16. The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The One Where Bond Shoots a Lady in the Face
James Bond 007 attempts to thwart a terrorist assassination/bomb plot on MI6 headquarters, and chases down the culprit via awesome Q branch mini-boat. Then the movie gets really good as there is a clear villain, Renard, and as Bond tracks him down he’s confronted by Sophie Marceau who is probably one of the lovilier Bond ladies. I think almost everybody bought into Marceau’s performance as a victim of a terrorist and had no idea she was in league with Renard until it was ultimately too late.
That first half of the film is very engaging and good, and then I also enjoyed the scene where Marceau taunts and tortures Bond before he ultimately and rather ruthlessly shoots her was also pretty unexpected surprise. I think a lot of Bond films skirt the issue that James Bond has a license to kill.
The downer part of the film was Christmas Jones/Denise Richards who sort of became a reluctant partner to Bond as they ran around the globe trying to disarm nukes and she had no real importance to the story – often distracting it. Easy to argue that the role was miscast, but I think it just didn’t even need to be there.
The second half of the film after M is captured really fell victim to pacing and an odd focus on M and Elecktra’s relationship interspersed with Bond sorting out his ex-KGB Russian fri-enemy from Goldeneye to track down the M. It got hokey in my opinion. I feel it’s seldom a good idea to bring back characters from previous Bond films.
Also felt Garbage was an incredibly odd choice to handle the soundtrack…
Why 16 and not 17?
I simply just prefer Brosnan’s Bond to Moore’s – and for a least a good long while, this movie had me captivated – which is something I can’t say is true for some of the previous films on this list.