I find it hard to believe people are raving about the action scenes. They were awful. Michael Apted has never directed an action movie before and it's painfully obvious. The shoot-outs are okay, but everything else is lame. There is no flair or intensity, every sequence is uncomfortable and clumsy. The showdown with Renard at the climax is incredibly amatuer and weak - like something you'd see on a BBC TV series. Which is pretty appalling when you compare it to the awesome showdown with Darth Maul at the climax of The Phantom Menace (1999), of the same year, and the blistering action of Tomorrow Never Dies two years previously. As an action film, TWINE just doesn't cut it.
Pierce Brosnan gets more emotional, human and serious as Bond, which the critics seem to like, but let's not forget why the public didn't accept Timothy Dalton - because he was too emotional, human and serious. The 'this time it's personal' tag behind the film is an action movie cliche we've heard 4 million times before. And it's been personal in the last three 007 flicks - in Licence to Kill (1989), Bond's friend was fed to a shark. In GoldenEye, another of his friends turned against him. In Tomorrow Never Dies, his old girlfriend turned against him. And now in TWINE, Bond feels guilty for unintentionally aiding an assasination. Brosnan plays an emotionally repressed secret agent exceptionally well in certain scenes, but is this what people wnat to see from James Bond? The more screwed up in the head 007 becomes, the more uncertain and upset he gets, the less attractive as a character he becomes.
Many agree that Brosnan didn't quite become Bond until Tomorrow Never Dies, in which he was perfect. But he's altered his performance again, and now he's certainly going the Timothy Dalton way. Let's hope he knows what he's doing. I was, before the film, a big supporter of Brosnan, but now I'm not so sure. He still hasn't QUITE achieved the character as only Connery and Moore have before. I'm really hoping Adrian Paul (Highlander: Endgame) gets a shot at the role now.
As for the other characters, I can't believe Valentine Zukovsky is supposed to be the same character as in GoldenEye. In that movie he was a tough, greedy, dangerous crimeboss. Now he's simply a wise-cracking comicrelief bumbling fool who can't be taken seriously for a second. What a waste. Denise Richards has taken a lot of stick for her terrible performance as Dr. Christmas Jones, but there is little she could have done in such a dead-end role. But, yeah, she is terrible. Thankfully she's kept off-screen most of the time in her suspiciously Lara Croft-esque costume.
It's also a shame that while Bond managed a smile when seeing Zukovsky for the last time, he couldn't as he watched Q exit for the very last time. Desmond Llewelyn was perfect as always as the disgruntled gadget-giver. He will be sadly missed.
Bond movies ARE action adventures. Choosing a director blatantly uncomfortable and unfarmiliar with the genre is just a stupid move. Apted shoots the whole movie like a period piece, a costume drama, and forgets what TWINE is. In the end, it's entertaining, and it proberbaly better than GoldenEye, but it's not Bond-y enough for a Bond movie. It's a shame, but The World Is Not Enough is a number of steps in the wrong direction. Tomorrow Never Dies remains the only true 90's Bond movie. TWINE, like GoldenEye, just strays too far from the essential formula and pays the price. And a screeching abomination of a theme tune (no wonder they're called Garbage) doesn't help.
Worth seeing for a great performance from Marceau and an even better one from Carlyle, but whatever you do, see Tomorrow Never Dies first. It is not only one of the best 007 flicks, it's one of the best action movies ever, and far more deserving of your attention.
Extremely little-known fact: The idea of Renard being unable to feel pain is taken from the character Stamper in Tomorrow Never Dies. Stamper had the same afffiction in that movie, which is why, even when he is stabbed in the leg, he doesn't seem to notice. The line when the audience are told this was cut so they could use the idea in TWINE for Renard.