The World Is Not Enough (1999)

The World Is Not Enough (1999)
  • Time: 128 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Crime
  • Director: Michael Apted
  • Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle


James Bond is back. An oil tycoon is murdered in MI6 and Bond is sent to protect his daughter. Renard, who has a bullet lodged in his brain from a previous agent, is secretly planning the destruction of a pipeline. Bond gains a hand from a research scientist, Dr. Christmas Jones who witnesses the action which happens when Bond meets up with Renard, but Bond becomes suspicious about Elektra King, especially when Bond’s boss, M goes missing. Bond must work quickly to prevent Renard from destroying Europe.

One comment

  • Bond is back, and he returns in what is arguably the best installment of Pierce Brosnan’s tenure as the womanizing superspy. It certainly features one of the most thrilling opening chase sequences for a Bond film:

    Sir Robert King (David Calder) has come to retrieve the money that Bond has recovered for him, but a pin he’s wearing sets off an explosion in M16’s London Headquarters. Amidst the chaos, Bond spots a sexy sniper, played by Maria Grazia Cucinotta (the enticing Italian bombshell from Il Postino), whom he proceeds to chase via speedboat through, around and under the River Thames and even a bit on shore. When he finally corners her as she climbs aboard a hot air balloon, he attempts – while dangling off one of its ropes – to convince her that she’ll be protected from her boss. “Not from him,” she replies forcefully before setting off another explosion to kill herself.

    So Bond must find out who’s behind Sir Robert King’s death and this time it’s personal. King was a close friend of M’s (Judi Dench) and it seems she was advising him on how to deal with his daughter’s recent kidnapping. Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), who escaped from her captors, has not inherited her father’s oil company and she is determined to see through the completion of a vast oil pipeline. That is, if a certain international terrorist named Renard (Robert Carlyle) doesn’t kill her first.

    Renard is an interesting villain. For all intents and purposes, he’s dead – there’s a bullet lodged in his brain that has cut off his nerve endings, so he’s impervious to pain. According to Bond’s source, Renard will eventually die from the bullet but while he’s alive, his only goal is chaos and he will grow stronger by the day. Carlyle creates other dimensions for this violence-driven villain – somehow he reminds you that this is a man who loves life and who is melancholic about his fate. He may not feel scalding rocks but neither can he feel the comfort of a woman’s touch.

    Bond is assisted in his exploits by Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), a nuclear weapons expert who spends a better part of the time attired in Lara Croft tank top and shorts. Richards, who undoubtedly has enormous physical appeal, unfortunately is embarrassing once she opens her mouth. Her delivery is stiff and stilted, her expression blank and she often resembles a college coed who somehow stumbled into the plot. Marceau, at least, is entrusted with more of a story to work with. She comes especially alive during her character’s appearance in the latter half of the film.

    Michael Apted, who’s more versed in dramatic fare (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist and the Up documentary series), keeps a more cohesive plot, strengthens the supporting roster of actors and allows Brosnan to imbue more darkness in Bond. Obviously more comfortable in his third foray, Brosnan, amidst the expected seductions and martini-dry quips, brings forth more of a menacing psyche, the sense that it’s all about the job and no one, not even the charms of a woman, can deter him from what needs to get done.

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