OK, I love Pierce Brosnan as much if not more than the next person, and I think he makes one smooth sexy debonair Bond….but these films MUST be getting sillier because my expectations are NOTHING and still they manage to bore me. The uninviting opening song by Sheryl Crow (they make up for it with k.d. lang at the end), the goofy cybermedia terrorist plot and tepid sexual chemistry between Brosnan and Teri Hatcher – fine, whatever, that would make it a matinee feature.
BUT to cast the inestimable Michelle Yeoh, not even bring her in until an hour into the loooong movie, and then not even to use her kick ass abilities for more than a little piddly scene an hour and forty minutes into the film- THAT is inexcusable. Why even cast her? Hell, Julia Roberts could have pulled it off. Michelle Yeoh can hold her buttkickin’ own with Jackie Chan and you relegate her to being cuffed to 007, watching him as he saves the day?
The stealth boat is ridiculous. The idea that Jonathan Pryce (oh, he was soo wonderful once) can get on international TV and announce to the world his intention of taking over everything and not get called on it…the idea that he can make up headlines before the events occur and NO ONE NOTICES is ludicrous. A helicopter chasing people through crowded streets trying to chop them up with the blades is….not all that suspenseful.
Plus there is too much bang bang boring gun stuff. It’s tired and it’s not even like, sexy Bond shooting and then sipping his martini. The car chase is kind of funny and kind of exciting too. His car is cool in general. The terrible sea-drill (really bad for the manatees!) is kind of cool but not really cool. The house music score is kind of…obnoxious and not all that “updating.”
It’s difficult to be objective about such a long-lived and tradition-stuffed franchise as James Bond. I have been relieved by the relative sexism-free Bonds of recent years, but the goofy unsubtle puns and quips are really starting to show their whiskers. If this helps: The director is Roger Spottiswoode, he of “Stop or My Mom Will Shoot,” a man tuned in to the aesthetics of his waiting audience if there ever was one.
I’d recommend seeing it on HBO just to see Pierce with a lot of his upper chest showing.
MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 1/2/1998
Time in minutes 119
Director Roger Spottiswoode