"There's no point in living if you can't feel alive."
— Elektra King
The one where Denise Richards plays a nuclear physicist.In Pierce Brosnan's third James Bond outing, Bond is assigned to watch over a once-kidnapped daughter of a Ruritanian oil baron after he dies securing money for her release. The kidnapper, "Renard the Anarchist", is quickly deduced to be the likely culprit. MI6 tried to assassinate him before, but you can't keep a good terrorist down: It only resulted in lodging a bullet in Renard's brain, which is slowly killing him as it moves inwards but is also destroying all of his senses. Renard can't smell or taste anything and, crucially, he can't feel pain.Meanwhile, four rival oil pipelines are being built across Eurasia. The mogul's daughter, Elektra King, owns the British pipeline and is everyone's favorite heiress, meaning that Bond needs to protect her, though something just doesn't add up with her plans.Features:
Bond jumping out of a window.
The Q we knew and loved leaves.
Bond driving a speedboat out of the MI6 building.
A rather good ski chase.
A horrible pun for one of the Bond girls.
Bond shoots a woman in cold blood, a rarity.
This film contains examples of:
Actually Pretty Funny: When Dr. Christmas Jones gives Bond her name, she says "Don't make any jokes, I've heard them all." Bond replies with "No, I don't know any 'Doctor' jokes." Jones looks up at him in a way that demonstrates that she hasn't heard that one before, and is at least slightly impressed by his quick and original wit.
Arc Words: "There's no point in living if you can't feel alive." Hearing Renard say this at gunpoint is the clue Bond needs to realize he and Elektra (who told him the same thing earlier, ipsis litteris) are working together.
Even IF the bullet in Renard's head could suppress his ability to feel pain (more than likely he'd be comatose), that does NOT simply grant him immunity from any damage. When he picks up the burning rock, his hand would still have had the skin burned off, just like Davidov (while Davidov's hand is totally bandaged in his next scene, Renard's hand remains unmarked for the rest of the film).
Bond and Jones launching themselves from the bottom of the Black Sea to the surface via a torpedo tube would have given both of them a horrifically painful and potentially lethal case of the bends.
As You Know: Bond explains to Jones that since the reactor room is flooded, they needn't worry about the imminent reactor explosion destroying Istanbul. Bond and Jones need only escape the explosion itself to survive. This is obviously not something that needs be explained to a nuclear physicist, so the line was put in there for the audience's sake.
Asshole Victim: Sir Robert turned out to be kind of a jackass, all things considered. On a less spoilery note, Mr. Lachaise qualifies, too.
Backed by MI6: MI6 initially moved to block the filming of a scene around their headquarters, citing security concerns - but were overruled by Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, saying "After all Bond has done for Britain, it was the least we could do for Bond."
Bald of Evil: Renard, and, apparently, every member of his terrorist ring.
Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Heavily implied with Elektra, whether she was corrupted by Renard, or seduced him into her evil plot because she was so incensed at her father's refusal to rescue her.
Berserk Button: It was bad enough that Elektra betrayed James. But they made the mistake of kidnapping M.
Bond provides his own epitaph in the torture chair. "One last screw?", indeed.
Uniquely, the villain gets a one-liner of his own: Renard, tipped off on Bond's injury, quips, "I knew you couldn't shoulder the responsibility" before pushing down on it, causing Bond to shrivel up in agony.
And how could you forget the groan-inducing "I thought Christmas only came once a year" line
Brick Joke: While talking to the new Q, Bond puts on a pair of blue-ish sunglasses and looks him up and down, smirking slightly but never acknowledging it. An hour later in the film we see that those are X-ray glasses that let him see through clothing.
Briefcase Full of Money: Which explodes in Sir Robert's face. Bond later discovers that somebody swapped Robert's lapel pin for a detonator, meaning that they wanted King to glimpse the cash before dying.
Elektra asks Bond if he has ever lost a loved one. The uncomfortable look on his face and the manner in which he changes the subject is a dead giveaway to long-time Bond fans. (As a bonus , to shorter-term Bond fans, it could also refer to Bond's Old Flame Paris Carver being murdered in the previous film.)
In the Scottish MI6 headquarters, there is a painting on the wall of Bernard Lee, the original M.
Cool Boat: The Q-Boat. Q claims it was never intended for service, and that it's his personal fishing boat(!).
Main villain terrorist Renard has a bullet lodged in his brain from a previous encounter with an MI6 operative, but survived the assasination attempt. The bullet is still moving and will eventually kill him, giving him a perpetual reminder that his death is imminent.
There's also a jump to action version next to Renard's fatalistic one. To get revenge on M he assures her that he'll kill her the next day after she's been captured, and puts a clock in front of her cell so she can see the hours ticking by to make her experience what he feels like.
Disability Superpower: Renard's bullet wound is killing off his senses and will actually kill him eventually, but in the meantime it's effectively given him super-human stamina and disproportionate strength for a man his size.
Distressed Dude: Bond gets put into a torture machine that slowly strangles him and will break his neck if pulled far enough.
Doomed Upgrade: Bond's Cool Car. Sure, he gets to drive around in it a bit and fire a missile at a helicopter, but it barely lasts a minute on screen.
Bond: Q's not going to like this...
The Dragon: Davidov is this for Renard who is secretly this for Elektra.
Friendly Enemy: Bond and Zukovsky. Despite disliking each other at their last meeting in GoldenEye, and still distrustful of each other here, Zukovsky instantly joins forces with Bond when he realizes the extent of Elektra and Renard's depravity, and in fact, dies saving Bond's life.
Just a Stupid Accent: When Bond infiltrates a nuclear silo held by the bad guys, he poses as a Russian nuclear scientist, complete with thick accent. However, when Christmas comments on his remarkably good English in Russian, he delivers a reasonable reply in Russian that is unaccented enough to pass without comment. Didn't stop her from digging deeper, though.
A mook in Bilbao is about to shoot James, when the latter spots a red dot on his chest.
After MI6 is bombed and James is looking out the hole in the building wall, he sees a laser sight just in time to duck out of the way. The shooter was located on a boat, about 300-400 meters away, with a G36 equipped with a scope. And she missed.
Last Breath Bullet: Zukovsky does this, spending his cane-gun's single bullet to enable Bond's escape from a slow-death machine.
Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: M is locked in a cell filled with random junk and isn't searched prior to her imprisonment. She isn't armed, but she has the tracking chip from a stolen nuke, which they surely would have found if they had bothered to search her. Combined with a clock left outside the cell and a broom in there with her, she's able to activate the chip and alert Bond.
Love Interest Traitor: The trope name alone is a spoiler, never mind who it refers to, but suffice to say that James Bond receives a nasty surprise over the course of the movie. Namely that Elekra King, his Love Interest, is in fact the Big Bad.
Made of Explodium: Most notably the ski mobiles, but also other things like a helicopter or two. Averted in some cases like the assassin's boat, which is merely wrecked by appropriately sized explosions when it's hit by two torpedoes.
Made of Iron: Bond spends the entire movie (save the cold open) with an injured shoulder. This only ever seems to bother him once, when Renard deliberately attacks it. Granted, with the amount of punishment Bond absorbs in one movie alone, let alone in his entire career, that cracked collarbone probably feels like a shaving cut until it's deliberately struck.
My Greatest Failure: M laments on having failed Elektra and her father; when Elektra was kidnapped by Renard, M followed the agency's policy to not negotiate with terrorists, ignoring the ransom demand. This leads Sir Robert to try and rescue his daughter himself... it doesn't end well. Come the time of the movie, this really comes back to bite everyone in the rear end. And I'm not talking about Renard.
Never Heard That One Before: Subverted: Dr. Christmas Jones tells Bond at their first meeting that she doesn't want him to make any jokes about her name, but he mentions that he "doesn't know any doctor jokes".
Old Flame: M is suggested to have dated Sir Robert back when they were both students. ("I always knew he'd conquer the world.") MI6s failure to catch Renard, followed by capitulation to Renard's mad demands, is considered to be a black eye for the agency.
Post Rape Taunt: As Bond prepares to execute the villain Renard, the latter quickly picks up on Bond's feelings for Elektra and taunts him thus:
Renard: "She's beautiful, isn't she? You should have had her before, when she was innocent. How does it feel to know I broke her in for you?"
Power Glows: The fuel rods in the submarine reactor glow red. The Plutonium Rod glows blue when it's being extruded.
Reality Ensues: Bond is, first and foremost, an agent of MI6 and will do anything for his country - the man is licensed to kill, after all. Elektra thought she could get around this by playing on his affections. She was wrong.
Red Right Hand: Renard has a big scar on his forehead from a bullet's entry wound, with said bullet still slowly drilling into his brain. Also, Elektra's right earlobe is missing, and she covers the mutilation with a large earring. She actually cut it off herself so that Renard, whom she had seduced into working with her by that point, could send it to her father as a warning.
Shoot Out the Lock: Impressively, Bond manages to do this to the door to M's cell when he's standing outside the room (making it so his gun is parallel to the door) and only briefly pauses because he's in the middle of a chase.
Too Dumb to Live: Bond's execution of Elektra King. Bond told her, at gunpoint, to call off the sub. She instead gloatingly tells Bond to die. This is after she just spent a few minutes taunting him about how he wouldn't kill her. Smug Snake, Genre Blind, and Tempting Fate all in one? She deserved to get shot.
Wham Episode: One of the better plot twist ideas of the Bond franchise: what if a Bond Girl was the Big Bad?
What the Hell, Hero?: Renard of all people delivers this to the captive M, when she chides him for corrupting Elektra, pointing out that he would never have had the chance to do so if MI6 had rescued her.