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Film / The World Is Not Enough

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"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 James Bond film and the third starring Pierce Brosnan. 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, 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.
  • A ski chase with paragliding snowmobiles as pursuers.
  • M playing an integral part in the plot, a first for the series.
  • The franchise's first (and so far only) female Big Bad. note 
  • Bond shoots a woman in cold blood; a rarity.
  • A horrible (and shamelessly exploited) Punny Name for one of the Bond girls.


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: 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 "No, I don't know any 'doctor' jokes." Jones 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 mook to show him where Christmas Jones is kept captive so he can free 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?
  • Artistic License – 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).
    • The bullet is said to be moving through the medulla oblongata of Renard's brain, enough 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 License – 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.
  • 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.
    • On a less spoilery note, Mr. Lachaise qualifies, too.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Renard kills an atomic scientist and arranges to have Davidov replace him. Bond kills and replaces him and successfully bluffs his way past Renard's men and the guards at the nuclear disarmament site they travel too. Unfortunately, Dr. Jones who really is a nuclear physicist is able to see through his act.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • (After shooting Elektra) "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".
    • 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 then there's the groan-inducing "I thought Christmas only comes once a year" line?
  • 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.
  • 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: 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!
  • 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.
  • The Chessmaster: Elektra King, who is an expert manipulator and the mastermind behind the Evil Plan.
  • 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. 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.
    • The title refers to the Bond family motto, Orbis Non Sufficit, previously mentioned in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
    • To the books. In the film, 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.
  • 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".
  • Cool Guns/Rare Guns:
    • Apart from Bond's classic Walther P99, we also have the uniquely-shaped P90 submachine gun, Steyr TMP machine pistol, and G36 with laser sight making appearances. Not to mention Zukovsky's cane gun.
    • Also a subversion, the Cigar Girl uses what was clearly meant to be a Milkor MGL grenade launcher during her boat chase with Bond. But the gun itself looks more like an Armsel Striker shotgun, of Call of Duty fame. What do these weapons have in common? A wide barrel, drum magazine, and basic design (magazine between trigger and foregrip). And being completely awesome.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Bond comes close to doing this with Elektra King after he shoots her.
  • Damsel in Distress: M is imprisoned in the appropriately-named Maiden's Tower, and Bond must rescue his boss from Elektra's clutches.
  • Dark Action Girl: The "Cigar Girl", for her explosive opening sequence.
  • 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 about dying in his own caviar before 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.
    • Main villain terrorist 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.
  • 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.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Elektra didn't in a million years imagine that James would actually shoot her.
    • Dr. Christmas Jones definitely didn't expect Bond to reply to her dislike of Christmas jokes by saying he didn't know any "Doctor" jokes.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • The Dragon: Davidov is this for Renard, who is secretly this for Elektra.
  • Ear Ache: Elektra reveals to Bond that during her kidnapping they cut off part of her ear. She actually did it herself and is now in league with the kidnapper.
  • 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: The theft of plutonium from the decommissioned missile silo in Kazakhstan.
  • 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 MI-6 for flat-out abandoning Elektra to him and consequently causing her Start of Darkness.
  • Evil Overlooker: Renard has this role on most of the posters.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Zukovsky's final shot, which broke one of the handcuffs keeping Bond on the garotte chair.
  • Faking the Dead: After Christmas removes the plutonium from the bomb in the pipeline, Bomb has her allow the triggering charge to detonate so they'll be assumed dead and Elektra will reveal the next stage of the plot.
  • 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.
  • 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 adresses him in Russian to test him, but Bond aces it. The scientist in question is simply too old for Bond to convincingly pass himself off as.
  • Feel No Pain: Renard, due to the bullet inside his head.
  • 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 mook in the very first scene.
  • 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.
    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's shoulder injury.
  • Genre Blind: Garbage. The theme song 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • "Do you know what happens when a man gets strangled?" If you do, then you'll know why she sat on Bond's lap.
    • Also Bond giving Moneypenny a cigar in a tube.
    • The end where James is getting it on with Christmas Jones and he says "I thought Christmas only comes once a year" is perhaps the most blatant example of this in the entire franchise. No explanation needed.
    • And also in the scene before this part where Bond and Christmas are outside celebrating, Christmas asks James "So isn't time you unwrapped your present?"
  • 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.
  • Go Out with a Smile:
    • Zukovsky and Bond share a moment of camaraderie before the former bites the dust.
    • Perhaps in a more tragic example: Renard.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: X-ray glasses.
  • 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.
  • 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 Instanbul 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 plutonim Christmas very easily picks up from her bag after the pipeline blows up.
  • Hostage MacGuffin: Elektra King, the daughter of oil baron Sir Robert King, who was kidnapped five years earlier by the Big Bad, Renard. Let's just say that Stockholm Syndrome may have been involved somewhere.
  • Hot Scientist: Dr. Jones seems to be a graduate of that little-known school, The Graduate School of Hot Babes of which Lara Croft is an alumna.
  • 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. 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!
  • Instrument of Murder: A submachine gun/flamethrower bagpipe hybrid is being tested by Q Branch.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Elektra sitting on Bond's lap while he tied to the torture machine.
  • 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. Didn't stop her from digging deeper, though.
  • Killed Off for Real: Valentin.
  • 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.
  • Laser Sight:
    • A mook in Bilbao is about to shoot James, when the latter spots a red dot on his chest. It was Renard who shot the mook 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: Zukovsky does this, spending his cane-gun's single bullet to enable Bond's escape from a slow-death machine.
  • Lima Syndrome: Renard had fallen in love Elektra, his captive.
    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.
  • 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 Elekra 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 fanatical 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.
  • Magic Countdown: Renard activates a bomb with a five-second timer. Bond spends 4.5 of these seconds on a reaction shot and then another 30 seconds escaping during the remaining .5 before it finally goes off.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Elektra King. Well, the Woman Behind the Man.
  • 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.
  • 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: TWINE is actually a very conventional Bond film; the only thing which sets it apart from previous outings is Brosnan'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 Christmas's 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 "Bondjamesbond."
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Subverted.
  • 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."
  • No Delays for the Wicked: Averted. Renard has only a small band of loyal terrorists 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.
  • Oedipus Complex: Elektra hated her father and arranged to have him murdered, but she clearly adores her mother, and Elektra's actions are partially fueled by her love for her mother's side of the family, as she claims that she is taking back the kingdom that her father stole from her mother. The Electra Complex plays into her relationship with Renard, even though he's not much older—watch the positively girlish way that she runs to the window to see him arriving, flings herself into his arms when he enters, then leads him off to present the captive M to him as a gift. M herself is somewhat of a maternal figure towards Elektra because M was a close friend of Elektra's father, and Elektra wants M dead for leaving her at the mercy of her kidnappers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Patricide: Elektra is the one who ordered the assassination of her father.
  • Post-Rape Taunt: As Bond prepares to shoot Renard, the latter quickly picks up on Bond's feelings for Elektra and taunts him:
    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 briefly glow red, as they are very hot. The plutonium rod glows blue when it's being made in a special machine.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Producer 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 centers 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 MI-6 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.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Elektra King, maybe. Bond is doubting this by the end and as it turns out, it's a reversal — Elektra actually seduced her captor Renard, and he's working for her.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Zukovsky.
  • 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 squeemish 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?
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Renard was shot in the head by 009. The bullet makes him unable to feel pain, but it will kill him, given time.
  • Title Drop: It's the Bond family motto. It also got dropped 30 years earlier in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Bond's execution of Elektra King. Bond told her, at gunpoint, to call off the sub. She instead takes the opportunity to tell Renard to dive - the exact opposite of what Bond wanted her to do. 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...
  • 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.
  • The Vamp: Elektra King.
  • Vapor Wear: Elektra King's dress in the final act in Istanbul.
  • Villain Song: The theme tune by Garbage, once you've seen the film. The lyrics are told from Elektra's perspective.
  • 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 
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Elektra and Renard are a couple, but she slept with Bond earlier. It seems that Renard accepts this to a certain extent because it's part of their plan to get revenge on M, but he's nevertheless jealous of Bond. Renard gets angry at the mere thought that Bond was a good lover to Elektra, as Renard is impotent due to his brain injury.
    Renard: He was... he was a good lover?
    Elektra: What do you think, I didn't feel anything?
  • 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.

I never miss.