The World is Not Enough (1999)
Director: Michael Apted
James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Notable villain(s): Renard
Notable Bond girl(s): Elektra King, Dr Christmas Jones
Thinking about this film, my first thought is that it is a solid 007 flick, with all the elements that we’ve come to love about the franchise. There’s stunning (and very feisty) Bond girls, a villain who has more hidden depths than the likes of Goldfinger and Scaramanga, and a plot full of action and betrayal.
While it is solidly in the franchise’s groove, I am reluctant to give it any more than three stars. There is plenty of substance, as noted in the previous paragraph, but, for me, not enough style. It’s hard to explain, but I’m just not enamoured by this film. As alway, this is my personal opinion so do feel free to leave a comment and reveal your opinions on this film.
Again, the dangerous and flirtatious Elektra King is a very solid too. When I get round to compiling it, she’ll definitely make my Top 10 Bond Girls list. Dr Christmas Jones, on the other hand, is more comic relief. Denise Richard’s doesn’t particularly bring any emotion to the character, but I assume from the male perspective that she has a lot of sex appeal…
Die Another Day (2002)
Director: Lee Tamahori
James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Notable villain(s): Zao
Notable Bond girl(s): Jinx
I love Pierce Brosnan as 007. Honestly, I really do. Sadly, this is one of my least favourite films in the franchise. The plot is ridiculous and I found the relationship between 007 and Jinx to be as cold and unlikely as the ice hotel in which the super spy visits.
For one reason or another, Die Another Day took the franchise to new and, quite frankly, ludicrous heights. While the previous films did stretch the boundaries of reality in one way or another, I’ve never found any of them to be completely implausible. Sure, the underwater car in the Spy Who Loved Me was very outlandish, but I felt the rest of the film was exciting without being too over the top. I know that might sound silly, what with the film’s villain’s impressive underwater hideout, but it’s what I think.
Die Another Day, on the other hand, goes from one improbable plot point to another, and I can’t actually think of one thing I like. The Bond girls, Jinx (Halle Berry) and Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike), are very average while the villain (and the reason behind his altered appearance) is laughable (“You only get one shot at life. Why waste it on sleep?”). Don’t even get me started on the ice hotel or Bond’s airborne escape after being chased by Graves’ ice-melting laser…
The only thing that I did enjoy about the film was the beautiful Aston Martin Vanquish. It was fantastic to see an Aston Martin back playing such a pivotal role in the franchise: whenever I think of Bond’s cars I always think of Aston Martin and the Aston Martin DB5.
Current order of preference: Goldfinger, Thunderball, The Man with the Golden Gun, You Only Live Twice, Licence to Kill, Dr. No, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Living Daylights, A View to a Kill, Goldeneye, Octopussy, The Spy Who Loved Me, Live and Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever, The World is Not Enough, From Russia With Love, For Your Eyes Only, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Moonraker and, in last place, Die Another Day.
You can read all my mini reviews and posts in my Bondathon series here.