Timothy Dalton’s first outing as 007 was one of the first James Bond movies I saw, when I went through a total of four on a holiday to New York in December 1999, where I saw my first one in a cinema – The World Is Not Enough and three others during the course of a TBS series of re-runs.
It’s also one of my personal favourites – I’ve watched it at least four times counting this re-watch. As such, I can focus less on the magnificent story (it’s got one of the best plots of the series) and more on other details.
Dalton’s Bond is tough, but personable – it’s easy to see how he could be see such a charmer, even from my heterosexual male point of view. The action scenes, accompanied by John Barry’s masterwork of a score (his last one for the series in fact) are brilliantly staged. The set design is mostly superb (although with odd niggles like an Emergency Exit sign in English only on a Soviet plane) and there are great one-liners throughout. Even Joe Don Baker’s not bad.
Two people let the side down somewhat - Jeroen Krabbé and Maryam d’Abo. Krabbé is the worst thing in the movie; he can’t act and his scenes as Koskov are annoying. Maryam d’Abo is great to look at, does some great facial acting and handles one of the better written Bond Girl parts, but when she opens her mouth… her voice is irritating. Someone should have gotten a better vocal coach to soften her voice a bit.
Having learnt a bit about diplomatic bags via an episode of Castle, the bit about Koskov’s fate works even better.
This stays just as good on re-watch and its status as one of the best in the series remains. If you want to introduce someone to 007, warts and all.