Release Date: 11/20/99
Director: Michael Apted
Music: David Arnold
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards, Judi Dench, John Cleese
Disappointing, and more so the more I think about it. Not one of Bond's better outings, but still fairly enjoyable. This time around, James Bond (a tired looking Pierce Brosnan) is involved with a stolen nuclear bomb and a controversial European oil pipeline. The pipeline is being funded and built by the impossibly pretty Sophie Marceau, who is simply AMAZING to watch, and Bond is assigned to protect her. He also picks up nuclear physicist Christmas Jones (a sorely miscast Denise Richards) along the way, and they end up working on the case together. The needlessly confusing plot winds around all over the place, ultimately leading to a showdown on a sinking submarine with yet another mentally imbalanced villain.
Unfortunately, the film never seems to gel. The plot is overwrought and confusing, and the characters spend too much time explaining things to the audience, which is a cardinal sin for an action film to commit. For the most part, the sluggish action sequences lack vitality and tend to favor outlandish gimmicks over raw adrenaline pumping excitement - the flying snowmobiles and aerial tree saws come to mind. Additionally, Bond's new car is a complete waste as it gets destroyed before it ever gets used. And poor Denise Richards - even when's she's playing a scientist she comes off as a dingbat bimbo. Her lines are bad to begin with, but her flat and lifeless delivery is downright dreadful (reminiscent of Pamela Anderson's performance in "Barb Wire" (1996) ). On the plus side, Pierce Brosnan is great, although he's starting to look a little haggard and worn out (and he really needs to lose that awful blue shirt). Sophie Marceau is spectacularly exciting, and she owns every scene she's in. Her presence is so powerful that you simply can't take your eyes off of her. In the action department, the highlight of the film is the opening set piece which features a very exciting boat chase and an awesome gun-toting cigar girl - too bad the rest of the film doesn't live up to that. It's also nice to see M (Judi Dench) get a meatier role, and the addition of John Cleese to the cast is a welcome breath of fresh air. If you don't go in expecting much, it's not a bad way to waste a couple of hours.