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Richards doesn't measure up


Arizona Daily Wildcat

Photo courtesy of United Artists. Denise Richards co-stars in United Artists' "The World is Not Enough." The latest James Bond episode opened in theaters Thanksgiving weekend.

By Casey Dexter
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
December 3, 1999
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Will someone please take Denise Richards far, far away before she appears in another movie? Or put her in a convent or buy her acting lessons or at least show her a movie in which people act well. Her reign of destruction has gone far enough. She can't be allowed to ruin anymore otherwise entertaining films.

Take the latest installment of the Bond series, "The World is Not Enough" for example. In any scene that does not contain Richards, the movie is terrific. Pierce Brosnan and Judi Dench reprise their roles as James Bond and "M", respectively, and with just as much fun and frivolity as in the past two incarnations. Robert Carlyle performs, unfortunately, with less energy than would be expected given his movie career thus far, but he is still fantastic. Sophie Marceau is even entertaining, besides being French.

But then the lovely Denise appears and "The World is Not Enough" becomes amateur night at the YMCA. Cringe as she mauls the English language. Gasp at her early '80s clothing style. Wonder at the casting directors who hired her. The entire audience will involuntarily shudder the first time she opens her mouth, guaranteed.

Richards plays Dr. Christmas Jones - whose first name exists solely for Bond's trademark sexual innuendo puns. At the end of the movie after James has conquested his heroine Jones, as is expected in all Bond films, he smirks as he says "and I thought Christmas only came once a year." Ba dum ching.

James Bond is an established character. The sexism and horrible puns are built in, and in a sick way are part of his charm. Fault really can't be found with anything consistently existing within the Bond world. Plots - it's the same case. In "The World is Not Enough," there is a back story between "M" and a father and daughter named King. The relationship is prominent throughout the entire movie, but it's never fully explained why.

But it doesn't matter - things don't have to make sense in Bond world. The Russians are still evil, casual sex is nothing to worry about and plot lines do not have to be fully developed.

The only thing that has to be consistent is the beauty of the Bond Girls and their ability to act. Not since the days of Grace Jones has a casting mistake this horrible been made. Timothy Dalton? Nothing compared to Richards.

Granted, the dialogue given to her was not the most realistic. But anyone would be able to breathe some life into lines like "It doesn't take a degree in nuclear physics to figure that one out," and the ever present "James, help!" Richards comes off like some '80s middle school cheerleader, wearing her jean jacket to rehearsal for the class talent show. Big teeth, big hair and lots of neon purple. Yikes!

In a perfect world, Denise Richards would go the way of all Bond characters who love James in the end of the film and disappear, never to be mentioned again. One can only hope.

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