day