Follow TV Tropes


Film / The World Is Not Enough

Go To
"There's no point in living if you can't feel alive."
Elektra King

The one where Denise Richards plays a nuclear physicist.

The World Is Not Enough is the nineteenth Eon Productions James Bond film, the last of the 20th century and the third starring Pierce Brosnan, as well as the first one to be released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed by Michael Apted and was released on November 26, 1999. Garbage performed the Title Theme Tune.

Bond is assigned to watch over a once-kidnapped daughter of a Ruritanian oil baron after he dies securing money for her release. "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 favourite heiress, meaning that Bond needs to protect her, even though something just doesn't add up with her plans.


  • Bond jumping out of a window using a window shade cord.
  • Bond driving a speedboat out of the MI6 building.
  • The old Q (Desmond Llewelyn) retires after 36 years of service note 
  • A ski chase with paragliding snowmobiles as pursuers.
  • M playing an integral part in the plot, a first for the series.
  • The movies' first (and so far only) female Big Bad. Rosa Klebb from From Russia with Love was the film's adversary, but she was second fiddle to SPECTRE's Number One. The title character of Octopussy is initially implied to be the main villain before she turns out to be an ally. Adrian Malprave was the lead villain in the Agent Under Fire video game, which came out a couple years after this movie.
  • Bond executes a woman in cold blood; a rarity.
  • A groan-inducing pun at the end involving a grouchy scientist's cheery name.

Preceded by Tomorrow Never Dies and followed by Die Another Day.

This film contains examples of:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: This is the most character-driven entry of the Brosnan era; there is a lot of personal conflict between Bond, Elektra, M and Renard.
  • Action Insurance Gag:
    • Dr. Arkov complains to Renard about how the parahawks used by Renard's men for the ski chase were rented and meant to be returned, not blown up.
    • After his caviar factory is destroyed during a fight between Bond and some villains, Valentin Zukovsky laments "The insurance company is never going to believe this!"
  • 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 "I don't know any 'doctor' jokes." While Jones doesn't actually laugh, she looks up at him in a way that suggests that she hasn't heard that one before, and is at least slightly impressed by his quick and original wit.
    • Bond also gets a soft chuckle from Q with his response to "R" fumbling around in an inflatable jacket.
      Bond: He seems well-suited for the job.
  • Adaptation Expansion: While characters are often expanded upon in film novelizations, Raymond Benson's novelization devotes an entire chapter towards the end of the book to delve into the psyches of Renard and Elektra. In the novelization, the money was never the original reason for kidnapping Elektra; rather, his detached mental state due to his condition had made him sexually awkward, and had caused him to begin fixating from afar on attractive celebrities and public figures, one of whom being Elektra. Also, whereas Elektra is played off in the film as a dispassionate narcissist who uses emotion purely as a tool for manipulation, she is genuinely distraught enough in the novel at the thought of Renard dying that she has to stop herself from trying to convince him not to board the submarine.
  • All There in the Script: In the script, it is explained that Sir Robert King inherited the oil fortune from his wife's family. Her father had no male heirs so he left the property to his son-in-law.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: "Sweetest Coma Again" by Luna Sea is the ending theme in the Japanese version.
  • Always Save the Girl: As Bond is chasing Elektra, an imprisoned M (who fears that she may soon die in a nuclear meltdown if Renard has his way) yells out Bond's name as he passes by her cell. 007 then uses the Shoot Out the Lock method to free his boss before he continues his pursuit. When Bond later boards Renard's submarine, the first thing he does is finding a henchman to show him where Christmas Jones is kept captive so he can free her. And when Christmas is trapped on the wrong side of a flooding submarine door, Bond puts his battle with Renard on hold to rescue her.
  • 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 realise he and Elektra (who told him the same thing earlier, verbatim) are working together.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: M receives one from Bond.
    M: Don't make this personal.
    Bond: I'm not; are you?
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "R" concludes his run-down of the features of Bond's car with "six beverage cup holders".
  • Artistic Licence – Biology:
    • 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).
    • Adding on to the above, Renard wouldn't get stronger or be able to push himself harder, at least not for very long. We have natural "limiters" on how much we use our bodies for a reason, as we would tear our bodies apart if we went over them. Unless Renard is carefully controlling exactly how hard he is pushing himself, which being that he is practically suicidal makes that doubtful, Renard would collapse simply due to accumulating too much damage.
    • The bullet is said to be moving through the medulla oblongata of Renard's brain, even though the hologram shows it moving through his frontal lobe. Moreover, the medulla is the stalk that connects the brain to the spinal column, and it controls the heart and lungs. If it was penetrated, Renard would be dead instantly.
    • 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.
  • Artistic Licence - Nuclear Physics:
    • Renard gets hold of the plutonium sphere from a bomb, forms it into a rod, and tries to insert it into the reactor of a submarine and cause a meltdown. Among the reasons this would never work: weapons-grade plutonium is less radioactive than reactor-grade plutonium.
    • Bond and Renard handle the plutonium bar with their bare hands. A rod of Pu that size would weigh at least 50 pounds, which is big enough to be a critical mass. It would be exceptionally hot to the touch, and also would be emitting lots of neutron radiation. Canadian physicist Louis Slotin was killed handling a much smaller critical mass of plutonium in a 1946 experimental accident; Slotin received a fatal dose in less than one second, and died of radiation sickness nine days later. The fact that Bond straddles the rod briefly may be a very subtle kind of Lampshade Hanging on why, in spite of his proclivities, James Bond never gets any Father's Day cards.
    • The reactor of the 1967-vintage nuclear sub had fuel assemblies (that plutonium rod) which could be manually inserted and removed. That's not how a Russian sub reactor is designed (though it is closer to certain heavy water power reactors). To refuel the sub, they first need to shut down the reactor for 90 days so the fuel is not too hot from a radioactive and thermal standpoint. Then they cut open part of the sub's outside hull to remove the fuel assemblies. Big job, needed once every 5 to 10 years. The bullet stuck in Renard's brain would have killed him by then and the audience would be quite bored.
  • Artistic Licence – Politics: The protestors at King's pipeline headquarters - in Azerbaijan - are waving the flag of Hungary.
  • 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 only need to 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 King turned out to be kind of a jackass, all things considered. He was willing to destroy an ancient church in Azerbaijan—his wife's homeland, no less—for his oil pipeline (which caused the local villagers to riot), and he stole his wife's inheritance to further his own ambition and greed. Assuming you trust Elektra King in spite of her being shown to be a remorseless liar and manipulator. It is confirmed he was willing to destroy ancient landmarks and use the military to quell opposition, but all the other actions are up in the air.
    • On a less spoilery note, Mr. Lachaise qualifies, too.
  • Attack the Injury: Bond suffers a shoulder injury in the film's opening, and it becomes an issue several times afterward. The MI6 doctor deliberately pokes him in the injured shoulder to make a point, and even that light contact causes Bond to wince in pain. Later, Renard tortures Bond by attacking the same shoulder, but the fact that Renard even knows about the injury ahead of time tips Bond off that Renard has an inside connection feeding him information about Bond.
  • Back for the Dead: Valentin Zuckovsky from GoldenEye returns and is killed by Elektra in the climax. He was supposed to survive in one draft.
  • Badass Boast:
    Bond: What do I need to disarm a nuclear bomb?
    Dr. Jones: Me.
  • Bad Boss: Renard, like many villains has no qualms about killing his own henchmen and allies if their incompetence or failures interfere with his plans. At least some of his minions even regard him as The Dreaded.
    Bond: Just tell me who's behind this! Who are you working for?
    The Cigar Girl points her gun towards a gas canister
    Bond: Don't do it! Don't blow us up! I can protect you! Do you understand, I can protect you!
    Cigar Girl: Not from him!
  • Bald of Evil: Renard, and, apparently, almost every member of his terrorist ring.
  • Balls of Steel: Bond makes Renard fall groin first onto a pipe, but since Renard feels no pain, it doesn't affect him. He just looks down in surprise, then gets up.
  • Batman Cold Open: The opening plays with this, as its Cold Open is almost fifteen minutes long and ties directly into the main plot without even a time jump between the two, ultimately causing a bizarre sort of fatigue that makes you question why, save for tradition, there needed to be one at all. Interestingly, the opening originally ended after the sequence in Spain, but test audiences felt that was too short.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The bad guys have kidnapped and killed an elderly official from Russia's Atomic Energy Authority, planning to replace him to aid their theft of plutonium. Bond kills and replaces their replacement (fooling the bad guys into getting him transport), and successfully bluffs his way into the nuclear disarmament site that is going to be robbed. The subversion comes from the fact that Dr. Christmas Jones saw straight through it and let Bond through while she grabbed security. She arrives just as Bond is trying to foil Renard's real theft.
  • 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.
  • Beneath the Mask: While Bond is out doing his thing, M claims that he is the best agent they have, adding: "though I'd never tell him".
  • Berserk Button: It was bad enough that Elektra betrayed James. But they made the mistake of kidnapping M.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: The "Cigar Girl" kills herself rather than face Renard's wrath for her failure.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Elektra and Renard. It is hotly disputed whether Renard is The Dragon to Elektra or if she is Renard's puppet. Though, it is obvious both consider themselves to be the superior of the relationship. It seems as though Elektra is the one who orchestrates most of the schemes, while Renard is the one who does most of the work.
  • Big Damn Heroes: As Bond is about to be killed by the Big Bad, Zukovsky arrives with backup and gives him a chance to escape.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Bond is impersonating a Russian nuclear expert, Mikhail Arkov. Dr. Christmas Jones suspects something wrong with "Dr. Arkov" and tests him:
    Dr. Christmas Jones: By the way, [in Russian] your English is very good for a Russian.
    James Bond: [in Russian] I studied at Oxford.
  • Blatant Lies: Bond telling Elektra, "You meant nothing to me." After she dies, he permits himself only a short moment to mourn her passing by caressing her hair.
  • Bleed 'Em and Weep: After shooting dead Elektra King, Bond leans over her body and strokes her hair, clearly shaken by what he's done. Pretty significant for a trained assassin.
  • Blofeld Ploy: Done by Renard to Davidov and Dr. Arkov. With one of Renard's mooks holding a gun to his head, Renard himself makes Davidov hold a scalding hot rock before ordering the mook to shooting Arkov.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Bond enters the casino wearing his X-Ray specs which reveals the lingerie of the casino girls...and the fact that they're carrying guns under their dresses.
  • Bomb Disposal: Disarming a nuke is a lot easier when your Girl of the Week is a nuclear physicist. Disarming a nuke as it's speeding inside an oil pipe line however, is a new experience.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Renard is also known as "Renard the Anarchist", but he espouses no anarchist philosophy. Instead, his career as a terrorist has been spent blowing things up For the Evulz. And by the time of the movie, for love. Awww....
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • Bond shoots Elektra after she tells him "You wouldn't kill me. You'd miss me." His response: "I never miss."
    • Bond kills Davidov and throws him into the nearest dumpster before taking his place. Upon being asked where Davidov is by one of Renard's men, Bond replies with "He was buried with work".
    • When Bond confronts Renard at gunpoint in Kazakhstan: "Expecting Davidov? He caught a bullet instead of the plane."
    • Bond provides his own epitaph in the torture chair. "One last screw?", indeed.
    • Uniquely, Renard gets a one-liner of his own: tipped off on Bond's injury, he quips, "I knew you couldn't shoulder the responsibility" before pushing down on it, causing Bond to shrivel up in agony.
    • And then there's the groan-inducing "I thought Christmas only comes once a year" line?
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Classic example. Elektra King drops a loaded pistol for Bond to collect, before she runs up a set of stairs — unarmed. In her case, she thought she was smart enough to believe that Bond wouldn't shoot a woman. She was wrong. Elektra seems pretty reticent to kill Bond generally; she seems to be waiting for him to give in to his affection for her and become her new Renard — which is still nonsensical, but no longer this trope (as she doesn't actually want him dead).
  • Boom Stick: Zukovsky carries a cane to help his bad leg. However, when he gets injured, it turns out that his cane is also a potent (and accurate) firearm.
  • Break the Cutie: Before Elektra was kidnapped, she was a good person.
    Renard: When I took her, she was promise itself. And you left her at the mercy of a man like me. You ruined her. For what? To get to me? She's worth fifty of me.
    M: For once, I agree with you.
  • 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. Later in the film, we see that those are X-ray glasses that let him see through clothing.
    • The first thing Zukovsky says to Bond is that he fears the latter's presence means he is not carrying enough insurance. After he, Bond, Christmas and Bullion narrowly escape the destruction of the caviar factory much later on, he despairs that "The insurance company is never going to believe this!"
  • 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.
  • Broken Bird: Elektra King. Oddly, also Renard.
  • Calling Out for Not Calling: M refuses to use James Bond for an upcoming mission because he's recovering from a dislocated collarbone. Fortunately the MI6 doctor is one of his conquests, and he's able to convince her to clear him by renewing their affair.
    Doctor: You would have to promise to call me. [jabs her fingers into his injured shoulder, making Bond wince] This time.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Bond seduces his physician in exchange for "a clean bill of health." M is savvy enough to guess what happened, and Dr. Warmflash lands in hot water.
  • Captain Obvious: As Christmas Jones and Bond are attempting to disarm the pipeline bomb, Bond observes that the screwheads have been stripped. How does Christmas respond?
    Christmas: Someone's tampered with the bomb.
  • The Champion:
    • Horrifyingly subverted. Elektra sees herself as this for her Azeri mother, her maternal side of the family and her Azeri heritage. Elektra is resentful of the effects of British colonialism, which allowed Sir Robert (a British man) to financially abuse his foreign wife.
      Elektra: My father was nothing! His kingdom he stole from my mother. The kingdom I will rightly take back!
    • And later:
      Elektra: It is my oil! Mine! And my family's! It runs through my veins, thicker than blood! I'm going to redraw the map, and when I'm through, the whole world will know my name, my grandfather's name, the glory of my people!
      • Of course, Elektra is "conveniently" ignoring the fact that it was her maternal grandfather's decision to pass the company onto his son-in-law rather than his daughter (as confirmed in the script), making this a case of Azeri parochialism rather than British colonialism. She also shows absolutely no remorse or hesitation at murdering untold countless Azeri diaspora members and other innocents in the greater Istanbul area as part of her master plan.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject:
    • Bond and Elektra do this.
      Elektra: Tell me, Mr. Bond, have you ever lost a loved one?
      Bond: [pauses] M sent me because your life might be in danger.
    • Later:
      Bond: But [Renard] used your exact words.
      Elektra: So you knew? You knew all the time that he was out there, that he was coming for me, and you lied.
  • Chekhov's Armory: The helicopter with the giant saw blades that Bond sees cutting down trees for Elektra's pipeline as he first arrives in Azerbijan is later used by Elektra's henchmen to try and kill Bond, Jones and Valentin at Valentin's caviar factory.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Bond recovers the nuclear bomb's locator card while escaping from the test site. He later gives it to M, who then puts it in her pocket and forgets about it. After being kidnapped and imprisoned by Elektra, she takes it out and connects it to a clock battery to give Bond her GPS location.
  • The Chessmaster: Elektra King, who is an expert manipulator and the mastermind behind the Evil Plan.
  • Christianity is Catholic: Subverted. Elektra can be seen crossing herself when she enters the ancient church, but given her ethnicity and the part of the world they're in—Azerbaijan—it's likely that she's Eastern Orthodox, which follows many of the traditions of Catholicism, including the aforementioned crossing gesture.
  • Chronically Crashed Car: Sure, Bond gets to drive around in his new car for a bit and fire a missile at a helicopter, but it barely lasts a minute on screen. And BMW reacted with Stunned Silence when the filmmakers declared their intention to saw the vehicle in half...
  • *Click* Hello:
    • Bond surprises Renard at the nuclear site.
      Bond: Expecting Davidov? He caught a bullet instead of a plane.
    • Bond ambushes Valentin in his own office.
      Valentin: Can't you just say "Hello" like a normal person?
  • Climbing Climax: Elektra runs to the top floor of the castle while fleeing Bond. Zig-Zagged with the Cigar Girl, who flees to a hot air balloon, but blows it up instead of using it to escape.
  • Coincidental Disguise-Complementing Trait: While undercover at the ICBM site, James Bond impersonates a Russian nuclear physicist who was due to visit that day. The contact that the scientist was supposed to be meeting with, one Dr Christmas Jones, is a little suspicious of Bond, and at the end of their introductory chat, she remarks - in Russian - that Bond speaks English very fluently for a Russian scientist. Bond replies, "I studied at Oxford" - also in Russian, allaying her suspicions just long enough for him to get to work.
  • Consolation Backfire: A caviar factory owned by Bond's former enemy turned ally Valentin Zukovsky is the site of a lengthy battle between Bond and several mooks. While surveying the damage done to the factory after the battle ends, Zukovsky comments to his assistant that, "we may not have a roof, but at least, we still have four good walls." Seconds later, all four walls simultaneously collapse.
    Valentin Zukovsky: The insurance company is never going to believe this!
  • Continuity Nod:
    • 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 give-away to long-time Bond fans, namely Bond's wife, Tracy. Within the confines of the Brosnan films, it could also refer to Bond's Old Flame Paris Carver being murdered in the previous film.
    • This also goes meta when you remember that Pierce Brosnan was a widower himself, having lost his wife, former Bond Girl Cassandra Harrisnote , to ovarian cancer in 1990.
    • In the Scottish MI6 headquarters, there is a painting on the wall of Bernard Lee, the original M.
    • The title refers to the Bond family motto, Orbis Non Sufficit, previously mentioned in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
    • To the books. When being questioned by Christmas Jones, Bond claims, in decently fluent Russian, to have studied at Oxford. In the books, Ian Fleming states that Bond was an Oxford graduate, and had a First in Oriental Languages. Such might also double as a reference to You Only Live Twice, where this was also noted.
    • Valentin Zukovsky returns as a Bond ally after his first appearance in GoldenEye.
  • Cool Boat: The Q-Boat. Q claims it was never intended for service, and that it's his personal fishing boat.
  • Cool Car: The BMW Z8, featuring "titanium plating and armour, a multitasking head-up display and six beverage cup holders". All in all, rather stocked.
  • Corporate Conspiracy: Elektra King is willing to nuke Istanbul so that the British pipeline would get more use, thus becoming the sole transporter of Caspian oil to the West.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Elektra King, daughter and heir to her father's Mediterranean oil pipeline, seduced her captor, murdered her father, kidnapped M, and plotted to destroy Istanbul so her pipeline would get more use. She's so much of a twisted villain, she's currently the only Bond Woman 007 himself has killed in cold blood.
  • Counting to Three: Bond does this while interrogating a man at gunpoint. As the man is a banker, Bond asks sarcastically, "You can do that, can't you?"
  • Covered in Gunge:
    • The oil-covered dancing girls in the opening titles. Somewhat disconcertingly, their actual bodies have been CGI'd out, leaving nothing but the gunge.
    • Poor Valentin gets dunked into a giant vat of his own caviar during the buzz saw helicopter attack.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Bond comes close to doing this with Elektra King after he shoots her.
  • Cunning Linguist: Played Straight when Bond masquerades as a Russian physicist, complete with heavily but believably Russian-accented English. However, when asked, in Russian, about his good (for a Russian) English, he answers in Russian that he studied at Oxford, in Russian apparently fluent enough to pass without comment note 
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: King Oil is doing well and stands to make a lot more money thanks to its pipeline from Azerbaijan even before Elektra plans to blow up a Russian nuclear submarine in the Bosphorus, crippling the principal rival east-west oil pipeline and giving her one a near-monopoly.
  • Cyanide Pill: The Cigar Girl blows herself up rather than face arrest from MI-6, or worse yet, punishment (for failing to kill Bond) from Renard.
  • Damsel in Distress: M is imprisoned in the appropriately-named Maiden's Tower, and Bond must rescue his boss from Elektra's clutches.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Elektra King escapes her kidnapper by shooting three men and then proceeds to manipulate her kidnapper into suffering Lima Syndrome and going so far as to die for her Evil Plan.
  • Dark Action Girl: The "Cigar Girl", for her explosive opening sequence.
  • Darker and Edgier: While GoldenEye was serious and sometimes dark. This film however is arguably the darkest of all the Brosnan movies in terms of the storyline. As it deals with Stockholm Syndrome from one of the bond girls. And later on, she is revealed to be the villain who then got killed by Bond in cold blood.
  • Dark Secret: M is so ashamed over how she handled Elektra's kidnapping that she sealed Elektra's file so that no one else can access it. When Bond requests the classified information as an employee, M flatly refuses with a stern warning ("I will not tolerate insubordination, 007"), so he resorts to using their implicit mother-son relationship (the gentle way he asks, "What happened?") before she willingly discloses a painful part of her past.
  • Death by Irony:
    • King being killed by a face-full of his own money.
    • Zukovsky throws a tantrum at the prospect of drowning in his own caviar. Subverted when Bond fishes him out.
    • Renard is impaled by his own nuclear rod. Bonus points to the rod looking like a very big bullet with the casing on it.
  • Death's Hourglass: Both the fatalistic and the jump-to-action version are used.
    • Renard has a bullet lodged in his brain from a previous encounter with MI6 operative 009, but survived the assassination 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 she'll die along with everyone else in and around Istanbul 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.
  • Decoy Damsel: Elektra King seeks to cause an oil monopoly by having Renard blow up a Russian competitor's pipeline with a nuclear detonation and thereby substantially increase her own oil holdings. She manipulates Bond, but he ultimately sees beyond her deception and manages to confront her.
  • Description Cut: Upon learning of Elektra and Renard's plan, Zukovsky exclaims that they must find his nephew his nephew Nikolai, who is working with them. Cut to him greeting Renard.
  • Destroy the Product Placement: Just as the filmmakers visited BMW and were shown the Z8 that the company was willing to provide, they were asked what was planned for it... "sawing the car in half" was not what the Germans expected.
  • Destructive Saviour: Bond, and it's lampshaded in this exchange:
    Sir Robert King: Be careful, M, I might try to steal him from you.
    Bond: Construction isn't exactly my speciality.
    M: Quite the opposite, in fact.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Renard is a notorious international terrorist, while Elektra King was an oil heiress, until she killed her father for revenge and to get rid of the "heiress" part.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Elektra didn't in a million years imagine that James would actually shoot her.
    • Dr. Christmas Jones makes clear to Bond when he shows up pretending to be Dr. Arkov that she doesn't want to hear any jokes from him about her name. He counters that he doesn't know any "Doctor" jokes.
  • Digital Bikini: In Israel, the poster was altered to add sleeves to Sophie Marceau's dress and create space between her and Pierce Brosnan.
  • Disability Immunity: Renard is highly resistant to pain because of a bullet slowly moving through his brain. The fact he is dying also means he's willing to engage in The Last Dance in order to further the plans of Elektra.
  • Disability Superpower: Renard's bullet wound is killing off his senses and will kill him eventually, but in the meantime it's effectively given him superhuman stamina and disproportionate strength for a man his size.
  • Distressed Dude: Elektra places Bond into a torture machine that slowly strangles him and will break his neck if pulled far enough.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The girly, childish way Elektra runs to the door and jumps in Renard's arms is almost reminiscent of a young child running to the door to greet her father who's just returned home from work. This may or may not be the result of her inversed Electra Complex.
  • Double Entendre: Bond just couldn't resist.
    Cigar Girl: [hands Bond a receipt for the money transfer] Would you like to check my figures?
    Bond: Oh, I'm sure they're perfectly rounded.
    • Bond and his doctor end up exchanging several.
      Bond: Let's skirt the issue, shall we? [undoes her skirt]
      Doctor: You'd have to promise to call me. This time.
      Bond: Whatever the doctor orders.
      Doctor: [start snogging] I supposed if you stayed in close contact... if you showed sufficient stamina... avoid... [pushes him down on bed]
      Bond: Strenuous activity...
    • Her medical report then notes that he "has exceptional stamina".
      Moneypenny: I'm sure she was touched by his dedication. To the job in hand...
  • Double Take: Bond takes note of the gorgeous Cigar Girl.
  • The Dragon: Davidov is this for Renard, who is secretly this for Elektra.
  • Dragon Their Feet: The final showdown is with Renard when Elektra King is dispatched at the end of a scene where she tortures Bond, who has to face Renard. Renard is not happy when Bond tells him she's dead.
  • Dramatic Shattering: Renard punches clean through a glass table in frustration, showing his utter inability to feel pain.
  • Dunking the Bomb: James Bond and Christmas Jones allow the water flooding into the sinking submarine to flood the reactor chamber before they escape: leaving the sub to explode relatively harmlessly at the bottom of the Bosphorus.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Valentin Zukovsky is shot multiple times in the chest by Elektra King. In his final moments, he shoots the cuffs holding Bond to a chair just to show he is a damn good sport, then dies in a moment of ultimate heroism.
  • Dying Smirk: Zukovsky, after being shot by Elektra, uses his Last Breath Bullet to shoot the restraints holding Bond, flashing him a smirk before passing.
  • Ear Ache: Elektra reveals to Bond that during her kidnapping they cut off part of her right earlobe. She actually did it herself and is now in league with Renard.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Christmas Jones. She warns Bond not to makes any comments; she's heard them all. (Aside from the closing line of dialogue, how many could there be?)
  • Empty Quiver: A nuclear weapon is stolen, but instead of being detonated, it's made into a dud. The other half of the plutonium is used to create an improvised bomb by forcing a nuclear submarine to have a meltdown.
  • Erotic Asphyxiation: Elektra King mentions that a man being throttled to death will get an erection and straddles Bond's waist as she turns the screws on him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Renard seems to have fallen in love with Elektra after she initially seduced him when he held her hostage. She had to cut off part of her ear herself because he became reluctant to hurt her and he's enraged when Bond tells him he killed her. Although Renard and Elektra are lovers in the present, the feeling is not quite as mutual as Elektra remains fairly cold towards him throughout the film. Whether she's too emotionally damaged to love anyone, still quite justifiably hates him or is just manipulating Renard is open to interpretation.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Renard is Ax-Crazy and ruthless, and he knows it. Which is why he's nevertheless disgusted at MI6 for flat-out abandoning Elektra to him and consequently causing her Start of Darkness.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Dr. Jones knows that Bond is an imposter, but is visibly uncomfortable when Renard squeezes his injured shoulder just to cause him pain.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: In the aftermath of King's murder, Charles Robinson grimly observes this is the big investigatory hurdle facing MI6. They know someone close to King swapped out his lapel pin for the disguised detonator, but their only lead — the Cigar Girl — committed suicide at the end of the prologue. Without her testimony to help narrow down the field of suspects, the size of King's organization means that it could be anyone anywhere. Neither Robinson or anyone else in the agency (at least initially) considers the possibility that by that same logic, King's daughter should also be considered a suspect.
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: Q Labs is shown testing some bagpipes with a machine gun concealed in one of the drones.
  • Evil Overlooker: Renard has this role on most of the posters.
  • Evil Plan: Elektra King and Renard scheme to raise petroleum prices by triggering a nuclear meltdown in the waters of Istanbul, destroying every gas pipeline except for hers and enabling her to corner the European oil market.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: The dying Valentin Zukovsky chooses to shoot the cuffs holding Bond to a torture device rather than try to take a potshot at Elektra King. Fatally for the latter, this shot is mistaken for a subversion by her. She thinks he'd aimed at Bond and missed, taunting him that the ally must have really hated him. Bond and Valentin had previously been enemies. His shot proves exactly the opposite, however: since Zukovsky had been fatally wounded, if he had chosen to shoot Elektra instead, Bond would have been unable to escape the torture device.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Everything from when Bond arrives in Azerbaijan takes place over three days.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Renard smiles right before Bond impales him with a reactor rod.
  • Faking the Dead: After Jones removes the plutonium from the bomb in the pipeline, she and Bond allow the triggering charge to detonate so they'll be assumed dead and Elektra will reveal the next stage of the plot.
  • Fanservice Extra: Bond enters a casino and his X-ray glasses make all the random women appear as if they are only wearing their lingerie.
  • Fast-Roping: Bond rappels out of the banker's window with an elastic cord attached to a mook as a counterweight.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Elektra attempts to exploit Bond's weakness for women by seducing him, believing that it will make her immune to assassination. Subverted, as it turns out that she was dead wrong.
      Elektra: You should have killed me when you had the chance. But you couldn't. Not me. Not a woman you've loved.
    • Elektra King and her Daddy Issues.
  • Fauxreigner: Bond impersonates a murdered Russian scientist in order to get close to Renard's nuclear operation. Not even Dr. Jones is fooled by the ruse. Not by his accent or anything though; after conversing in English she addresses him in Russian to test him, but Bond aces it. The scientist in question is simply too old for Bond to convincingly pass for him.
  • Feel No Pain: Renard cannot feel pain due to a bullet in his brain that is slowly working its way through. And this somehow turned into immunity to third-degree burns. Because he couldn't feel the hot rock he was holding, it apparently didn't damage his hand at all.
  • Femme Fatale: Elektra King. This is important.
  • Fiery Cover Up: Elektra King steals a nuclear warhead. She then plans to detonate a bomb so the authorities will think she has used all of the plutonium and stop looking for it. However, the explosion will cover-up the fact that she actually removed half the plutonium to use in her real scheme.
  • Finger in the Mail: Renard sent Elektra's mutilated earlobe to her father as a warning. However, it was Elektra who mutilated it herself, as Renard had already fallen in love with her and refused to physically harm his new captive-turned-girlfriend.
  • Foil: Elektra and M are powerful women who have very different ways of exercising control within a patriarchal system. Elektra overuses her femininity to manipulate the men around her, whereas M suppresses her femininity to maintain her authority over her employees (especially male chauvinists like Bond); when handling Elektra's kidnapping, M even explicitly states that she went against her instincts as a mother.
  • Forced Friendly Fire: This is how Bond kills a henchman in the very first scene.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • While showing the pipeline's planned route through the mountains, Bond says "Your father's legacy.", to which Elektra responds "My family's legacy to the world." This is a sign that Elektra wasn't on good terms with her father and arranged his death.
    • The parahawks that ambush Bond and Elektra on the mountain are only seen chasing after the former, despite the latter being their target. Likewise, when Renard later questions Dr. Arkov and Davidov's failure to put Bond down, Elektra is never once mentioned. This hints that she was never their target.
    • Bond's briefing on Renard's background establishes that he was previously sighted in Afghanistan among other hostile places. Zukovksy subsequently reveals Renard worked for the KGB up until that period in Afghanistan. They cut him loose after Renard was involved in a Noodle Incident that made him too much of a liability even for them (and it's why he went freelance).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Elektra is working on her laptop, you can see framed photos on her desk of her mother (Elektra clearly inherited her good looks from her mom) and her maternal grandfather, but not her father. This is a clue to eagle-eyed fans that Elektra loathes her father.
    • Near the beginning of the film (right after the Q sequence), Bond reads a press release on Elektra King. A prominent quote is attributed to her:
      Elektra: "I've never really known what direction my life is taking, which I find exciting. My friends are all very game to join in any mad schemes I might suggest so we often end up in really strange places wearing very odd costumes!"
    • The pinups on the walls of Zukovsky's warehouse are of former Bond Girls. Probably why there was such a persistent rumor that as the last Bond film of the 20th century, it would feature cameos from them.
  • Freudian Excuse: Elektra mostly blames her father for forcing her to sacrifice her humanity in order to survive her kidnapping ordeal.
    Bond: So, you killed your father.
    Elektra: He killed me. He killed me the day he refused to pay my ransom.
  • 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 realises the extent of Elektra and Renard's depravity, and, in fact, dies saving Bond's life.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Bond suffers an injury to his left shoulder after falling from the Cigar Girl's hot air balloon onto the roof of The O2. Renard later uses the injury to incapacitate him (which gives him a clue to who The Mole is).
  • Genre Blind: The theme song by Garbage includes the line "No one ever died from wanting too much". This is precisely how every James Bond film ends. However, this ends up subverted once you finish watching the film and realize the song is from Elektra's perspective.
  • Give My Regards in the Next World: Before Bond kills Renard, he says, "She's waiting for you!" referring to Renard's lover Elektra, whom Bond had killed earlier.
  • Gold Digger: A rare gender inversion with Sir Robert King and his Azeri wife; Robert married her to gain access to oil-rich lands near the Caspian Sea that her family owned. According to Elektra, her father was nothing before he married her mother. As a British man with a foreign wife, he was able to seize control of the assets which should've rightfully belonged to Elektra's mother, but the sexism and racism which existed at the time meant that she couldn't reclaim what her husband stole.
    • This is contradicted by the script, which indicates that Electra's maternal grandfather (and the man who owned the oil empire) decided to pass the company on to his son-in-law rather than his daughter, making it questionable if the company ever "Rightfully" belonged to Elektra's mother in anything beyond her own impression.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Elektra straps Bond in a torture chair.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Bond has glasses that allow him to see through clothes. Therefore spotting concealed weapons — and ladies' undergarments.
  • Going Critical: Renard attempts to turn the reactor in a nuclear sub critical by inserting a rod of weapons grade plutonium. In the bare reactor. With nothing more than a shirt protecting him from hard radiation. Granted, he wasn't expecting to survive the act, but Bond is there with him. This might be slightly forgivable given that the intent was to contaminate the whole area, not necessarily blow it to hell. Of course, nobody except Dr. Jones actually understands how inserting the weapons grade plutonium into the reactor would cause an 'instant, catastrophic meltdown'.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Part of Bond's Gadget Watch.
  • Groin Attack: Bond drops Renard groin-first onto a pipe at one point, but because Renard can Feel No Pain, it only slows him down for a second.
  • Hate Sink: Elektra King claims Sir Robert King is an amoral oil baron, Elektra King's lousy excuse of a father, and the man who made Elektra's life miserable. Robert used his British citizenship to con his immigrant wife out of her own company, emotionally and financially abused her and Elektra, bulldozed centuries-old landmarks to make room for oil pipelines, badly mistreated the locals who protested his actions, and abandoned his daughter to be kidnapped and raped as a teen rather than pay a ransom. In fairness to that last one, that was on M's reccomendation, and an agent was tracking her down. Elektra assassinates him with a booby-trapped briefcase full of money, meaning Sir Robert dies showered in the only thing he ever cared about.
  • Helicopter Blender: Averted. The helicopter just has several enormous rotary saw blades dangling from a helicopter instead. (It was designed to fly above treetop level and use the rotary saw blades below it to clear branches, and in fact was was seen doing so earlier in the movie.)
  • Hellish Copter: Helicopter-mounted circular saws, first seen trimming trees to make way for the pipeline, are utilized in the attack on Zukovsky's caviar factory, and one of them saws Bond's car in half. He takes one heli down with a surface-to-air missile and the other by shooting a gas tank it hovers above.
  • Hero Insurance: Bond seems to have it, but his allies in the Russian underworld do not, even if he is involved. After Zukovsky's caviar factory is demolished by Elektra King's henchmen (who were trying to kill Bond), Zukovsky shouts, "The insurance company is never going to believe this!" Probably because the damage was done by a helicopter equipped with a tree-cutting buzzsaw.
  • Hero of Another Story: It's mentioned that 009 was the one who shot Renard prior to the events of the film.
    • The other "Double O" agents given their orders by M.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Elektra tries to seduce Bond as a means towards furthering her own plans for revenge against MI6. Although initially successful, Bond catches on pretty early in the film, but even during their final confrontation in Istanbul as he holds her at gunpoint if she fails to stop Renard herself, Elektra still insists that she means too much to Bond for him to bring himself to kill her. Guess who's proven wrong when she defies him for the last time.
  • Hollywood Density: That plutonium rod should have been a lot heavier than Bond and Renard treated it. As should have the plutonium Dr. Jones very easily picks up from her bag after the pipeline blows up.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Pretty much all the good guys get hit with this trope at least once: Bond and M believe that Elektra King is the grieving daughter of an old friend of theirs, rather than the mastermind behind her father's death, Valentin Zukovsky has his bodyguard Mr. Bullion turn out to be in the employ of Renard, and Colonel Akakievich mistakenly believes Bond is behind the plot to steal a bomb from the nuclear test site he's overseeing, allowing Renard to take control of the situation, a move that ultimately costs the Colonel his life.
  • Hospital Hottie: M refuses to allow Bond to return to duty after he dislocates his collar bone. Fortunately Dr. Molly Warmflash, the MI6 physician, is a hot redhead who Bond seduces into certifying him as having "exceptional stamina".
  • Hostage MacGuffin: Elektra King, the daughter of oil baron Sir Robert King, who was kidnapped five years earlier by Renard. Let's just say that Stockholm Syndrome may have been involved somewhere.
  • Hospital Hottie: Bond seduces the MI6 doctor (and not for the first time) to get her clear him for duty, provided he stays in close contact and shows sufficient stamina.
  • Huge Holographic Head: Dr. Molly Warmflash cues up a giant hologram of Renard's head. It is later shown with an X-Ray scan to show the bullet inside his brain.
  • Hurricane of Puns: This movie is especially full of them, even for a Bond film.
  • I Don't Pay You to Think:
    R: [after botching a Bond One-Liner and being called on it by Q] I think—
    Q: You're not here to think, you're here to do what I tell you!
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Renard gets speared by a steam-propelled reactor rod.
  • Impersonation Gambit: Bond impersonates a nuclear physicist trying to steal a warhead scheduled for decommissioning. When Christmas becomes suspicious of him, he passes a language test, but still gets caught because of the age discrepancy between Bond and the physicist.
  • Incriminating Indifference: Bond realizes that Zukovsky's nonplussed reaction to Elektra losing a million dollars to his casino means they're in cahoots and that her "loss" was actually a payment she was making to him.
  • Injured Limb Episode: Bond injures his left shoulder in the Cold Open, which comes up throughout the movie.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: After Bond and Jones are spotted in bed together by MI6 satellites, M's voice cracks when she says "007!" as the film comes to an end.
  • Instant Death Bullet: While Mooks and bystanders die this way as a matter of course in the movie, a notable instance is when Bond shoots Elektra in the face. She simply falls back onto a bed, dead.
  • Instrument of Murder: A submachine gun/flamethrower bagpipe hybrid is being tested by Q Branch.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Bond is being tortured by Elektra King during the penultimate confrontation. She indulges in kissing and taunting her former lover as she gradually breaks his neck. She then straddles his lap and asks sensually:
    Elektra: Do you know what happens when a man is strangled?
    • Just when it seems like she is about to kill him by turning the wheel of the torture chair, he quips:
      Bond: One last screw.
      Elektra: Oh, James...
  • Is Nothing Sacred?: Zukovsky has a variant, "Is nothing in this place straight?", which he asks both on the corruption he has to deal with as a gangster in post-Soviet Russia and on seeing a crooked wall painting.
  • It's Personal: Bond accuses M of this as she was a very close friend of Sir Robert.
    Bond: I brought the money in that killed King.
    M: Don't make this personal.
    Bond: I'm not; are you?
  • Just a Stupid Accent: When Bond infiltrates a nuclear silo held by the bad guys, he poses as a Russian nuclear scientist, complete with heavy accent. However, when Dr. Jones comments on his remarkably good English in Russian, he delivers a reasonable reply in Russian that is unaccented enough to pass without comment. Still not enough to stop her from digging deeper, though.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: This is precisely how the corrupt banker is killed in the opening, and how Elektra King gets it at the end.
  • Killed Off for Real: Valentin.
  • Kill and Replace: Renard executes Dr. Arkov and has Davidov impersonate him for the rest of their mission. Then Bond kills Davidov and takes his place.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Bond experiences the tragedy of executing a woman he loves, namely Elektra.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Bond notes that "Cold-blooded murder is a filthy business." As distasteful as it is to him, he'll do whatever it takes to get the job done. Then there's this exchange:
    Bond: The world is not enough.
    Elektra: Foolish sentiment.
    Bond: [with a distinct "This Is Gonna Suck but what else can you do?" tone] Family motto.
  • Lady and Knight: This proves to be the situation: The Dragon/Black Knight is Renard; the Sorceress archetype is Elektra King.
  • Laser Sight:
    • A henchman in Bilbao is about to shoot James, when the latter spots a red dot on his chest. It's Renard who shoots the man so Bond could escape with Sir Robert King's money, which was rigged as an explosive.
    • After MI6 is bombed and James is looking out of the hole in the building wall, he sees a laser sight just in time to duck out of the way. The cigar girl is located on a boat, about 300-400 meters away, with a G36 equipped with a scope. And she missed.
  • Last Breath Bullet: A variation. Zukovsky looks like he's going to play the trope straight by shooting Elektra as he lays dying, but turns his cane-gun on Bond and shoots the restraints holding him to Elektra's torture chair.
  • Layman's Terms: "You wanna put that in English for those of us who don't speak spy?"
  • Leave No Witnesses: Renard gets himself a Russian nuclear submarine. He brings along some refreshments for the crew. By the time Bond gets on the sub, the crew are all dead from the poison.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: While it wasn't quick enough to prevent M's rage at it, "R" cuts the surveillance footage the moment it becomes obvious that they had found Bond and Christmas Jones having sex at the end of the film.
    R: It must be a premature form of the Millennium Bug.
  • Lima Syndrome: Combined with Stockholm Syndrome in the case of Elektra King, and then in reality the hostage was a Manipulative Bastard and seduced their captor, then allied with them to plan and carry out their schemes of revenge and nuclear terrorism. It stands out from most other examples because the Lima Syndrome doesn't make the captor more sympathetic, it reveals the captive was evil and the hostage-taker ends up getting enrolled in even more evil stuff (though, as the captor was already a psychopathic terrorist, that's not really saying much).
    Elektra: When I realized that my father wouldn't rescue me from the kidnappers, I knew I had to form another alliance.
    Bond: You turned Renard.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: Renard is still walking around as a bullet slowly works its way through his brain.
  • The Load: Christmas Jones. Aside from the fact that in her first scenes, she nearly gets Bond killed and ends up inadvertently helping Renard (to be fair, she had no idea Bond was the good guy and was following protocol by reporting him), it's painfully obvious she's there just for Bond to have another Bond girl. Though she tries to help in the later action scenes, and as a nuclear scientist, gives 007 some info.
  • 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 the battery from a clock left outside the cell and a broom in there with her, she's able to activate the chip and alert Bond.
  • Love Hurts: Bond only permits himself a brief moment to grieve over the corpse of Elektra. He leans over her and caresses her hair before he must carry on with his mission.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: James Bond receives a nasty surprise over the course of the movie. Namely that Elektra King, his first Love Interest, is in fact the Big Bad.
  • Macho Masochism: Renard holds a scalding hot rock — except he can't feel pain, so it doesn't matter to him. However, at the same time he tells of legends of monks who would hold those same rocks to prove their devotion to God.
  • Made of Explodium: Most notably the parahawks, 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.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: An interesting subversion of this happens when Elektra King bets a million dollars on a high-card draw at the casino... and loses (though the loss was only by a slim margin; a queen versus an ace). This is after Bond orders that the dealer bury the top three cards in the shoe to prevent tampering, which the dealer gave a silent Oh, Crap! look as if it had been tampered with. Turns out this is actually a discreet way for Elektra to pay Zukovsky for the services of his nephew's submarine for a smuggling run, so she had intended to lose it all along — it was just sheer luck that she lost the un-rigged high-card draw anyway and completed the payment as planned.
  • Male Gaze: One of the gadgets from Q-Branch is a pair of x-ray glasses that enable the wearer to see what's underneath other people's clothes. Obviously the intention was to enable agents to spot concealed weapons, but Bond has another use for them. No wonder he's smiling.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Elektra King. Well, the Woman Behind the Man.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Elektra manipulates Bond into having sex with her and loving her before betraying him and torturing him with a garrote, and revealing her plan to monopolize the oil industry. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line she forgets that Bond has killed women he's slept with before (and she's a genocidal madwoman). Renard screws with Bond earlier by teasing him about his own love for Elektra.
    Renard: She's beautiful, isn't she? You should have had her before, when she was innocent. How does it feel to know that I broke her in for you?
    Elektra: James! You can't kill me! Not in cold blood!
    Elektra: You wouldn't kill me. You'd miss me.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: Elektra and Renard are a villainous version of this. He kidnapped her, and she seduced him when her father wouldn't pay the ransom. It is strongly implied that Elektra is ultimately just using Renard to fulfil her own evil agenda, meaning she was a Poisonous Captive and he a Jerkass Woobie; Renard may even realize this, but since he is dying anyway, he'll take what he can get. She quite openly intends to find another man (possibly just as another lovestruck pawn) once Renard has sacrificed himself to carry out her scheme, and she teases Renard (and James Bond himself) that it might even be Bond.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: "Blowing up a prominent billionaire and part of MI6 headquarters" is hardly a "minor crime", but the plot it reveals - to force a nuclear sub into meltdown, nuke Istanbul, and contaminate 90% of the world's oil supply - is definitely bigger.
  • The Mob Boss Is Scarier: Renard inspires this early in the film, and the Cigar Girl kills herself instead of accepting Bond's offer of protection.
    Bond: I can protect you!
    Cigar Girl: Not from him!
  • Modesty Bedsheet:
    • Nearly averted with Bond and Elektra; only her arm is (barely) covering her breasts when he says, "Enough ice for one day," and turns her around so that he can kiss her. Pierce Brosnan even stated in an interview that numerous takes were required for that moment because Sophie Marceau's nipples often showed, which is a big no-no if the filmmakers wish to retain a PG-13 rating.
    • Played very straight with Renard and Elektra.
  • The Mole: Elektra. On a lesser note, there's Bullion from within Zukovsky's organization.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: This movie is actually a very conventional Bond film; the only thing which sets it apart from previous outings is Bond's gullibility when it comes to women. (Even in GoldenEye, Bond guessed that Xenia was bad news right away.) Most interestingly, it’s the Cigar Girl (a credit rife with Freudian implications) who ends up being his greatest threat in the teaser, and the movie suggests that Bond ignored her because she was a woman, exchanging little more than a cheesy double entendre.
  • Ms. Fanservice: No less than four gorgeous Bond Girls, even if two of them are only in brief, minor roles. Notably, even Elektra admires Dr. Jones' looks.
    Elektra: Pretty thing! You've had her too?
  • My Greatest Failure: M laments on having failed Elektra and her father; when Elektra was kidnapped by Renard, Sir Robert tried to deal with Elektra's kidnapping on his own with no success, so he asked his close friend M for advice. M followed the agency's policy to not negotiate with terrorists, and told him to not pay the ransom demand. It doesn't end well. Come the time of the movie, this really comes back to bite everyone in the rear end. And we're not talking about Renard.
  • Mythology Gag: The ski scene is very similar to the one in OHMSS, and the design of Elektra's ski suit is very similar to Tracy's. Which makes perfect sense, as she's initially presented as a Tracy replacement, before turning out to be one for Blofeld. There's also Bond's method of dispatching a parahawk's parachute by tearing it with his ski; Rick Sylvester, the stuntman who did the ski-parachute jump in The Spy Who Loved Me actually almost died when one of his discarded skis passed dangerously close to his parachute.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Yes, Brosnan gets to say it twice in this movie. Valentin Zukovsky also addresses 007 as "Bond Jamesbond."
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Subverted. Elektra may talk a lot about her father, and becomes the owner of his oil company through heritage, but then it turns out that it was her mother's family that built up his wealth in the first place.
  • 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."
  • Newscaster Cameo: Then BBC newsreader Martyn Lewis appears in an 'archive' report on Elektra King.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Christmas Jones runs a background check on the scientist Bond is posing as and figures out he is a fake. She and security arrive just in time to prevent him from capturing Renard, who then slaughters the guards and escapes with a nuke. Although in fairness, she wasn't in possession of all the facts at the time.
  • No Delays for the Wicked: Averted. Renard has only a small band of followers with him, rather than (as usual in Bond films) the well-funded personal army of a megalomaniacal multi-billionaire. At one point, Arkov complains to him about the four parahawks destroyed by Bond in the ski chase scene; they were rented and the rental company is going to be pissed. Roger Ebert even cited this little scene in his review of the movie as proof to how the Bond villains can get mooks with special vehicles so easily and quickly in order to be sent after Bond.
  • Noodle Incident: Valentin tells Bond that the KGB cut Renard loose after an incident in Afgahnistan that made them decide he was too much of a liability.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Renard survived being shot in the head. A partial subversion in that the bullet is slowly killing him as it drills further into his brain. A bad case of Artistic Licence – Biology as the part of the brain the bullet is in does not control physical sensation. Further, even if it did, try walking with all your limbs numb sometime. You might find it almost impossible to control what you cannot feel.
  • Novelization: This was the second of three films to be novelised by Raymond Benson. More details here.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: This occurs with Bond, Renard and Elektra.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Bond typically slays baddies without a second thought, but he's willing to spare Elektra's life and simply arrest her if she aborts the Evil Plan because he's still in love with her. Bond even gives Elektra not just one, but three chances to live ("Call him off. I won't ask again; call him off. CALL HIM OFF!!!"), but the Big Bad foolishly ignores his threats.
  • One Bullet Left: Valentin Zukovsky has precisely one bullet in his walking-cane gun, and has to decide between killing Elektra and freeing Bond. He chooses the latter.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sophie Marceau starts sounding very French towards the end of the film, particularly in the line "We might have met again, and become lovers once more."
  • Outrun the Fireball: Bond and Christmas Jones outrun a fireball that shoots up an elevator shaft.
  • P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl: Bond is the main character, but the story is really about Elektra King.
  • Parental Substitute: As a close friend of Sir Robert King, M is a maternal figure towards his daughter Elektra (whose mother had passed away some years ago before the events of the movie).
  • Passive Rescue: Bond is strapped in a torture device and Elektra is about to break his neck. Zukovsky storms in looking for his (murdered) nephew and is promptly shot. He then reveals he has a cane gun and takes aim at... Bond. Or more specifically, his restraints (probably because Bond being free to act would be much more helpful than a dead Elektra with Bond still restrained and unable to put a stop to her Evil Plan).
  • Patricide: Elektra is the one who ordered the assassination of her father.
  • Power Glows: The fuel rods in the submarine reactor briefly glow red, as they are very hot. The plutonium rod glows blue when it's being made in a special machine.
  • Power Perversion Potential: When 007 is visiting Zukovsky's casino, he momentarily puts on his x-ray glasses, revealing all the women in their underwear. Of course, the glasses reveal that they're all armed, too, so he could just be checking out the opposition. But then, it's Bond.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: According to Zukovsky, the KGB cut Renard loose after a Noodle Incident in Afghanistan. Whatever it was that Renard did, it's clear that his brand of anarchy became too much of a liability even for Moscow Centre.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    Bond: [to Renard] She's waiting for you.
    • Bond attempts one earlier, remarking "See you back at the lodge" after tricking a pursuing Parahawk into driving off a cliff - but it turns out to be premature, as the pilot deploys a spare chute, and flies back into the action. Bond is visibly annoyed that his joke was ruined. Could also count as a Call-Back to the pre-titles sequence in The Spy Who Loved Me, where it's Bond who uses that trick.
    • Zukovsky also gets one in after he encounters his traitorous henchman Mr. Bullion who had been bought out by Renard and Elektra:
      Mr. Bullion]: Boss! So glad to see you!
      Zukovsky: (smirks) Me, too. (shoots him)
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Bond's BMW gets sawed in half by a helicopter-mounted buzzsaw. While Bond usually chuckles when the car gets destroyed, here he actually looks sheepish.
  • Pretty in Mink: Elektra's crimson red ski outfit, complete with a giant black fur hat.
  • Prolonged Prologue: To a great degree. The Cold Openings are a Bond tradition, but this one is 14 minutes long, during which Bond recovers money taken from another 00 agent, the money is returned to Elektra King's father, and then said money is rigged to blow him up, and Bond subsequently engages the cigar woman in a boat chase. The filmmakers originally intended for the "get the money" scene in Bilbao to be the cold opening followed by the dancing oil lady credits, but test audiences thought that scene was too short.
  • Punny Name: Dr. Christmas Jones.
  • Recycled Premise: It might not be apparent as the villains' personalities are completely different, but the evil scheme in this film is effectively a modern update of the one in Goldfinger. Both involve the nuclear destruction of a massive store of a precious resource, with tens of thousands of civilian casualties, in order to massively drive up the price of said resource, allowing the villains, with huge stakes, to become the wealthiest people in the world.
  • 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. Renard had already fallen in love with her at that point, and he refused to hurt her.
  • Red Shirt Army: Zukovsky's remaining men are all gunned down as soon as they're onscreen when they attack Maiden's Tower, which leaves Zukovsky himself all alone when he goes upstairs to save Bond.
  • Renegade Russian: Valentin Zukovsky's nephew Nikolai, the captain of a nuclear submarine. They had no clue about the real plan.
  • Replaced with Replica: In the second half of the Action Prologue, Sir Robert King's lapel pin had been switched with a replica containing a radio transmitter that sets off the bomb inside the briefcase retrieved by Bond from Bilbao in the first half that kills him and damages MI6 headquarters. It was switched by Elektra, who wanted her father to die by the money that he seemed to choose over her when he refused to pay the ransom — the amount in the retrieved briefcase is exactly the same as what was demanded for her release.
  • Replacement Goldfish: If Bond weren't actively trying to stop Elektra's Evil Plan, she would've used him as her consort to replace the dying and impotent Renard.
    Elektra: If only you had kept away. We might have met again in a few years and become lovers once more.
  • Revenge:
    • Elektra is furious at her father and M for leaving her at the mercy of her kidnappers, so she arranges to have both of them killed, but only succeeds in murdering Sir Robert.
    • Renard hates M for sending a 00 agent to execute him; there's now a bullet in his brain which is slowly killing him.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Elektra doesn't seem to care about losing a million dollars in one shot in Zukovksy's casino — sure, she's inherited control of her father's business empire, but that's still a massive amount to bet all at once. In the scene itself she plays it off as her being free-wheeling and simply wanting to live dangerously, bringing up her "There's no point in living if you can't feel alive" Character Catchphrase, but it turns out she's discretly paying him off for a smuggling job his nephew did. Bond does cotton on to the fact that Zukovsky doesn't even blink at her dropping a million dollars on a single round of High Card, only hesitating after Bond demanded that the top three cards be buried, as if the whole scene was meant to be a rigged win for the house; he uses that hunch to track him down later for leads on what the Big Bad is up to after Elektra tries to kill Bond with the bomb in her own pipeline and he goes Faking the Dead to get her off his scent.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The film's story was inspired by a segment in the November 13, 1997 episode of ABC News Nightline, featuring Daniel Yergin. It was seen by Barbara Broccoli on a plane in November 1997. The episode reported the last great oil discovery on the planet was in the region of Eastern Europe. It covered pipelines in the area, and discussed the grand reservoirs of oil that exist below the Caspian Sea. It told of the rise of small towns in the region, that have grown into centres of grand affluence, which has included the building of numerous casinos. The episode showed how this oil reserve was now an opportunity for the western world to capitalize, as it was no longer a Russian jurisdiction, and as such, major oil companies now had interests there. Broccoli hypothesized how a James Bond villain might want to create a monopoly by removing all competitors and owning the only pipeline in the region.
  • Rising Water, Rising Tension: The final showdown between Bond and Renard takes place in the flooding reactor room of a nuclear sub.
  • Rule of Symbolism: At the casino, Elektra draws the queen of hearts card during her card game with Zukovsky. She manipulates men by making them fall in love with her.
  • Say My Name: M shouts, "BOND!!!" as she hears him run by her prison cell.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: This is Elektra's attitude.
    Elektra: I've always had a power over men. [...] Nobody can resist me.
  • See-Thru Specs: Bond's tinted lenses gave him quasi-X-Ray vision. He used them to see concealed weapons and lingerie.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: Part of Renard the Anarchist for being, well, an anarchist is that there is a bullet in his head that removes his ability to feel pain. While it does mean he can push his body further than a normal human, it also means he can't enjoy getting intimate with Elektra.
  • Sex for Services: Bond has no problem with seducing an MI6 doctor to get her to clear him medically for his next mission (though they are implied to have had a prior relationship). Her report states that he has exceptional stamina.
  • Ship Out of Water: In the opening sequence, Bond takes the Q-Boat through the streets of London as he pursues the "Cigar Girl".
  • Shirtless Scene: Bond gets three, one for each woman he beds.
  • 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.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Bond grabs a mook as a Human Shield on the sub. The other mooks hesitate, but Renard immediately shoots the guy and his mooks follow suit.
  • Silly Brain Diagram: M details to Bond that an assassin named Renard took a bullet to the head, which is lodged in his brain. A 3-D brain hologram indicates the bullet's resting site as well as the penetration trajectory. Renard still has his senses and motor function, but with a constant adrenaline rush and diminished pain perception: essentially an ongoing speedball high.
  • Sinking Ship Scenario: The climax takes place aboard a sunken submarine.
  • Skeleton Key Card: Bond has a Visa credit card with a lockpick inside it. Sliding back the lower portion of the card causes the spring-loaded pick to pop out.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Bond gives a cigar to Moneypenny as a souvenir from his trip to Bilbao; the first thing she does is toss it in the garbage can.
  • The Smurfette Principle: She's unnamed and her number is not stated, but there's clearly a female Double-0 agent visible at the briefing of Sir Robert's death at the Scottish MI6 headquarters.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Bond vs. John Cleese.
    Bond: If you're Q, does this make him R?
    R: Ah yes, the legendary 007 wit... or at least, half of it.
  • Sniper Rifle: Used by the assassin in the Action Prologue who saves Bond's life. It turns out to be Renard.
    Renard: You should show a little gratitude, I did spare your life at the banker's office.
  • So Proud of You: A variant. M tells Elektra that Bond is the best agent they have, but adds to never let him know she said that.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Renard and Elektra give themselves away as conspirators by using an identical aphorism - 'There's no point in living if you can't feel alive'. A few minutes later, Renard jams his hand into Bond's injured shoulder - something else he could only have learned from Elektra, though when Bond confronts her about this, she points out that Bond has been wearing a sling and any number of Renard's spies could have told him about this.
  • Spy Speak: Lampshaded.
    Christmas: You wanna put that in English for those of us who don't speak spy?
  • Stairwell Chase: Bond chases Elektra up the stairs of her hideout during the climax.
  • Starter Villain: Bond fights the Cigar Girl during the pre-credits sequence.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Zukovsky. Downplayed as it doesn't happen until the climax, and he plays a fairly important role in the film until that point.
  • Suicide for Others' Happiness: Renard is willing to die in order to further Elektra's plan to irradiate all her competitors' oil by blowing up a nuclear submarine. The fact he's slowly dying from a bullet wound to the head probably helps though.
  • Sword Cane: Zukovsky has the gun variant. Apparently it's powerful enough to shatter a manacle without harming the restrained person.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Renard kills Captain Nikolai and his crew with poisoned brandy and food.
    Renard: Enjoyed your meal, boys?
  • Tarnishing Their Own Beauty: Elektra King cut off a piece of her own ear to make her kidnapping look credible when she had actually seduced her captor, who subsequently felt squeamish about hurting her. However, this disfigurement is hidden behind large earrings until she takes them off to show Bond.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • After Zukovsky's caviar factory is destroyed by Elektra King's helicopters, he remarks "We have no roof, but at least we have four good walls". Guess what happens next?
    • 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.
  • Terminally-Ill Criminal: Renard is one half of the Big Bad Duumvirate and has lived so far with a bullet in his brain that's slowly killing him. Figuring that's he dead soon no matter what, Renard has no qualms about handling a nuclear fuel rod with his bare hands, nor with getting blown up in a reactor meltdown. Even after learning that his partner + lover is dead, Renard continues the Evil Plan, aiming for a Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • Test of Pain: Discussed by Renard when he holds a meeting with his associates at the Devil's Breath, a natural gas fire which blazes continuously around a natural grotto. He talks about how Hindus make pilgrimages to the site to marvel at the eternally burning flames and test their devotion by saying prayers while holding scalding stones in their hands. He then picks up one of the stones to demonstrate his own immunity to pain, and uses it to torture one of his minions who bungled an attempt to assassinate Bond.
  • That Liar Lies: Renard does his usual "You cannot kill me because I'm already dead" Badass Boast to James Bond near the end, and Bond retorts (referring to Elektra), "So is she." Renard goes berserk on Bond while screaming that he is a liar.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Renard not only survived a bullet in the brain but actually gained a superpower: he can't feel pain. Admittedly it is slowly killing him but still, pretty cool. One can presume he was already badass enough not to injure himself (which is a constant danger in real life for pain-insensitive people). Really it is a case of Blessed with Suck, since not only is he unable to feel pain, he's unable to feel anything, including Elektra. MI6 has admitted that they are unsure how it didn't kill him, but he apparently lived long enough to make it to a doctor who did the rest. Presumably, he would have died had he not sought treatment.
  • Title Drop: It's the Bond family motto. It also got dropped 30 years earlier in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • Token Romance: A nice subversion. Elektra King is strongly hinted to be Bond's token love interest early on but is subsequently revealed to be the main villain.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Bond's execution of Elektra King. Bond told her, at gunpoint, to call off the sub. She instead tells Renard to dive. 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.
  • To the Pain: Elektra gets OFF on this...
  • Traffic Warden: Bond splashes two wardens (played by those featured in Clampers) in a tight turn with the Q-Boat. Many cinema audiences in the UK cheered at this scene. Amusingly, the wardens were not told just how wet they were going to get (a small reservoir worth of water soaks them).
  • Tragic Villain: Elektra was kidnapped by the terrorist Renard and held for ransom, which her father refused to pay on the advice of M. Embittered by what she saw as her father's betrayal, she participated in Renard's scheme to milk money from her father.
  • Translation Convention: Subverted. While Bond is undercover as a Russian nuclear physicist and meets Christmas for the first time, they speak for awhile in English, then she ends the conversation by saying in Russian, "Your English is very good for a Russian". Bond is naturally unfazed and replies (in Russian) that he studied at Oxford.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Christmas is the first thing Zukovsky sees, letting him snark about calling security to congratulate them... then Bond shows up from behind the door with a gun.
    Zukovsky: Who are you, and how did you get in? I'll call security and congratulate them. Drink?
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife/Unholy Matrimony: Renard and Elektra. Once kidnapper and victim, now he's her adoring lapdog willing to do anything for her while she lavishes gratitude on him.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: Q's new "fishing boat" isn't ready yet when Bond hijacks it.
  • The Vamp: Elektra King. She's really keen on having a relationship with Bond and guilt-tripping him, and the reveal that she's the true Big Bad of the film cements her as this, to the point that she thinks that Bond wouldn't shoot her. She's wrong.
  • Vapor Wear: Elektra King's dress in the final act in Istanbul.
  • Verbal Salt in the Wound: Bond receives a shoulder injury in one early scene. Later, he finds himself at the mercy of Renard, who grabs Bond by the injured area while telling him "I knew you couldn't shoulder the responsibility".
  • Villain Song: The theme tune by Garbage, once you've seen the film. The lyrics are told from Elektra's perspective.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Bond tells Renard that Elektra is dead, he loses any sanity he had and starts pummeling 007, screaming, "Liar!" And he goes forward with inserting a plutonium rod into the core, which overloads its already radioactive contents.
  • Villainous Plan Inertia: Killing Elektra doesn't interrupt the plan to nuke Istanbul in the least, as Renard is perfectly happy to do so in her memory.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Bond and Q swap puns and join forces in mocking Q's replacement before Q exits with some final parting words of advice.
    Q: Now pay attention, 007; I've always tried to teach you two things. First, never let them see you bleed.
    James Bond: And the second?
    Q: Always have an escape plan. [Q activates the lift and descends into the basement]note 
  • Walking Spoiler: Elektra King, who was previously kidnapped and held for ransom by Renard. However, it's much later revealed that she is in fact the Big Bad and working alongside Renard.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out!: Inverted. Renard was shot in the head by 009. The bullet didn't kill him, but it is slowly drifting towards his medulla oblongata which will eventually kill him. Unfortunately for Bond, this somehow also causes him to feel no pain and become stronger.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: M mentions to Elektra that Bond is her best agent, but she'd never tell him that in person.
  • 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.
  • When Harry Met Svetlana: Played With. A British woman is with the Russian man, both experiencing Stockholm Syndrome and Lima Syndrome respectively. They're an Outlaw Couple and the Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Dr. Christmas Jones warns Bond immediately upon introducing herself not to make any jokes because she's heard them all already. Bond demurs that he doesn't know any doctor jokes (which doesn't stop him from going for the low-hanging fruit anyway at the end of the film).
    • MI6's doctor is named Molly Warmflash.
  • Whole Costume Reference: The costume designer said that Christmas Jones' tank top and shorts were intended to make her look like Lara Croft.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Bond, much to the surprise of Elektra King - and absolutely nobody in the audience.
  • X-Ray of Pain: Agent 009 shoots Viktor Zokas in the head. Rather than killing him, however, the bullet has a numbing effect on Renard's pain threshold, making him combat-effective despite taking damage. This "magic bullet" effect is shown by M to Agent 007 via a hologram.
  • X-Ray Vision: Bond gets a pair of X-ray glasses. He uses them in a casino both to see who is armed and to check out the underwear of the lovely ladies present.
  • You Are Already Dead: Renard has an untreatable bullet wound to the head; the injury will eventually kill him, but until it does, it makes him stronger and more resistant to pain every day. And he knows this, giving Bond an enemy that literally has nothing to lose - he is not just losing the ability to feel pain, but the ability to feel anything. In fact, when Bond threatens to kill him in one scene, Renard chuckles and says, "You forget... I'm already dead."
  • You Can Keep Her!: M advised this to Sir Robert, as the Secret Intelligence Service does not give in to terrorists. Elektra later repays M in kind by holding her hostage in a dingy tower prison cell.
  • You Have Failed Me: Renard has Dr. Arkov killed when he suggests abandoning the plan following the failure to kill Bond, citing that he "failed his test of devotion".
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Renard obtains a nuclear submarine then murders the captain and crew.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Almost literally said by Elektra, as Bond holds her at gunpoint. Except he would. Her mistake was overestimating her charms and underestimating his dedication to his duty.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Renard is a terrorist who is hopelessly in love with Elektra King and he's got a bullet lodged in his brain that's migrating, preventing him from feeling pain, but it's only a matter of time before it kills him.

I never miss.


Streneous Activity

In order to get a clean bill of health for active duty, Bond seduces Dr. Molly Warmflash.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / SexForServices

Media sources: