Pierce Brosnan's third James Bond film. Bond is sent to investigate a possible assassination plot against a once-kidnapped daughter of a Ruritanian oil baron after he died securing money for her release.
The plot thickens when it's learned she isn't as innocent - and the plot as simple - as was once thought. Often cited as the first (and so far only) Bond film with a female villain, though there's a minor Internet Backdraft over whether or not this is true. Also controversial due to arguments over whether or not Bond actually killed the suspected female villain in cold blood, being one of the few times Bond has actually killed a woman he had courted, and the only time he did so in cold blood.
- Bond jumping out of a window.
- The Q we knew and loved leaves.
- Bond driving a speedboat out of a building.
- A rather good ski chase.
- Some bad puns on the name of one of the Bond girls.
- Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist. Yeah, uh...Oh-kay...
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: "Sweetest Coma Again" by Luna Sea is the ending theme in the Japanese version.
- Artistic Title: The opening consists of psychedelic gasoline, oil, spheres, colors, some silhouettes, like oil drills and globs that take the female form.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: The "Cigar Girl" kills herself rather than face Renard's wrath for her failure.
- Big Bad: Elektra. Not Renard; Elektra.
- 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.
- Bond One-Liner: "I never miss."
- The other villain receives a Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "She's waiting for you!"
- Broken Bird: Elektra King. Oddly, also Renard.
- The Chessmaster: Elektra King.
- Continuity Nod:
- Cool Boat: The Q-Boat.
- Cool Car: The BMW Z8, featuring "titanium plating and armour, a multitasking head-up display, and six beverage cup holders".
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Doomed Upgrade: Bond's Cool Car. Sure, he gets to drive around in it a bit and fire a missile at a helicopter, but it barely lasts a minute on screen.
Bond: Q's not going to like this...
- The Dragon: Renard is secretly this.
- Davidov is one for Electra, though he doesn't see much action.
- Embarrassing First Name: See "Punny Name".
- Empty Quiver: The theft of plutonium from the decommissioned missile silo in Kazakhstan.
- Erotic Asphyxiation: Electra's method of executing Bond.
- Actually, the chair isn't meant to asphyxiate, after a certain number of turns the bolt in the back of the chair breaks the neck. It's old torture equipment.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: Zukovsky's final shot, which broke one of the cuffs keeping Bond on the garotte chair.
- Disability Superpower: Renard's bullet wound is killing off his senses and will actually kill him eventually, but in the meantime it's effectively given him super-human stamina and disproportionate strength for a man his size.
- Fast Roping: Bond rapels out the banker's window with an elastic cord attached to a mook as a counterweight.
- Feel No Pain: Renard, due to the bullet inside his head.
- Friendly Enemy: Bond and Zukovsky. Despite disliking each other at their last meeting in GoldenEye, and still distrustful of each other here, Zukovsky instantly joins forces with Bond when he realizes the extent of Elektra and Renard's depravity, and in fact, dies saving Bond's life.
- 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.
- 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.
"I know exactly where to put that."
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: X-ray glasses.
- Go Out with a Smile: Valentin Zukovsky.
- Perhaps in a more Tear Jerker example: Renard.
- Grappling Hook Pistol: Part of Bond's Gadget Watch.
- Hot Scientist: Christmas Jones.
- Hospital Hottie: Bond convinces the MI6 doctor to clear him for duty, provided he stays in close contact and shows sufficient stamina.
- I Don't Pay You to Think:
R: (after botching a Bond One-Liner and being called on it by Q) I think—
- Instrument of Murder: A flamethrower bagpipe tested by Q Branch.
- Just a Stupid Accent: When Bond infiltrates a nuclear silo held by the bad guys, he poses as a Russian nuclear scientist, complete with thick accent. However, when Christmas comments on his remarkably good English in Russian, he delivers a reasonable reply in Russian that is unaccented enough to pass without comment. Didn't stop her from digging deeper, though.
- Karma Houdini: When Bond is about to kill Renard and stop the movie's plot right there, Christmas Jones butts in and LITERALLY not only saves Renard, but also gives him and his men enough time to steal the bomb which leads to most of the soldiers stationed there getting killed or, at the very least, shot at. Although one could say that she had no way of knowing this and that in the end she was right (Bond was indeed an impostor), the fact that half of the movie's runtime is basically her fault alone and that nobody, not even Bond, even brings it up is quite jarring, specially after repeated viewings.
- Laser Sight: A mook in Bilbao is about to shoot James, when the latter spots a red dot on his chest.
- In the same film, after MI 6 is bombed and James is looking out the hole in the building wall, he sees a laser sight just in time to duck out of the way. The shooter was located on a boat, about 300-400 meters away, with a G36 equipped with a scope. And she missed.
- Last Breath Bullet: Zukovsky does this, spending his cane-gun's single bullet to enable Bond's escape from a slow-death machine.
- The Load: Christmas, quite possibly the most useless Bond girl in the entire franchise, with what is possibly the most ridiculous name for a Bond girl in the franchise. (It's not even a dirty pun, it's just "hurr hurr her name's Christmas".) At one point she shouts that she has to do something to a nuclear reactor to save the day (her supposed specialty)... while never stopping in climbing away from said reactor. The line was apparently just put in there to remind us that she theoretically had a purpose for being there other than to have someone for Bond to be in bed with at the end of the movie.
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: M is locked in a cell filled with random junk and isn't searched prior to her imprisonment. She isn't armed, but she has the tracking chip from a stolen nuke, which they surely would have found if they had bothered to search her. Combined with a clock left outside the cell and a broom in there with her, she's able to activate the chip and alert Bond.
- Love Hurts
- 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.
- The Man Behind the Man: Elektra King.
- Mnogo Nukes: The stolen nukes are Russian and Renard attempts to cause a reactor melt-down on a "Victor III" class submarine. A Nuclear Error / Nuclear Physics Goof ensue.
- Modesty Bedsheet: Somewhat averted with Bond and Elektra; played very straight with Renard and Elektra.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: subverted
- Never Heard That One Before: Just look down.
- Prolonged Prologue: Literally. The Cold Openings are a Bond tradition, but this one is 15 minutes long (though at least it provides a cool boat chase).
- Punny Name: Dr. Christmas Jones. Siiiigh. Subverted when she tells Bond at their first meeting that she doesn't want him to make any jokes about it, but he mentions that he "doesn't know any doctor jokes".
- Rape Is Love: Elektra's backstory with Renard.
- Shoot the Dog: Bond's execution of Elektra King
- So Proud of You: Variant. M brags to Elektra that Bond is the best agent they have, but adds to never let him know she said that.
- Someday This Will Come in Handy: "There's no point in living if you can't feel alive." Hearing Renard say this at gunpoint is the clue Bond needs to realize he and Elektra (who told him the same thing earlier, ipsis litteris) are working together.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: James Bond vs. John Cleese
Bond: If you're Q does this make him R?
- Sniper Rifle: Used by the assassin in the Action Prologue.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Electra/Renard. And its reverse, Lima Syndrome.
- Subverted. Elektra seduced him, and then used him for her own ends.
- Star-Derailing Role: The much-maligned performance of Denise Richards pretty much derailed her rising career; her biggest role since this film was two years later as a middle-billed cast member in the slasher film Valentine.
- To the Pain: Elektra gets OFF on this...
- 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Renard.
- Title Drop: It's the Bond family motto.
- It also got title dropped several decades ahead of time in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
- The Vamp: Elektra King.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: 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.
- Vapor Wear: Elektra King at the end.
- Villain Song: the theme tune by Garbage, once you've seen the film.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Bond and Q swop Incredibly Lame Puns and join forces in mocking Q's replacement before Q exits with some final parting words of advice.
- Weaponized Car
- You Can Keep Her: M tells this to Sir King since the Secret Intelligence Service does not give in to terrorists and criminals. Electra is enraged and decides to take revenge against her father and M.