film, James Bond

Movie Review: The World Is Not Enough

As far as Bond films go I know I have seen worse, but I know there is better; if you recall this was the only Pierce Bronsan Bond film not in my top 10 Bond films. While there were elements I did not like, I wouldn’t go so far as to say no if you want to watch The World Is Not Enough, I would say sure. A spoiler alert is ahead. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.

Bond starts off in a Swiss bank retrieving money for oil tycoon and friend of M (Judi Dench) Sir Robert King (David Calder) after the original MI6 agent who was supposed to do it was killed. Bond just escapes with the money after the bankers try to kill him without getting the name of the assassin. However the money is booby-trapped and before Bond could warn King the money explodes and King is killed. Bond goes after the assassin, but she kills herself out of fear of the perpetrator behind it and Bond is hurt. Bond traces the money back to a terrorist who has been after MI6 and the King family for a long time: Renard (Robert Carlyle) a man with a bullet in his head preventing him from feeling anything, and who once kidnapped, among other things including cutting off part of her ear, King’s daughter Elektra (Sophie Marceau) for ransom and M advised King not to pay it; Elektra managed to escape on her own. M assigns Bond to watch over Elektra as she observes the construction of a pipe line in Azerbaijan, after getting some gear from Q (Desmond Llewellyn in his final role before his fatal car accident) and his assistant Bond dubs R (John Cleese). Bond and Elektra are attacked on ski mountain, which Bond suspects has to do with Renard; he visits his acquaintance Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane) to get more information. He is able to track down Renard, and also meets nuclear physicist Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), but Renard gets away with a bomb and plutonium. However he places some doubt in Bonds mind as to Elektra’s innocence. Bond warns M, who doesn’t seem to believe it, until the bomb shows up in the pipeline. Bond and Jones let the bomb blow up, and Elektra’s true plans are reveled; she is the one in charge after seducing Renard and kidnaps M. She wanted to make her father pay not only for not paying her ransom but from taking her mother’s oil company. She wants to destroy the Russian oil pipeline forcing them to only use the King’s pipeline at a high price. Bond, Jones, M and eventually Zukovsky are not going to let that happen.

Now the acting by many of the people in this movie are not fantastic, Bronsan is not at his best and well my thoughts on Richards will be later, but not everyone is bad. Marceau is pretty good as the first, and so far only, female Bond villain. It was actually kinda of a twist because Carlyle was so good as Renard you actually thought he was the main bad guy. They are the only memorable acting parts in the movie. The writing could have been better in many places, but the action and gadgets more than make up for it. If you are interested in The World Is Not Enough then by all means watch it, if not I wouldn’t put it too high on the watch list.

film, James Bond, must see

Movie Review: GoldenEye

Now we are getting into the Bond films I am pretty sure everyone knows about; they may have watched the movie or played the video game either way. Constantly listed as one of the best Bond films, usually within the top two at most, GoldenEye was the first Bond film in over six years, and it was well worth the wait,; i would even call it a must see even if you are not a Bond fan. As always spoilers ahead. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.

James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) along with a fellow MI6 agent Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean) infiltrate and destroy a Soviet chemicals facility holding weapons. Bond escapes but Alec is taken and seemingly killed by Colonel Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov (Gottfried John). Nine years later Bond is assigned to find out more about the Janus crime syndicate, which he does by following one of the members (if you have not seen the film I swear this is the name) Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), Moneypenny (Samantha Bond) does make a joke about it. Unfortunately Bond is one step behind Onatopp after she kills a Canadian Navy admiral for his credentials and steals a Eurocopter Tiger helicopter. She along with Ourumov go to Siberia; stealing the control disks for the Goldeneye satellites, satellite weapons used during the Cold War and massacre the entire staff except for programmer Boris Grishenko (Alan Cumming) who is on their side and Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco) who hid out until she could escape. Bond is assigned by M (Dame Judi Dench) to investigate the attack. With the help of CIA operative Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker, told you we’d see him again) and reluctant ally Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane) Bond meets with the person responsible for everything; Janus aka the not so dead Alec Trevelyan. Having vowed to destroy MI6, not for leaving him for dead, but for the deaths of his Cossack parents during World War II, Trevelyan along with Onatopp, Boris and Ourumov plan to use the GoldenEye satellites to destroy the British economy by robbing the Bank of England and erase its financial┬árecords. Bond along with Natalya and Wade are determined to make sure that does not happen.

This is without question one of the best Bond films to ever be made and it was sort of a breath of fresh air for the franchise. Many made their debut as characters we know and love; Brosnan as 007, Dench as M and Bond as Moneypenny with only Desmond Llewellyn returning as Q. The Brosnan era Bonds were the ones I think my generation are more familiar with and why these are some of my favorite Bond films, but of course GoldenEye is at the top. I think Brosnan is my second favorite Bond (Connery of course at the top spot) as he is the right amount of charming but dangerous. He is quick to pick up his gun or how to get the bad guy in a deadly position before ultimately executing depending on the situation. I, like I know so many others, absolutely love Judi Dench as M. Many will argue is the best version of that character, and you won’t get an argument from me. While I think Dench is great as M in this era of Bond we all know she shines in the Craig versions but that is for another day. Before I move on I also love Samantha Bond as Moneypenny; while she does not come close to Lois Maxwell she does very well.

My thoughts on Natalya will be later so I’d like to focus on the characters that let’s face it we all love to hate in this movie; the villains. Sean Bean is one of the finest actors today and this is one of his best works. Trevelyan is basically an evil version of Bond and one of the best villains not just in the franchise but in movies (OK not that high on the list but right where he should be). Ourumov is also fantastic as it seemed for a long time he was the bad guy, but nope. He’s more working for his own goals rather than Trevelyan, but still he is great. I’ve always loved Alan Cumming in movies and he is both a joy and a nuisance to watch here, “I am INVINCIBLE”, really dude. While all three of them stick out in their own way however no villain or femme fatale is more memorable in this film than Onatopp. Let me give you some of the reasons of the top of my head: that name, she is gorgeous as well as deadly, she takes (ahem) pleasure out killing and for the love of God uses her THIGHS to kill a guy while taking pleasure! Tell me that is not crazy. I honestly think this is one of the very few women on the bad guy side that Bond actually does not sleep with, if HE doesn’t sleep with HER you know he knows how nuts he is.

The story of GoldenEye is very well written as is the action. I could not think of a Bond movie up until that point that had more guns and explosions, which is probably why people love this movie so much in addition to the performances. If you have not seen GoldenEye I would say watch this as soon as you can, even if you are not a huge fan of the Bond franchise.