Pierce Brosnan had made great 007 strides in his two preceding works, but stutter stepped in this soft shoe Bond echoing back to Connery’s ‘You Only Live Twice’ and Moore’s ‘Moonraker’. And yes, there are worse Bond films than those.
The film seemed a little too hard pressed and little too rushed to set it all up. Brosnan played a fine 007, and he was set up with a great cast (Denise Richards makes for excellent Bond Girl fodder, but not as a nuclear physicist), but the story just didn’t hold together. Even cool points such as Q’s replacement, Zukovski’s return and the echo back to ‘universal Exports’ just weren’t enough to lift the story in softer places.
The disappointment of the Brosnan era, it’s still not as bad as ‘Man with the Golden Gun’ or ‘Diamonds are Forever’… so grab the popcorn, and yes, bathroom breaks are allowed.