James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot while protecting an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can't feel pain.James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot while protecting an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can't feel pain.James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot while protecting an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can't feel pain.
The opening sequence reveals itself to be one of the very best in the series, taut and exciting, flawlessly directed and perfectly executed. There's nothing else in the film that can quite top it, but some inspired casting helps immeasurably. Sophie Marceau is superb, and it's great to see Robbie Coltrane reprise Valentin Zukovsky, who bags many of the best lines. Judy Dench as 'M' is given a high profile in this entry, which is all to the good as she's clearly the best thing to happen to the Bond films in the Brosnan era. Alas, Desmond Llwelyn makes his final appearance as 'Q' - it would be thus even had he not died the following year - and his exit is well-handled.touching, even. On the downside, Robert Carlyle is not quite convincing as Renard, but it barely matters as Marceau is so firmly in control. Denise Richards isn't as bad as she's been made out to be - indeed, she actually seems smarter and less bland than Halle Berry in DAD.
Plot and action sequences throughout the film are deftly handled, but there are some areas where TWINE seems a little derivative, cheerfully looting the Bond back catalogue, for example in the Caucasus skiing sequence which fuses together action setpieces from YOLT and OHMSS. There are also moments of alarming silliness more redolent of the 1970s and '80s, such as the scene with John Cleese making his debut as future-'Q' and all scenes with Goldie in as Bullion. And for those of us who aren't fans of Pierce Brosnan, there's plenty to annoy - excessive jaw-clenching, lots of posing, inherent charmlessness. I'm sure he's lovely in real life, mind.
Generally, though this is a competent entry in the series, and its attempts at depth just about succeed. It is also the most `how'-and-`why'-proof Bond film since the 1960s, a refreshing change from those Bond films that arrogantly command the audience to suspend their beliefs and do all the maths themselves. Quite why it all went wrong three years later is anyone's guess, but I blame 'XXX' and a continuing adoration of 'The Matrix'.
- Bel Ludovic
- Dec 24, 2002