A fake Fabergé egg and a fellow agent's death lead James Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. forces.
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. Written by
Slick, action packed and well constructed. ***1/2 out of ****.
THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999) ***1/2
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Sophie Marceau, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, and John Cleese Directed by Michael Apted, written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Running time: 127 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for strong action violence and sexuality)
By Blake French:
"The World is not Enough" is the type of James Bond movie audiences have grown to love. With the latest installments being "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "Goldeneye," I was starting to lose confidence in our philandering spy. However, Michael Apted's new thriller has enough action excitement, character chemistry, and plot twists for several films, leaving "The World is Not Enough," as not only an absorbing adventure, but also a strongly crafted one.
Pierce Brosnan is easily the best James Bond next to Sean Connery. He returns as private agent 007, licensed to kill, James Bond, working for his employers M (Judi Dench) and R (John Cleese). In this film, the line of events center on the young daughter of an oil tycoon named Elektra King (Sophie Marceau). She is under much pressure from many worldly individual's due to her inheritance and responsibility with important pipelines. After Elektra's father is murdered, Bond comes to her with the instinct that she might be in danger.
Electra realizes Bond is correct, especially when they are chased through the mountains by deadly terrorists with machine guns. She accepts his protection, and ends up sleeping with Bond, developing a romantic relationship that may or may not be a big mistake.
What makes "The World Is Not Enough" so good is the development of its villain, named Renard (Robert Carlyle). The way he is presented is exceedingly above average. The filmmakers gradually build up tension the way he is executed on screen. We first hear of him from dialogue of his employee's, who, as they are about to be arrested, kill themselves in fear of what this Renard will do to them. "I can protect you" pleads Bond, "Not from him" states the accomplice as she puts herself out of her misery.
We then learn of his level of power and his special abilities. Renard is able to withstand enormous amounts of pain due to a bullet wound in his brain that is slowly killing him, but until it does he'll grow stronger every day. The audience then sees his figure on a computer image; a ghastly looking man with an unmerciful, evil look on his face. When we finally do meet Renard in person, he holds a fire stone in his palm as he beholds smart, decisive plans and murders one of his failed workers. This development is not near the level of the material presented in "The Usual Suspects," but as sharp and smart as the writing otherwise comes.
"The World is Not Enough" also prevails with its structure. The film's first act is precise and persuasive in its motives and characters. The flawlessly planned break comes when Bond decides to seek out and protect the third witness, Elektra. Each scene following this series of events is exciting and forward moving. The action scenes do not distract the plot from becoming successful, but evolve the tension and contain purpose. I did think the third act dragged on a bit too long, although it did sum up our conflicts. This is a movie that is focused and yet at the same time goes in so many different directions and contains so many unexpected twists, it is hard to keep up with it.
The acting is galvanizing energetic and, for the most part, well cast. Pierce Brosnan once again brings his sly, stylish wit to the Bond character, giving him life and the womanizing stunts and skill we know 007 to accommodate. Robert Carlyle proves to reprise another villain role, straight from his earlier film, "Ravenous." Sophie Marceau is also very charming and seductive, as always, conveying elegant beatitude. The young, perfect Bond bosom, Denise Richards, only proves to be miscast here. We are unable to believe her character, a nuclear physicist named Dr. Christmas Jones. Although she does provide us with one of the movie's most memorable lines: as she and Bond lay in bed, we here James question "I thought Christmas comes only once a year?"
Brought to you by MGM Productions.
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