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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Where to begin? First of all, the casting for this Bond film was
absolutely top draw. Add to that the exciting action scenes, and we can
say this is a Bond movie that was hard to beat for the follow up (and
in my opinion Die another day didn't do better than The world is not
Although not everybody will agree, I think Sophie Marceau did a fantastic job as Electra. In my opinion she's been one of the most interesting characters in a Bond movie till now. Also Robert Carlyle, although short lived, plays an excellent Bond villain. Both believable and sympathetic. Last but not least: Robbie Coltrane did a very, very good job again as he performed Valentin Zukovsky for the second time.
The opening scene in this Bond film is, in my opinion, one of the best opening scenes in a Bond film ever. Certainly, the next few Bond films that came after The world is not enough couldn't quite match with this fantastic piece of the film. This also shows that director Michael Apted has the skills for dealing with these parts of a movie, and it goes along with an excellent soundtrack.
As mentioned in the title, it was Brosnan's best Bond film, and the film itself remains (untill today) one of the most loved films amongst the hardcore Bond fans.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The world is not enough is a typical Pierce Brosnan Bond thriller and
has all the characteristics of it predecessors, with an added touch of
all the ingredients that make a bond film The film's plot revolves
around the assassination of billionaire Sir Robert King by the
terrorist Renard, and Bond's subsequent assignment to protect King's
daughter Elektra, who had previously been held for ransom by Renard.
During his assignment, Bond soon sees that things are not what they
seem like, and he unravels a scheme to increase petroleum prices by
triggering a nuclear meltdown in the waters of Istanbul.
Quite a bit of action, a fan of which I am, with great dialogues and special effects. This film has 3 bond girls, not long lived, and of course, as predictable, Bond does not marry any of them.
At times the acting seems juvenilish, compared to the latest Bond films, but nevertheless the movie is a delight to watch. I also think some part is not explained, like why does M hide something in a clock when she is captured...
All in all, worth a watch
This Bond film was certainly a step up from "Tomorrow Never Dies", as this Bond film did some things differently than other films in the very long running series. It also does some things the same as "Tomorrow Never Dies", in that this film and that one have two of the weakest Bond girls ever to be on film. Halle Berry was not all that good a Bond Girl, but she was aces compared to Denise Richards. I am sorry, she just does not have a Bond feel to her, though she is marginally better than Teri Hatcher from the previous film. Neither of these girls just seem like they belong in a James Bond movie. Not to fear, Sophie Marceau is more than capable of being in a Bond movie, Robert Carlyle is also a good albeit underdeveloped villain. The inclusion of M into the storyline was inspired as Judi Dench is great and it is nice to see her take a larger role in the movie. The action is superb and it was interesting to have Bond injured in the pre-credit sequence. The film threw a curve ball or two as well, and this one would not get quite as over the top as the next movie "Die Another Day", though I kind of enjoyed that films over the top feel. The cast here is good, with the exception of the horribly cast Richards, the plot interesting and the action good. It does run a bit long and one part of the film reminded me a bit to much of a scene from "Broken Arrow", however overall I found this entry into the James Bond franchise a solid winner.
James Bond must rescue M, protect an oil heiress from her former
kidnapper Renard, a terrorist who can't feel pain.
It begins with the sleek gun barrel Point of View walk, and what follows is arguably one of the greatest Bond pre-title sequences and certainly Pierce Brosnan's best. There's a specular escape in Spain, an explosion in MI6 headquarters London and a chase on the River Thames to apprehend an assassin (Sicillian star, Maria Grazia Cucinotta) that climaxes at the Millennium Dome. All this action before the James Bond title song and it's carried out not just for show, but as it's all part of the story's later developments.
Michael Apted directs the 19th Bond instalment in which Brosnan gives his finest performance as 007, he appears, confident, intellectual, more dangerous and authentic as the spy. In this he is injured and carries his ailment throughout the film, making him more vulnerable and real in life threaten situations, leaving the entertaining but bland Tomorrow Never Dies behind.
For the most part this instalment is more grounded and played serious with fewer gags than in previous Bonds, certainly less than Moore's outings. A lot of this is due to Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Bruce Feirstein screenplay which lends itself as a mystery, whodunit thriller theme and the villains, have more shades of grey as well as the heroes.
Despite, Denise Richards beauty with brains role as Dr. Christmas Jones, she still appears as the typical Bond girl by the end. Robert Carlyle character Renard is given depth and ulterior motives as the villain but he still is cliché Bond Villain with scars. This aside, Sophie Marceau is excellent as femme fatale oil baron heiress Elektra King and M's (Judie Dench) late friends daughter. Dench is given more to do and shines on screen, and regulars Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny) and Colin Salmon reprise their roles. Robbie Coltrane makes a welcomed return as Zukovsky to briefly assist Bond, and Goldie makes an appearance as a henchman. Comedy legend John Cleese plays Q's side kick R.
The music score and Barry's trademark theme comes in just at the right moments to heighten the action on screen. And as a bonus the title songs music is interlaced throughout the movie.
The World Is Not Enough is only marred by some poor cringe-worthy quips that are synonyms with the franchise. It's a shame that all the hard work of writers, Bronson's and Apted's subtly was discarded in Die Another Day (2002), where it was CGI heavy and returned to a Moore- like, lighter spectacle adventure.
This Bond is in the tradition of the earlier Connery outings, the vein of Dalton's steely incarnation, and a credit must goto Pierce Brosnan as this influenced the style of the later Casino Royale rework.
Ultimately, The World Is Not Enough due to it's great plot is one of the better Bonds that can be enjoyed by fans and the causal viewer.
20th of 23 Bond movies (19th of 22 official Bond movies)
Spain, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey
Bond feels morally obliged to protect Elektra King, the beautiful daughter of an oil magnate who he was charged with helping. Elektra is seeking to create an oil pipeline in a very troubled part of the world. Many players in the region want to see her fail. She also has the added threat of an ex K.G.B operative who now feels no pain looking to do her harm.
Pre-title sequence -
Gun barrel sequence then sequence proper with Bond helping to recover money for an old friend of M. Things go pear shaped. Has a good chase scene on a river.
Theme song -
Title song by Garbage. Not bad...has an old style, 1960s feel to it.
Check. There is movement on this front though...you'll have to see the movie to see what, though. Watching this film with subtitles, you got to see Q say "Doh!"...Homer Simpson territory! Q has some bad quips in this movie...as does Bond.
Implicit in the franchise is that 007 is the best that MI6 have at their disposal...this is made explicit by M in this movie, when she says: "Bond is the best we have" and also mentioning in words to the effect that she would never say that directly to him.
Perhaps a bit narky with Bond here, but maybe it is all in good fun...there does seem to be a Monica Lewinsky related joke between them.
Silly female character names -
Christmas Jones. Not a grotesque name, but Bond finds ways to bring in the innuendo!
Sexism/misogyny - Has innuendo early on and the scenes with x-ray spectacles are quite leering.
Wine buffery -
Would have to check my previous reviews, but you do hear Bond utter the rare phrase (for him): "Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred".
End teaser -
No? I'm watching these movies on free to air, so I'm not sure if the network is messing with the forumala. All I saw was the MGM lion sequence at the end.
* MI6 headquarters are located in Scotland! Sorry if you already knew that!
* Not sure, but I think you see five "00" agents, including a woman. Could be wrong on this...a summise on my part.
* Perhaps for the first time you see Bond requiring medical attention...normally he seems bullet proof.
* Fun with currency conversion!...when this film was made, the quoted exchange rate between British pounds and US dollars was: £3,030,303.03 = US$5,000,000.
* X-ray glasses.
* Bond's (initially) dodgy Russian accent...to me he sounded a bit like Sean Connery at first! He must be close to double figures now as far as languages he can speak or bluff with now.
* A terrorist bomb running on Windows CE! Gosh...why the panic? Odds of a blue screen of death averting disaster must be high, right?
* Once you have seen the movie, go back and play a scene concerning a rod fired inside a submarine by Bond. Magic bullet?
* Bond mentioning that "The world is not enough" is a "family motto". For way more on this aspect of Bond, see the greatest Bond movie of them all, "On her majesty's secret service". It has a lot of information on Heraldry.
* Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane) returns.
Notes to self:
- Federal Security Bureau replaced the K.G.B? Wikipedia confirms this. My note had "K.G.H"...maybe I made a mistake in my note taking.
- Devil's Breath - a real place? Wikipedia redirects to an entry for a certain chemical compound, but I didn't see any place name called this.
- On a final scene to the movie...being logical (yeah...tell me about it!), wouldn't the bends be an issue?
- 009 is responsible for Victor Zokas' condition. Hmm...Victor has an interesting nickname in this movie...Renoir the Impressionist? Ringo the Percussionist? Ah...Renard the Anarchist...that's it!
- Hmm...forgot to revisit that early scene where Elektra talks to Bond about her family's empire...important, for later on.
My Take: Brosnan continues to imbue Bond with gentlemanly charms and
The James Bond movies are like Q's gadgets. They're made with all the usual refinements, all the usual attachments, yet every time, its always different. Number 19 in the Bond series is THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, a surprisingly great and immensely underrated modernization of 007. Not only is it Pierce Brosnan's best outing as the suave British super-spy, but its the best Bond film in years. It has everything we pay for in a 007 film, action and thrills at their signature Bond style. Although it requires a certain amount of modernization to allow Bond to fit in to the 90's, the film still carries the traditional Bond, martinis, girls and guns all included. Even if its new, it's still Bond.
Pierce Brosnan, arguably, offers his best performance as 007, who is sent on a mission to track a terrorist who may be responsible for the assassination of Richard King, a multi-millionaire oil company tycoon, as well as protect his daughter and heir Elektra (Sophie Marceau), whose serious with her father's business, but still great in bed. The villain is a terrorist called Renard (Robert Carlyle), who has a unique feature: a bullet is lodged into his head, making him immune to any pain until his untimely death. He, like all traditional Bond villains, holds Doomsday in his hands, and intends to drop it. Bond comes across a group of allies and foes including sexy nuclear scientist Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) and crime-boss Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane, returning to the role from the original). Not to mention the lady M, played once again competently by Judi Dench, who is also given much more to do. As well as Desmond Llewellyn's last performance as Q, handing the job to his protégé, played by John Cleese ("If you're Q, does that mean "R"?" Bond asks.) THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH won't be complete as an official 007 film without the traditional daredevil stunts. The opening sequence contains a boat chase across the River Thames (in both land and water, no less). There's also a para-hawk assault at the French Alps and an assault in a Caviar factory where Bond is pursued by helicopters armed with large saws. Action scenes are in abundance of course, but also with the usual added wit to the screenplay. Director Michael Apted makes an ideal director and composer David Arnold produces a terrific score, capturing the thrills.
The film does have its flaws. Denise Richards lacks the realism of being a Nuclear scientist. The sight of Richards with short shorts and a sleeveless shirt isn't really helping. Her acting pales in comparison to her compatriot, Ms. Marceau as Elektra King, which is superior. But otherwise, she's fine, while others are superior. Brosnan is tougher this time as Bond, but still the same sexist, misogynist dinosaur M says he is. He's still got the charm and almost just as good as Connery, but let's leave that discussion to the message board please.
Heavily under-appreciated, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH is exciting and spectacular. The kind of film we expected 007 to be in. I mean, danger, action, martinis, girls, guns and "kaboom!" There's got to be when he's around, and don't worry, there are.
Rating: ****1/2 out of 5.
"The World is Not Enough" opens with the best pre-title sequence in any
Bond film, a brilliantly-shot, utterly thrilling 12 minutes of pure
action, and we even get to see Brosnan's Bond be much meaner than he
was in "Tomorrow Never Dies". The title song recorded by Garbage is
very good and a relief after the horrendous Sheryl Crow effort for the
previous film in the series.
There are so, so many reasons to hate "The World is Not Enough". It's got Denise Richards giving possibly the worst performance ever in a Bond film from anyone (no small feat, that), it's got a ludicrous plot involving nuclear weapons and some charming fellow who can't feel pain (or anything, apparently), and it's got some quite notably bad dialogue (although compared to "Tomorrow Never Dies" this is Shakespeare).
The thing is, there are also so, so many reasons to love "The World is Not Enough". Michael Apted, not a director who I would have picked to direct a Bond film in spite of him having made some excellent films in the past, creates dazzling, exciting action scenes which are timed perfectly (edit: I'm sure that there was a director for the action scenes specifically, but I didn't know that when writing this), never allowing them or the film to become truly boring. The ski chase is easily the worst action scene of the lot, and even that is pretty entertaining and uses the width of the screen really well. Despite his performance here being criticized by many I have to stand by Pierce Brosnan again. He really is quite good here, and has a real hard edge and some dramatic content to work with, which he uses to full effect. The David Arnold score is excellent, improving on his own solid work on "Tomorrow Never Dies" and hearkening back to John Barry's classic scores, although obviously nothing will challenge Barry's several brilliant Bond scores. The film is simply spectacular on a visual level, with Apted making sure to get the maximum potential out of nearly every scene, a move that is the complete opposite to something like John Glen's lazier efforts in the 80's. To balance out the silliness and... Denise Richards *shudder*, we have some of the darkest scenes in the series as a whole.
Therein lies the problem. This movie has the biggest identity crisis I've ever seen in a major franchise film. It's absolutely insane in how it switches from a tense action scene to something that could have been in "Tomorrow Never Dies" or one of the worse films from the Roger Moore era. Heck, that doesn't even begin to cover how Bond shows real menace then comes up with a snappy one-liner a minute later. It's absurd and a bit surreal. Not surprisingly it is the darker Bond film contained within the overall final product that is more interesting, and those aspects in addition to the quality of the film's visuals and score make this a worthwhile and enjoyable Bond feature, but also one that leaves an odd aftertaste, as the viewer surely knows that this could have been much better.
"The World is Not Enough" drastically improves on "Tomorrow Never Dies" and promises a strong follow-up which it unfortunately did not receive, leaving this as a middle-of-the-road entry in the series and the second best of the Brosnan era, but still a film which contains specific scenes which are among the best in the series (the opening boat chase may be among my two or three favorite action scenes in a Bond film), but doesn't quite come together as a cohesive whole.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The World Is Not Enough" Title is taken from one of James Bond's ancestors Sir Thomas Bond's coat of arms. This is a Bond film with a difference. It has a similar plot structure to the others -- yet the characters are far more complex. It has one of the strongest acting ensembles for any Bond film. From Patrick Malahide's oily banker to David Calder as Sir Robert King ( managing to give a resonance to the rest of the film by speaking one line!).This must be due to Michael Apted's superlative direction. All the scenes in the film are acted well . Note the scenes with 'M' and Bond (Judi Dench makes it personal) Pierce Brosnan is in his element as Bond in this film and really suffers physically and emotionally.Sophie Marceau is effective as Elektra making you feel initially sorry for her and then.......!Robert Carlyle is excellent as Renard : a 'gently' menacing world weary terrorist. Bond almost feels an empathy towards him at the film's climax. In conclusion this was Pierce Brosnan's finest moment as Bond -- there is a moment in this film where he administers a coup De grace to one of the film's leading characters -- totally shocking and brilliantly played!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was one of the first Bond films I saw, and after seeing it, has made me a huge fan of the films. I thought this film was exceptional as far as the Bond films go. It had an interesting storyline, the action pieces were exciting and I found the different characters interesting too. I thought Pierce Brosnan shined as Bond, and in my opinion, this was his best Bond film. I also liked Sophie Marceau as bad girl Elektra King, although it's a shame she gets killed off at the end. Like Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards was well cast to play Christmas Jones (great name!) as she is good looking and had a good character to play. The film had the best opening to any Bond film with the explosion at MI6 and then the boat chase that follows. The only bad things about this film were that the plot gets a little confusing at times and I didn't like Bond's Z8 getting chopped in half.
I was really wondering if Pierce Brosnan could match his superb performances in his previous two movies and I was not disappointed. With probably the best opening action sequence and best soundtrack in any Bond flic I've ever seen this movie is a must see. Sophie Marceau as Elektra King was also the best Bond woman I've ever seen. She made an incredible performance.
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