Actor: Pierce Brosnan
US Release Date: 19 Dec 1997
US gross, $125,280,000
Worldwide gross, $346,500,000
World Premier - 9th December 1997, Odeon Leicester Square, London
Locations: Khyber Pass, London, Oxford, Hamburg, Germany, Okinawa, Vietnam, Halong Bay, South China Sea.
Source for above info: The " mother " of all James Bond books - James Bond: The Legacy.
After the huge success of
, it was sure that Pierce Brosnan would return as the secret
agent for the second time. He does return in a film which has
probably the most explosive (literally) teaser in the entire
series. We see a regular arms flea market somewhere in the
Khyber Pass with your assortment of terrorists. M and a high-ranking
admiral are watching the show on a big-screen T.V. So
this is where the British taxpayers money goes.
Suddenly, as a terrorist is about to have a cigarette, Bond walks up and lights the cigarette. And then proceeds to knock him out.
Bond: Filthy habit.
A missile is launched from a British ship and our Secret agent has to get his rear out of the flea market before the missile blows everybody to kingdom come. Then follows a series of mayhem filled activities and finally after blowing up practically the entire bunch of terrorists, Bond flies off in a fighter plane just in the nick of time, as the missile kicks in. As Bond is safely flying mid-air, he discovers a terrorist in the back seat whom he ejects out, without much ado.
Bond: Backseat driver.
This is followed by a series of awesome graphics to the accompaniment of Sheryl Crow's rendition of the title track. This guy gets better and better. As the line goes in The spy who loved me , "Nobody does it better". As Andrew S. Grove of INTEL (not a spy organization but the microchip company) in his classic "Only the paranoid survive" would say, the Bond series did suffer a strategic inflection point during the Dalton days and it was Brosnan alone who saved the series. Kind of like what Roger Moore did after Sean Connery left. (If you can't make head or tail, of what a strategic inflection point is read Grove's book).
Cut to a megalomaniacal newspaper tycoon, Elliot Carver (Jonathan
Pryce), who manages to manipulate world events as easily as he
changes headlines from his global media empire.
Carver: Good morning my "golden retrievers". What kind of havoc shall the Carver Media Group create in the world today.... news?
Employee: Floods in Pakistan, riots in Paris and a plane crash in California.
Carver: There is no news like bad news.
Meanwhile our suave agent is brushing up on a little Danish with the lovely Professor Inga Bergstrom (Cecilie Thomsen), a University professor at Oxford. And as our dear Mr. Carver has created a international incident by destroying a British warship in Chinese waters, 007 is called on his mobile (another product endorsement, a mandatory item from the Brosnan movies) by Moneypenny. And continuing with the tradition in Goldeneye , we have yet another double entrendre filled conversation.
Moneypenny: James, where are you?
Bond: Oh, Moneypenny. I'm just up here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish.
Moneypenny: I'm afraid you're going to have to kiss off your lesson, James. We've got a situation here at the Ministry of Defense. We're sending the fleet to China.
Bond: I'll be there in an hour.
Moneypenny: Make that 30 minutes.
Bond: Farewell, my sweet.
Moneypenny: You always were a cunning linguist, James.
Just one word for this, Awesome! Bond returns and is briefed about the incident by M, who advises or rather orders him to revive his relationship with Carver's wife, Paris (Teri Hatcher).
M: Your job is to find out whether Carver, or someone in his organization, sent that ship off course, and why. Use your relationship with Mrs. Carver if necessary.
Bond: I doubt if she'd remember me.
M: Remind her, then pump her for information.
Moneypenny: You'll just have to decide how much pumping is needed, James.
Bond: If only that were true of you and I, Moneypenny.
And hence for Queen and country, Bond has to "pump" Paris for
more information. And he meets her at a party hosted by our
dear Mr. Carver.
Bond: I always wondered how I would feel when I saw you again.
At the same party, Bond is introduced to Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), a Chinese secret agent.
Wai Lin: Exactly what kind of banking do you specialize in, Mr. Bond?
Bond: Hostile takeovers.
Next follow, the mandatory sequence of events, with Bond having a rendezvous with Paris, and then reminiscent of The man with the golden gun , in which Maud Adams as Andrea Anders was killed by her lover Scaramanga, here Paris is killed too. Maybe Teri Hatcher will return in a future Bond movie as another Bond babe, as Maud Adams did!
Then follows a terrific car chase with Bond in his latest
(read: endorsement deal) BMW, with missiles and other
enhancements. A highlight of this movie is the spectacular
HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening) jump into the South China
Sea. Bond and Wai Lin are captured and after a fantastic stunt
jump off a building escape off to scoot away on a motorcycle,
and are chased by a helicopter. In an awesome piece of
stunt work, we are taken on a wild motorcycle pursuit in Saigon
culminating in a aerial jump over the helicopter.
Later the helicopter attempts to become a food processor and slice Bond and Wai Lin using its rotor blades while pointing its nose at the ground. Needless to say, Bond escapes unscathed to a final assault on Carver's secret watercraft. After explosions galore, Bond manages to culminate this adventure after finishing off Carver and his megalomaniacal dreams, in the arms of Wai Lin.
Wai Lin: They're looking for us, James.
Bond: Let's stay under cover.
Needless to say, but after the success of this movie (which has returned to be a mandatory item) Pierce Brosnan had to return as James Bond in The world is not enough .
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