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007: Worst Of Brosnan – The World Is Not Enough

Spectre Series, Worst Of Pierce Brosnan, TWINE

As our tip of the hat to the almost-released Spectre, myself and fellow Movie Moron contributors Adam Mason and DalmatianJaws have been exploring the cinematic world of Bond, bringing you our thoughts on the most critically acclaimed and derided movie of each Bond actor. Our journey continues with The World Is Not Enough, a personal favorite of mine that is somehow among the lowest rated we’ve looked at. Check out the original trailer:

DNWilliams: I’m not just shocked The World Is Not Enough had such a poor critical reception. I’m outraged.

Adam Mason: The only thing I really don’t like is Denise Richards and that one silly bit with the buzz saw helicopters.

DNW: Neither of which should be all that difficult to get past. The World Is Not Enough is EASILY one of my Top 10 Bond films, and quite possibly Top 5. It’s certainly a favourite, and I personally prefer it to GoldenEye.

AM: Really? To GoldenEye? I’d say it was Brosnan’s second best film.

DNW: I find it far more consistent, and the great bits are really great.

AM: There are a number of great action scenes, the plot is decent. Couple that with the amazing reveal that the Bond girl is the real villain…it’s brilliant. And so, so ballsy. I also think the submarine finale is one of the best in the series.

DNW: It is. But before we review the movie backwards – right away, I love the opening. We get an establishing shot of the brilliant piece of Spanish architecture that is the Guggenheim before entering a neat little opening confrontation.

AM: It’s a tight, classy opening, that leads into a fantastic chase along the Thames.

DNW: Brosnan mastered the pun delivery. His expression before delivering ‘I’m sure they’re perfectly rounded’ in response to our first Bond girl saying ‘Would you like to check my figures?’ is wonderful. You see the this-is-too-easy-shall-I-yes-I-shall thought process flicker across his face in seconds.

Skyfall Series, Worst Of Pierce Brosnan
AM: It is good and his casual tone is brilliant throughout. I love that bit in the boat chase where he goes underwater and adjusts his tie.

DNW: He’s suave, but also has a real menace. Remember I said in the last review I’d remind you that Brosnan brings ruthlessness to the table? The way he takes out the room with the glasses/bomb – again, casually – is menacing as hell. And then the Bond theme plays as he exits on his makeshift abseiling rope. It’s a really cool scene.

Skyfall Series, Worst Of Pierce Brosnan
AM: I’m not knocking it at all. I believe that Brosnan should have been given more ruthless things to do, as he often ends up relying on gadgets.

DNW: This movie does have a serious hard-on for the gadgetry, it has to be said.

AM: Probably the most gadgets in the series.

DNW: Probably. The cigar Bond takes with him (along with the money/bomb) in this scene leads to a nice bit with Moneypenny.

AM: The audience is wondering if Bond brought Moneypenny a sex toy.

Skyfall Series, Worst Of Pierce Brosnan
DNW: The thought clearly crosses Moneypenny’s mind. But yeah, along with that, 007 BROUGHT A BOMB INTO MI6 HQ, the nonce. And we get our great boat chase in Q’s retirement vehicle. It really shows off London landmarks and at the same time a different perspective, because who gets to see Thames waterways, really? Plenty of bleeps and bloops in the soundtrack here, but it’s not that dated, I like the electronic element of the score.

AM: I don’t dislike it. It’s a great opening, I love how he falls down the Millennium Dome, and – at fifteen minutes – the longest one in Bond’s history.

DNW: It earns being that long, I think. They opt for the underling-would-rather-kill-themselves-than-face-the-wrath-of-the-villain thing, which always works as a build up for how threatening the character is. And then we move to the AWESOME song and opening titles.

AM: Both of which kick arse. Even if they do give away the oil plot.

DNW: It’s such a great Bond theme for so many reasons. Love the instrumentation, love the lyrics, love the vocals. It’s the closest thing there is to the trip-hop Bond theme we should’ve got in the 90s too.

AM: Truly great song.

DNW: In after the credits we get our first look at Sophie Marceau’s Elektra King, who is honestly a tremendous Bond girl.

AM: She’s great. Sexy as hell and perfectly twisted.

DNW: Her performance isn’t the greatest at times, if I’m being honest, but it works and she has such a great character to play.

AM: I prefer her to Denise Richards, easily.

DNW: Well, yeah. The Stockholm syndrome means you get such a layered character. You feel sorry for her, she’s ultimately a victim, but at the same time she is 100% irredeemable and a complete Femme Fatale.

AM: It’s a cracking character study that she has, infinitely deeper than most of the other girls. What’s more interesting is that she starts out as a victim, but became dominant of Renard. Making her the real villain of the piece.

Skyfall Series, Worst Of Pierce Brosnan
DNW: The post-funeral mission briefing (no internment is complete without one) introduces John Cleese as R/the next Q. What do you make of him?

AM: John Cleese is a legend in every sense of the word, but even he cannot play off against Desmond Llewellyn. I keep expecting him to slap down a dead parrot. And he’s a more comedy-centric character than Q. Q’s exit here always brings a tear to my eye.

DNW: I think it was quite a canny decision to replace someone who owned the role of Q for so long with a national treasure. What kind of objection can you REALLY make to John Cleese being in the movie? It’s John Cleese. Definitely more buffoonery than ever before, but still. And you’re quite right, Q’s exit is perfect. The line ‘always have an escape plan’ and the little disappearance below the floor is a good send off.

AM: And the worry on Bond’s face as he says, ‘You’re not retiring anytime soon…are you?’ Sadness all round, given even more gravity by Desmond’s passing.

Skyfall Series, Worst Of Pierce Brosnan
DNW: They just pile on the tenderness in this movie, as we get to the Elektra King story, with Bond watching news footage relating to her capture.

AM: Making the audience worry for her immediately.

DNW: It’s great – I love the way Bond touches the screen. It’s a touch-screen computer, so he’s pausing the footage, but REALLY he’s being all sensitive and stuff.

Skyfall Series, Worst Of Pierce Brosnan
AM: And she’s crying and he look all concerned. It’s definitely great character stuff. Then the intro of Renard and the explanation of what makes him different – unable to feel anything.

DNW: With the visual aid of a GIANT HOLOGRAM ROBERT CARLYLE.

AM: Something no home is complete without.

DNW: We’ve glossed over Bond’s sleeping his way into passing a medical examination – because it’s completely irrelevant to absolutely everything and exists only to have Bond sleep with more than just two women. Two women just would not do.

AM: No, of course. he needs a third conquest. I wish my doctor wore lacy French panties. I wish my doctor was also a woman.

Skyfall Series, Worst Of Pierce Brosnan

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4 Comments »

  • gd smith said

    To be fair Brosnan isn’t the problem here. I don’t really rate his Bond but he’s not actually that bad an actor and can be very effective in the right role. TWINE just plays out like a bigger budget version of one of Steven Seagal’s straight to DVD epics, which would be fine if it wasn’t a Bond film. But it is still nowhere near as bad as Moonraker, Octopussy or The Quantum of Bourne Inferiority.

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  • Zach Marsh said

    Great review and analysis of TWINE. Really made me re-contemplate my thoughts on the movie (I had it as something like the fourth-worst Bond film and Brosnan’s second-worst before reading this) and I’m seriously doubting myself on this.

    This was the first Bond film I ever watched, I was seven years old, and your comment on how the torture scene makes you feel struck a chord because I had that exact reaction to it when I was seven. It was almost painful.

    Brosnan is possibly my least-favourite Bond (though Moore is arguably down there as well, it’s hard to tell) but I have to re-watch this one for sure. I think I’ll definitely at least switch it with TND (which I have ranked higher than TWINE, even though TND’s plot is awful). Great, great review. Thanks for this series.

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    • dnwilliams said

      You’ve shattered my preconceptions regarding the correlation between age and Bond preferences. I would have thought seeing Brosnan at the age of seven would give him a massive nostalgia boost! That and this movie being your first experience with the series.

      I’m glad you’re re-evaluating the movie, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    Easily my favourite Brosnan Bond. But it sure rocks one of the worst big budget trailers of the last 20 years.

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