But Bond is given plenty to think about as well as blow up, and his relationship with Elektra King (played with alternating brattish arrogance and fragile vulnerability by Sophie Marceau) is among the series' few successfully complex emotional tangles into which he will insist on getting. When that goes tits up and he turns to the nearest vagina to hand, it belongs to the walking punchline that is Dr. Christmas Jones - the series' least popular Bond girl according to people who've forgotten A View To A Kill's Stacey Sutton.
Personally I don't have a problem with Denise Richards; as far as miscast supporting actors go, I have greater issues with John Cleese's disastrous quartermaster-in-waiting. I'm fairly sure that if both actors were to swap roles we would have seen some far more interesting personal relationships developing.
There's no doubt about one thing, though: as his third Bond film, this is Pierce Brosnan's Goldfinger, his The Spy Who Loved Me. It's the film in which he finally worked out exactly who he is.
Equally convincing and eminently watchable whether he's negotiating payoffs, kicking the shit out of a scrawny Scot or making his sex face in a torture chair, Brosnan is so magnetic as Bond that he made me want to watch every other film he was in during - and after - his time in 007's shoes, so I did. And before long I came to the sobering conclusion that although he was born to be Bond, his presence in anything else is no guarantee of quality; the rest of his filmography is almost uniformly cack. Barring, of course, the magnificent Mamma Mia!.
And there you have it. Feel free to disagree with my assessment of Pierce Brosnan's abilities, but frankly the evidence speaks for itself:
The pre-title sequence
I've had it checked and I can confirm that the film's first fourteen minutes do in fact torpedo all other Bond pre-title sequences clear out of the water. The mini adventure in Bilbao would have been good enough, but the following Thames-based speedboat mayhem is pure gold. Amazing stunts, David Arnold's music having noisy sex with your ears and a perfect location for millennial Bond combine to blow your eyes through the back of your head and into next door's lounge before Garbage strike up a single note.
The submarine stuff
The incredible suits
And finally: The World Is Not Enough was the first Bond film to take advantage of the burgeoning trend in movie marketing for character posters. At last! A chance for those legendary, iconic characters who've been instrumental in shaping the world of James Bond as we know it and who are loved by millions around the world to finally get the recognition they deserved.
BlogalongaBond will return with Die Another Day
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Further BlogalongaBondareading here