"The World Is Not Enough" (re-watch)
I defended this film for a long time. Maybe I´m still trying to do that. But after re-watching it, TWINE is slipping down in my ranking.
I have no problem with Bond wishing to protect Elektra and falling for her. I welcome EON trying to do something different, telling a more character-based story within the Bond formula with a female villain. But despite one of the greatest scenes in the whole franchise (yep, my beloved "I never miss"-moment) the film does not manage to entwine (sorry) the ideas with the requirements of the action blockbuster-elements. Somehow I got the feeling that eliminating the (not particularly inventive or entertaining) action beats (save the great boat chase) the film could have become more interesting, making more room for Bond falling for Elektra, and Renard establishing himself as not only a really scary but also sad villain.
What has been said a lot before really is true, of course: TWINE juggles lots of elements that were used in SKYFALL to much better effect. So this film might be a transitional experiment that did not come off as originally intended, straightjacketed by the expectations for a Bond film.
Still, Brosnan delivers and, once again, plays Bond so much tougher than he is given credit for. And David Arnold´s title song and score are hauntingly beautiful.
And although I like Sophie Marceau and Robert Carlyle, they seem to be miscast. Marceau never convinces me of being the innocent victim, therefore the revelation is not as powerful as it should be. Carlyle is not physically imposing or threatening at all, and giving him a Pleasence-like scarred eye does not help either.
So, why did I love this film so much before and not so much now?
One word, I guess: SKYFALL.