Director: Martin Campbell
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Cumming, Samantha Bond, Desmond Llewelyn
Film matched beverage: Golden Cocktail
Synopsis: After the longest gap between Bond films since the franchise started, Brosnan begins his tenure as the ultra-cool British agent. Bond tails the mysterious Xenia Onatopp following a chance encounter. In doing so he stumbles upon a much larger plot. A few twists later, and it turns out our new villain is not unfamiliar to Bond… Quite famously, this is the first appearance of Pierce Brosnan as 007. It was a critical period for the franchise, having been in limbo for six years, and some believed there was no room in the world for a hero that was a product of the Cold War. Fortunately, in addition to Brosnan, a new director was brought in also, in the form of Martin Campbell. It does not end there, as a new female M is introduced, played by the marvelous Judi Dench. This new M directly addressed criticisms that there was no room in modern society for a sexist man of action. In directly addressing these criticisms in the film, a new era of Bond successfully started.
The pre-credits sequence is a mission statement. The now famous bungee jump is still a sight to behold, and now in high def the fact that this is a real stunt is even more evident. The movie maintains this level of quality and drama throughout, and ensured that Bond is still around today to provide us gems like Casino Royale and, from all reports, Skyfall, which I will finally get to see this Friday.
The script for this film is pretty tight, with a marvelous story and characters. In addition to the new regular cast, you have an interesting Bond girl, not classically strong, but whom finds her inner strength throughout the course of the film. Her snappy retorts to Bond also prevent her from sinking into a simple wallflower role. Her antithesis is Janssen’s Onatopp, a provocative, seductress whose method of killing is nothing if not unique. She is the most interesting hench-person to appear in the series for a very long time. It is the villain that is most interesting though, and for the two people who have not seen the film I will not reveal too much. This villain though does succeed where Scaramanga did not. He is a different side of the same coin to Bond, creating a more interesting, personal dynamic between the two.
I personally love this film, and it was a very strong start for Brosnan, I just wish that all his films during his Bond tenure were of the same high quality.
5 stars out of 5
Golden Cocktail recipe
2 parts vermouth
1 party Triple Sec
1 part grenadine
Pour all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass.