The World Is Not Enough represents Pierce Brosnan’s third outing as Commander James Bond, Agent 007 and the nineteenth film in the overall series which has had five different actors that have played Bond, Bronson, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, and Sean Connery.
This time Bond must protect the daughter of an oil tycoon, Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) while uncovering the plans of a terrorist named Renard played by Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty, TV’s Once Upon a Time). Judi Dench returns for a third time in an expanded role as Bond’s superior M and Robbie Coltrane reprises his role as Russian power player, Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky, also seen in 1995’s Goldeneye. Goldie, known as the “king of jungle” in the music industry, plays one of Renard’s henchman.
Brosnan shows some vulnerability in Bond as he’s injured in the first part of the film, but his sexual come-ons and humorous quips seem a little forced sometimes. Brosnan knows how to make Bond appealing to an audience and will hopefully stick around for at least a few more Bond pictures.
The lovely Denise Richards factors in as Bond’s love interest, Christmas Jones. Jones is also a no-nonsense nuclear scientist who apparently whips her male co-workers into a sexual frenzy. Her character’s first name also provides the material for a crude joke at the end of the film.
The biggest revelation in this part of the Bond series occurs when legendary gadget provider Q, always charmingly played by late Desmond Llewelyn, makes a graceful exit to make way for the new gadget technician, R, played by John Cleese. Mr. Llewelyn, 85, died in a car crash on his way back from a public event promoting his autobiography in December of 1999.
Marceau’s portrayal of Elektra gives the film good acting credibility as well as some needed emotional punch. Richards’ role is basically to be a beautiful distraction/sidekick to Bond’s exploits. You never really believe she could be a nuclear scientist and her weak performance reinforces this point.
Sheryl Crow provides the title song for this installment written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Bruce Feirstein. Director Michael Apted (Nell, Gorillas in the Mist) puts together a great movie except for an oddly edited shot when Bond jumps off of a balcony to a submarine that doesn’t seem to be oriented in the same area. The fighting scene between Renard and Bond is bit overdrawn, but there is still plenty of good action including an exterior sequence on a snow-covered mountain. Recommended with many reservations (** out of four stars) for Bond fans and the general audience. Rated PG-13.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler