I really like the James Bond franchise. This is part twenty of a behind schedule, bimonthly, 24-part series of me watching James Bond movies and providing a stream of consciousness style commentary for a given film. I will also rank the movies so stay tuned for that at the bottom of the piece.
James Bond’s family motto, The World Is Not Enough, comes in as the final Bond movie of the 20th century. In many ways, this movie embodies the promise and failings of the Brosnan era: The acting is strong with Brosnan brining it to match Sophie Marceau and Robert Carlyle. But the movie is serious and whimsical with no real core emotional theme. It’s Dalton and Moore rolled into one cigar. If I recall, this is also the first movie to be released by MGM and not United Artists; hard to stay independent over the years.
· Just commenting on Brosnan looking so clutch in the gun barrel. He is not phased at all
· Seeing James Bond in glasses struck me this time. It’s such an odd look you know it has to be gadgetry
· Bond double take when offered a cigar.
· We have some financial banter right here before the flashbang goes off
· That the banker gets up and still is holding the cigar is too much of a commitment to the prop
· The idea that the curtain string is that long and that sturdy is very enjoyable
· This opening scene is the longest in the movie and it is an odd editing choice given the return to England
· Construction…the exact opposite of Bond’s specialty.
· This scene with King, the money, and the explosion is really very good. It is clever technology no matter the era.
· What isn’t clever: having a wet dock on at least the 5th floor of a building on the water
· Bond movies never make enough use of London so getting to see the city from the water is great
· Brosnan knows where that camera is for that spit take coming up from the dive.
· We driving boats in the street? Roger Moore smiles
· “Not from him.” is an oft used refrain
· Small note, Bond drops down in the opening titles with the injury intact. Small but satisfying.
· “The World is Not Enough” — Garbage
· This song is fantastic. Maybe in my top five Bond songs. It’s sexy, the lyrics are reflected all over the movie, and goes with the oil based sequence.
· Separately, these titles are really great. I imagine Spectre used these as reference material.
· Bill Tanner is back explaining the details of the King murder. He was there for Goldeneye but gone for Tomorrow Never Dies. Evil Queen of Numbers has softened up
· Is this a meeting of the Double-0s?
· Bond and a female doctor…always trouble.
· The bagpipe gag is a good one.
· Q is really struggling and, wow, John Cleese is here! Oh, R!
· So clearly the specs are X-Ray and Bond sells it on that first look to R with them on.
· This snow coat is pretty great and I know climbers have access to some tech that inflates and keeps them safer in avalanches.
· That final Q scene is sad because Desmond Llewelyn died in a car accident
· Bond just interrupting a meeting and everyone letting it happen is bananas
· M coldly revealing she used the woman as bait to get the terrorist is why she is M
· Oh it’s finally the villain. Renard!
· 009 shot him in the head and he isn’t dead. Is that a good job or bad job by 009?
· Tension is high between Moneypenny and Dr. Warmflash
· THE DOCTOR’S NAME IS MOLLY WARMFLASH. THEY ARENT EVEN TRYING ANYMORE!
· “Shadows stay in front or behind…never on top.” — M stays making veiled references to Bond’s escapades.
· This movie was my first introduction to Azerbaijan
· This plot point is incredible and should be commented on. Elektra is driven by betrayal and her commitment to the Azerbaijani people (it is her background) is nice but also distracts. She is out for revenge for what feels like betrayal to her by not paying the ransom from her kidnapping.
· No not meaning no for James Bond? Yeah, it’s classic Bond in the 20th century
· Bond references King enjoying being chased and it happening often. King says not as often as you may think (GET IT…LIKE HER FATHER DIDN’T CHASE HER TO GET HER BACK FROM BEING KIDNAPPED)
· Big fan of the parahawk that cannot shoot Bond from 10 feet away. Really screwed the pooch
· Bond dropping the quip, seeing the parachute, and frowning is hugely underrated entertainment value
· Brosnan and Marceau are bringing their A-games in the avalanche coat bubble
· Bond getting called out for being afraid to be involved with King is ice cold
· This casino sucks!
· Bond’s quick move to knife the tie to the bar is great
· He consumes that martini SO fast. His chest has to be on fire
· Zukovsky! He is a joy and wish we could get more of him in the series post-Cold War
· I would love to go into a casino and demand a game of high card draw
· The movie puts a lot of faith on the viewer to follow the lines of deception earlier on in the movie. This high risk payoff that Bond merely frowns upon is a great example of a note that is acknowledged but it isn’t overplayed
· The Devil’s Breath is a bit more than charming.
· Villain fake out killing of own person. Bingo card free spot filled in
· Bond doesn’t like the kinky ice time
· Visa, ay? Card does open doors to access a ton of neat features. (Put me in a writer’s room for puns)
· 1999 selfies were a gas
· Bond kills Davidov without a silencer or anything. Let the entire world know a gun has been fired around there
· Shoe culture changes the international landscape
· What is this accent and why is he capturing the pretentiousness so perfectly?
· Why is Denise Richards walking over like that I will never know!
· Let’s get this out the way quickly: Christmas Jones is terrible and is a distraction in the worst way possible
· Bond never gets his hands on the villain this early in the movie with the opportunity to just finish them.
· Bond preparing to execute Renard is something Dalton’s Bond would’ve done
· Medical injury puns
· For just a very quick moment, Bond goes dual wield with pistols which may be Brosnan’s unique trait. He does it again with the cart stuck in the door
· Genuinely don’t have much to say about the weapons silo shootout
· Bond figuring out Elektra is fraudulent but being so lovestruck to process it all is a remarkable bit of weakness to be on full display
· Bond sitting in the helicopter with a full suit on about to do some serious stuff is hilarious. Lose the coat and tie at the very least. It’s hot and restricting
· Not sure if it’s the timing or the way this is shot but I don’t get the feeling of stakes in this scene that I know is high stakes
· Bond: “Look, someone’s striped the screws.” Jones: “Someone’s tampered with the bomb.” Sigh. THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS WHEN THE SCREWS ARE STRIPPED! CMON, DOC!
· Love the idea of Bond letting it explode here and getting some leverage.
· Elektra King revealing herself was a bit forced but it was satisfying to see she revealed the real pin
· Look at Bond hamming up the shoulder injury
· Strictly plutonic relationship with a bang
· Renard’s repeated references to his impending death are a bit exhausting. It’s an act that gets thin quickly
· We get it Renard…you feel nothing. Grow up tough guy.
· This dialog between Zukovsky/Bond is pretty entertaining
· Every time I watch this movie, I go back and forth on how I feel about the forest saws at the caviar factory. Some times its just too much. Others, it’s the right type of over the top. This watching is the latter
· Cutting the car in half to eliminate it from the movie and a pendulum swing away from Tomorrow Never Dies is reasonable
· Zukovsky’s smirk when the car is destroyed is a good reminder that these two “allies” are former enemies and Bond doesn’t always have everything go perfectly for him.
· The final explosion over the helicopter is classic “action movie things must explode” theater
· Boom there it is! It’s a plot for control of oil. Ingenious. Revenge loaded throughout the way but it’s a capitalist fever pitch all the same
· “Time for you to die” and the new movie is “No Time To Die.” I SEE A CONNECTION!
· I’ve actually been to Maiden’s Tower
· You don’t see it often but the ol’ poisoning of the crew worked to perfection
· Sophie Marceau is acting her heart out as a manipulator of everyone and the primary villain
· Brosnan is acting his clinched jaw off in this scene.
· Elektra’s ego coming through is really strong. Need more women as villains
· Let’s have a word about canes. They are so fantastic to hide drinks and weapons inside
· Elektra seem thrilled to be chased after Bond escapes; the tease of Bond not killing in cold blood is such a button push
· So Bond shoots her down and does this very odd linger. We’ll return to their emotional relationship and why it doesn’t make sense.
· Perfect dive into the water (and he takes his jacket off for that)
· Like to see Bond navigate a chaotic situation and, YES, we get some classic “shoot the controls” but it works this time because they cant adjust something that is broken. Movies love shooting speedometers as if that stops the actual momentum.
· Water everywhere and Denise Richards in a movie. Casual Wet T-shirt situation on display here. Lazy lazy
· “Welcome to my nuclear family” is not justified villain punning.
· I always forget that these sets are expertly designed to look good even as the submarine is tilted all the way down. Great set design.
· Bond incredibly fortunate that where he is trapped features the controls to eject rods from this chamber. Always ready
· Underwater explosions need to be explored far more by this franchise
· Worst line in the franchise here: I thought Christmas comes once a year. Face meet palm.
And there you have it. It’s an unbalanced, good movie. The acting and plot are mature. It’s another scheme (oil) but with a complex plot about revenge and manipulation from a unique villain. But the movie suffers in the tone shifts and Dr. Christmas Jones hurts the proceedings. Probably one of the harder ones to rank but it slots in blow at:
2) From Russia With Love
5) The Living Daylights
6) The Spy Who Loved Me
7) Live and Let Die
8) The World is Not Enough
9) License to Kill
10) Tomorrow Never Dies
11) Dr. No
13) The Man with the Golden Gun
14) A View to a Kill
16) For Your Eyes Only
18) Diamonds Are Forever
20) Never Say Never Again