For some reason, I never really got into James Bond. I knew he
existed, and I certainly thought secret agents were pretty cool and all, but I
just never saw any of the films, or if I did, I never got into them. I preferred
science fiction and fantasy as a kid, and pretty much stuck to those genres. So,
believe it or not, the very first James Bond film I ever saw was 1997’s Tomorrow
Never Dies. I later saw Goldeneye, and then rented Dr. No, and
have also seen Never Say Never Again. I liked the Pierce Brosnan ones –
they were clearly the product of a culture that had been accustomed to
high-speed, high-body-count action films, a post-T2 cinematic audience.
As an action fan, I found them greatly enjoyable; but were they truly
"James Bond movies"?
The answer is – I’m not certain. I suppose it depends on when
you became a Bond fan, who you consider the definitive Bond, and what aspects of
Bond films you like. Connery was the suave seducer, or so he seems; he was also
the misogynistic bastard who would shoot a woman ten minutes after sleeping with
her. I haven’t seen much of either Moore or Dalton, but Moore seems to be the
one who was usually wrapped up in the technologically-based plots, such as Moonraker
and the like, and Dalton was just so of an interim Bond (though one of my
friends, a Bond connoisseur, swears by Dalton).
Brosnan, for better or for worse, must be the late-90’s bad-ass
action hero. He must shoot people – a lot of people. He must do unbelievable
stunts (see the opening sequence of Goldeneye – I mean, come on!).
He must cause explosions – big ones, and lots of ’em.
There are tons of explosions in The World is Not
Enough. I think just about every major set piece ends up getting blown up at
some point or another. I remember at one point, when Bond enters an interesting
new area, I turned to my friend and said, in my best approximation of Brosnan’s
accent, "Hmm, I’ll have a lot of fun blowing this place up." Sure
enough, less than ten minutes later – boom.
But there’s really nothing wrong with the explosions. Then come
in between the usual Bond stand-bys – sleeping with beautiful women, making
double entendres that no woman would ever let a real man get away with
(especially not one she was going to sleep with), engaging in high-speed aquatic
chase scenes, engaging in high-speed ski chase scenes, playing with neato
gadgets, dodging helicopters sporting economy-size band saws, etc. All that, and
yes ladies, Mr. Brosnan looks damned good, doesn’t he?
While my Bond connoisseur friend has called TWINE his
favorite Brosnan Bond film so far, I have to say that while it was entertaining,
I’m not sure it was any more or less entertaining than the other two. Actually,
let me correct that. Plot and action-wise, none of the films have a particular
edge. But TWINE has Sophie Marceau and Denise Richards (who looks damned
good, even if I’ll never, ever believe she’s a nuclear scientist. Ever.).
The character that seems to be the film’s villain, Renard (Robert Carlyle) is
ignored for half the film and never really given the chance to develop – though
there’s something of a reason for that. Marceau shines, however, as the newest,
gloriously sexy Bond girl, with the hot accent (English is her fourth language,
or something like that). And for the first time, I found Denise Richards to be
hot. Nothing else I’ve seen her in (Starship Troopers, Wild Things, Drop
Dead Gorgeous) managed to give her quite the same ring-a-ding-ding as this
Overall, TWINE is at least as good as its two
predecessors, and maybe a little better. So if you’re a Bond fan, an action
movie fan, or ideally both, make sure you check this film out.