God may be in the details, but 007 is in the broad strokes, and it's here that this
entry falls down. No-one really remembers Bond movies, they are scored by how many fragments enter your unconscious, and by this measure TWINE ranks low, too often seeming like a rag-bag of bits from other movies, done less well. Metal mouthed evil henchmen? Instead of Jaws, we get Goldie. The predictability on view is intense: at the risk of spoiling it (though who didn't see it coming?), as soon as Sophie Marceau turned up, I knew she was going to turn bad, she might as well have had "Evil Genius" flashing above her head. And was it just me, or did Carlyle's psychopath look more like a young Dr. Evil?
Good points: John Cleese as Q-replacement, R -- and Q's touching final line. "Always have an escape route", he says, sinking into the floor and, presumably, out of the series. Sniff. Robbie Coltrane gets more to do, and bustles around effectively, while Richards (right) is the world's least convincing nuclear physicist, but does let Bond deliver the (yet again, entirely predictable) final line. There's also a sequence with buzz-saw equipped helicopters which is quite exciting. However, when you're reduced to scratching for scraps like this, it's never a good sign. As with
Tomorrow Never Dies, I wonder whether getting a director with limited thriller experience is a wise move when it comes to the most famous cinema franchise in the world. Never mind the world, Michael Apted is clearly not enough...
[Reviews of all the other Bond movies may be found in
the latest issue of TC, available here.]