Seeing it now, it's easy to see why people don't like it. Tanya Roberts and Grace Jones can't act, the atmosphere of the film is much bleaker than usual. But, what the hell, the story is highly original and exciting, bringing James Bond into the computer age. The stunt scenes are stupendous, especially the jump from the Eiffel Tower. The incidental music is undoubtedly among the best of the Bond's.
It has all the makings of a classic Bond Movie and this shows through. If they could just improve the script and re-cast the female parts(give Fiona Fullerton the lead), then it would be a classic Bond. Why is it that these minor flaws lead to it being condemned along the lines of "The worst Bond ever made" etc.?
When you look at the 80's James Bonds, there seems to be something about them that has been lost in the recent Pierce Brosnan ones. Back in the 80's James Bond was outstanding British in its style. Now, it is clearly made with the Americans in mind. I think what is missing is probably the traditional ingredients of a spy thriller that have been replaced by the mundane pedestrian Hollywood action/adventure styles of the most recent ones.
This from the director of Men in Black too? Basically the problem was he shot a script that wasn't ready. Some of the lines in it were so lame. There were a lot of moments when it could have been really hilarious but the dialogue spoiled it.
Also, it became exceedingly slow going and boring. I fell asleep in the middle of it and missed much of Salma Hayek. I was not alone as the people I was in the cinema with started to leave right at the queue for the end (when the villain is disposed with)
Revise the script and it will be funny. Edit out the dodgy bits about sex and you could make it a children's movie.
It represents a big missed opportunity on James Cameron's part. A movie made on this scale could surely be vying to compete with Gone with the Wind and Citizen Kane in terms of artistic quality, but it seems that all that matters is size. Instead, the plot only competes with with your average cheap romance novel and a typical hollywood churned out action/adventure movie.
If you're disappointed with the history, you should see the JC Titanic Explorer CD-Rom as it fills in many gaps and contains many scenes cut from the movie which will make the Director's cut very worthwhile. They could re-make it perhaps if they havn't dismantled the sets and make the necessary improvements.
But, all round, it's great watching it.