a critiQal film review The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Plot: After M's (Dench) friend is killed right under their noses, British super-spy James Bond (Brosnan) is sent to protect King's daughter, (Marceau), who may be the next target of Renard (Carlyle), a known terrorist. But Renard isn't an ordinary foe, as a failed assassination attempt has left a bullet lodged in his brain, deadening his ability to feel pain.

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  • ...facing off against a nigh-unstoppable villain, Pierce Brosnan proves once again how well-suited he is for the role of James Bond.

James Bond (and James Bond #6, Pierce Brosnan) returned once again for The World Is Not Enough, the 19th film in the Bond franchise. Since Brosnan’s quadrilogy of Bond films (GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day (2002)) revitalized the franchise, I knew I had to seek refuge in one of these 4 films after hearing the devastating news that James Bond #7 is Daniel Craig.

But which of the films should I watch? Since I had just seen Die Another Day (2002) recently, my choices were down to 3. Sadly, what finally swayed my decision, and caused me to choose The World Is Not Enough was Denise Richards. Since she has been in the news so much recently with her bitter breakup with Charlie Sheen, I wanted to see her in a calmer state, as the rather ridiculously named Christmas Jones.

Having decided, I just had one question – would repeated viewings diminish the quality of The World Is Not Enough, or would it be as good as I remembered?

Pierce Brosnan, who portrays James Bond again in The World Is Not Enough, ranks right up there with the best of the Bonds. He plays the role perfectly, and manages to bring an aura of cool to the role that hasn’t been experienced on-screen since the original Bond, Sean Connery (In fact, Brosnan slightly edges out Connery to me as the best Bond of all time – although it’s mainly that his films are more relevant today while Connery’s are looking quite dated).

Pierce seems equally comfortable whether he’s in the midst of a high-speed chase, dodging bullets, joking with Q, or seducing women into his bed. He was destined to play Bond (having been first offered the role in the 80’s, he had to turn it down at the time due to his commitment to his new TV series “Remington Steele” (TV)), and he proves that time and time again in each Bond film he makes.

The women in Bond’s life, as usual, are easily seduced by Bond’s charm. In The World Is Not Enough, Denise Richards and Sophie Marceau are the latest to fall under his spell. While the Bond movies (of course) are usually centered around Bond, the roles the women receive are usually a bit stronger than in other male-oriented films, and – with the exception of one bedroom scene – give the women a chance to act with their clothes on. Denise and Sophie are both able to perform well, both in and out of Bond’s sheets, with Sophie showing Denise up a little bit overall.

The plot for The World Is Not Enough does a good job of involving the viewer, and also does a surprisingly good job of present a “superhuman” character into Bond’s world without distorting the “reality” of that world that the viewer has become accustomed to. It’s usually extremely difficult to insert “superhumans” into a set without changing the reality around them, but the filmmakers here pull it off with barely a hitch.

Unfortunately, the one flaw in the storyline comes during the climactic final battle between Bond and Renard, as Renard seems to lose a bit of his “inability to feel pain” as the two battle. Luckily, this is a momentary lapse, so doesn’t detract from the film overall.

As to be expected from a Bond film, nifty high-tech gadgets are the norm rather than the exception, and as always, it’s fun for the viewer to see the very believable yet still exciting gadgets Bond has up his sleeve this time around. The action-packed special effects and stunts-laden sequences are obviously well thought out far in advance, and are worth every minute of screen time.

Sadly, The World Is Not Enough also marks the last appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Q (the man behind Bond’s gadgets), the only person to appear in every single James Bond film since Dr. No (1962). True, he introduces viewers to his replacement, R (John Cleese) in this film, but an era in Bond films has come to a sad end, and fans the world over still mourn his passing.

Even putting aside Q’s last appearance, The World Is Not Enough is worth seeing. With Pierce Brosnan proving once again how well-suited he is to portray James Bond, an engaging plot, new Bond girls Denise Richards and Sophie Marceau, and a villain worth his salt, The World Is Not Enough is a Bond movie worthy of the name. Buy this one today.

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