I love Pierce Brosnan as Bond.
Absolutely. Brosnan doesn't get enough love on these boards. I still think he gave his best Bond performance first time out. Exactly what I wanted in Bond.
Shame about the film, tho'.
Loved the gun barrel and Serra's music. Still think it's one of the series' best. Good enough PTS even if the special effect fakery showing Brosnan free-falling ranks as one of the worst special effects ever. Didn't think much of the title song. Tries too hard for the Bond sound and is too tonally monotonous - i.e. barely changes keys. Maybe John Barry can come back for the next one. Didn't like the title sequence either. Still don't understand why. I know almost everyone else thinks it's great, but it leaves me cold. I guess it's just me. (Oddly, the credits play better for me when cropped 4x3.)
Unfortunately a couple of minutes later I knew the film would be no good. The idiotic, entirely too comic and unexciting car chase with lousy Euro-trash synth music. Where did they get that actress? She belongs in a British chick-flick movie, not a Bond film. After the sequence played out, I remember wondering if the only Bond film its makers had seen was NSNA! Then the Tiger helicopter theft. Finally I thought as Bond jumps off the yacht we're going to get a big action sequence... and... nothing. What? No John Glen-style action sequence? What gives?
Also like NSNA, the cinematographer's preference for short-focal length lenses (wide angle lenses) really stood out, and not in a good way.
Then that endlessly protracted chunk of the film cross-cutting between those overwritten M scenes and the glib un-Bondian Soviet satellite research center sequences. Again, too broadly comic, like something out of NSNA. I can't tell you how much I hated Boris at the time. Belongs in a Woody Allen film. (Anybody notice how close his name resembles Woody Allen's character in "Love and Death"?) Say what you want about the Roger Moore era, they would never have stooped this low. At least J.W. Pepper in TMWTGG is only a cameo.
Oh yeah, and Bond only gets his mission underway around 50 minutes into the film - almost half way through the movie.
Okay, so maybe the movie will finally get its mojo now. Nope. All Bond has to do to find this Janus is talk to Robbie Coltrane. Something about Kirov's funeral parlor, four o'clock this afternoon, explosives hidden in a casket. Whatever. I didn't fully understand it at the time. Don't care any more. Show, don't tell. Bond constantly reacts to his situations, rarely initiates the action.
Bond and Natalya locked in the grounded helicopter. So finally we're going to get a big John Glen-style action sequence? Nope. Says much about the film that apart from the opening sequence, this is the closest I sense anything even vaguely resembling excitement in the film.
And why do the film's sets look so crummy? Alas, I miss the good ol' days of Ken Adam. Shame the film also looks so bland, dull and boring. Where's the color? Jeez, the first Bond film shot in Russia and it looks like it was shot entirely on a Shepperton studio backlot.
Ah, the tank chase. I'd heard about that. Finally, that big John Glen-style action- NOPE, DAMMIT! What a boring, underwhelming sequence. To this day I still don't understand why it falls so flat. Give me the AVTAK firetruck chase any
day over this. Give me any part of AVTAK over this, well maybe not the geriatric Bond. I have said how much I love Brosnan in the role. Shame he didn't get the part earlier, say in 1985.
Oh no. More overwritten dialogue scenes on some beach somewhere. Florida? Cuba? Puerto Rico?
Well, hopefully the climax lives up to Bond standards. (Yeah, right.)
But first, folks, a missile comes out of nowhere and knocks Bond's plane down. Shades of YOLT here.
Oh, no. More Boris. And why does 006's lair look so cheap? The film aims for a tough, gritty style, but the sets look like they belong in a 1960's Bond parody.
All that stuff with the clicking pen is sub-par Bond. Is that the best they could come up with? Oh yeah, that's right, new screenwriters. Young
new screenwriters. Looks like I can kiss goodbye any hope of a John Glen-style action finale.
I was truly caught off guard by those brutal, entirely repellent fights on top of the dish. What happened to those stylized, family friendly fights in the Connery era? Okay, so the fights in the Moore & Dalton era weren't very good but at least they weren't ugly.
Who the f..k let that song through? Sounds like somebody's strangling a cat. It's not even original. Serra swiped it from one of his own movies.
I saw the film again a week later. Had my fingers crossed it would improve. It hadn't. Still think it's one of the worst films. Don't understand what almost everybody else sees in it. Greatest highlights package? It's like they went out of their way to take almost everything that worked in past Bond films and make sure it didn't find its way in here.
Okay, in case you couldn't tell I hated the film. Still do. Still think its one of the series' weakest films.
But I did/do like a handful of things. I still think Brosnan gave an iconic performance. One of the greatest Bond performances ever. Famke Janssen is a great villainess. Gottfried John is excellent. Michael Kitchen makes a great Bill Tanner, even if he's too short and nothing like Ian Fleming's Bill Tanner. Don't care for Sean Bean, his line readings too pantherish, mannered. Exactly what I didn't like about Timothy Dalton. I think you all know how I felt about Alan Cumming (tho' his performance doesn't bother me any more). Despite my complaints about how dull and underwhelming the film looks, it is a hell of a lot more polished than the two Dalton Bonds. And Martin Campbell - despite his having no clue how to direct an exciting action sequence - is otherwise a far more capable technician that John Glen. A much better director of actors. And the film has more superficial style and lots more confidence than anything in the John Glen era. Tho' even watching it the first time I couldn't help feel it was nothing more than a big-budget direct to video movie.
Imagine my surprise two years later when for at least the first 90 minutes I got exactly what I'd been waiting for. Better than I could have anticipated. Shame about the remaning twenty five minutes, tho...