“You wanna put that in English for those of us who don’t speak spy?”

The World is Not Enough (1999)

THE VITALS
Director: Michael Apted
James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Notable villain(s): Renard
Notable Bond girl(s): Elektra King, Dr Christmas Jones

Thinking about this film, my first thought is that it is a solid 007 flick, with all the elements that we’ve come to love about the franchise. There’s stunning (and very feisty) Bond girls, a villain who has more hidden depths than the likes of Goldfinger and Scaramanga, and a plot full of action and betrayal.

While it is solidly in the franchise’s groove, I am reluctant to give it any more than three stars. There is plenty of substance, as noted in the previous paragraph, but, for me, not enough style. It’s hard to explain, but I’m just not enamoured by this film. As alway, this is my personal opinion so do feel free to leave a comment and reveal your opinions on this film.

Again, the dangerous and flirtatious Elektra King is a very solid too. When I get round to compiling it, she’ll definitely make my Top 10 Bond Girls list. Dr Christmas Jones, on the other hand, is more comic relief. Denise Richard’s doesn’t particularly bring any emotion to the character, but I assume from the male perspective that she has a lot of sex appeal…

★★★

Die Another Day (2002)

THE VITALS

Director: Lee Tamahori
James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Notable villain(s): Zao
Notable Bond girl(s): Jinx

I love Pierce Brosnan as 007. Honestly, I really do. Sadly, this is one of my least favourite films in the franchise. The plot is ridiculous and I found the relationship between 007 and Jinx to be as cold and unlikely as the ice hotel in which the super spy visits.

For one reason or another, Die Another Day took the franchise to new and, quite frankly, ludicrous heights. While the previous films did stretch the boundaries of reality in one way or another, I’ve never found any of them to be completely implausible. Sure, the underwater car in the Spy Who Loved Me was very outlandish, but I felt the rest of the film was exciting without being too over the top. I know that might sound silly, what with the film’s villain’s impressive underwater hideout, but it’s what I think.

Die Another Day, on the other hand, goes from one improbable plot point to another, and I can’t actually think of one thing I like. The Bond girls, Jinx (Halle Berry) and Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike), are very average while the villain (and the reason behind his altered appearance) is laughable (“You only get one shot at life. Why waste it on sleep?”). Don’t even get me started on the ice hotel or Bond’s airborne escape after being chased by Graves’ ice-melting laser…

The only thing that I did enjoy about the film was the beautiful Aston Martin Vanquish. It was fantastic to see an Aston Martin back playing such a pivotal role in the franchise: whenever I think of Bond’s cars I always think of Aston Martin and the Aston Martin DB5.

★★

Current order of preference: GoldfingerThunderballThe Man with the Golden GunYou Only Live TwiceLicence to KillDr. NoTomorrow Never Dies, The Living Daylights, A View to a KillGoldeneyeOctopussyThe Spy Who Loved MeLive and Let DieDiamonds Are Forever, The World is Not EnoughFrom Russia With LoveFor Your Eyes Only, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Moonraker and, in last place, Die Another Day.

You can read all my mini reviews and posts in my Bondathon series here.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on ““You wanna put that in English for those of us who don’t speak spy?””

  1. Yeah, the best things about TWiNE are primarily around Electra King (Sophie Marceau). I have a male perspective and Christmas Jones was still laughably bad, and knocks down a good bit of the film (only Tanya Roberts in ‘A View to a Kill’ is more inept, IMO). ‘Die Another Day’ remains my second worst OO7 film of all time (and a sad exit for Pierce Brosnan). The film made a boat-load of money, but I don’t know any Bond fan who considers it a favorite. Fine looks at these, Claire.

    1. Thanks, Michael! I think TWINE will be one of those Bond films that I put on in the background while I’m doing something else. It’s an entertaining watch that you don’t really need to spend a lot of attention in.

      Die Another Day is one I will avoid for the rest of my life! As you said, it was a sad exit for Brosnan. He certainly fitted Bond’s boots but for one reason or another – bad direction, poor writing – the Brosnan era doesn’t feature any striking, five out of five films.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s