The World Is Not Enough (1999)
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Most people agree that the previous film 'Tomorrow Never Dies' was Pierce Brosnan's highpoint as the super-spy and the following two films were a slow decent into the reboot which came afterwards. I always thought that Brosnan had really settled into the role by now and was clearly having fun with it. As usual, he's got to save the world again and, besides the excellent action (highlight being the boat chase down the Thames) and naturally exotic locations, this one gave us quite a few new elements to the traditional mix.
First of all we see more of MI6. I know it's a small thing, but I felt we got to see a lot more of what goes on behind the scenes of Bond's world. Plus Judi Dench was given a bigger role than any previous 'M' has ever been afforded. The villains (and, yes, there are two - just in case you don't know I won't spoil one of them). However, Robert Carlyle seems to be enjoying playing the bad guy who's impervious to pain due to a bullet being lodged in his brain, slowly cutting of the sensations one by one. Robbie Coltrane returns as his Russian gangster, which is a nice touch as it brings the 'Brosnan era' films together as one and - as a fan of John Cleese - was delighted to see that he was being lined up as Q's replacement (sadly the last time we got to see Desmond Llewelyn on screen).
So, all in all, I thought it was a good time if you're looking for a decent enough Bond film that will kill a couple of hours. I guess most people's criticisms were levelled at Bond-girl, Dr Christmas Jones (played by Denise Richards at the height of her fame). Yes, I know it's a stretch to see her as a 'nuclear scientist' but - hey - this is James Bond, after all! Okay, so she's hardly going to win any Oscars for dressing like Lara Croft, but - again - she's hardly a reason to completely hate this film.
If you're a fan of Bond then you should know what you're getting and this one should tick all the boxes you require to sit back with a vodka martini or two and have a good time.
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson retreat to the classic "007" machinery with a late 1990s winter release, starring Pierce Brosnan for the third time with the "Licence To Kill", portraying the legendary MI6-spy with drive, wits and cold-blooded executions if necessary in another original screenplay by Bruce Feirstein, who gets succeeded by screenwriter duo Robert Wade & Neal Purvis. Together they manufacture on over two hour long action movie that contains major reprising scenarios from "007" history as an attack from the air with machine gun and grenades in a downhill skiing adventure, where Bond engages the leading actress Sophie Marceau, perfoming as the double-crossing Elektra King, who inherited an Oil empire from her deceased father, making fatal encounters along the way with shady business deals at casino gambling tables under instructions of a "GoldenEye" recurring character of Valentin Zukovsky, given face by actor Robbie Coltrane, who's character has his own way of dealing with "007" over a mutual drink in steamy offices.
"The World Is Not Enough" directed by competent as veternary Michael Apted, who navigates the visual image system executed by cinematographer Adrian Biddle (1952-2005) in a non-risky, more traditional fashion, making this Bond movie fair motion picture entertainment with minor surprises mostly achieved by the well-written twisting relationship between Elektra King and James Bond, who nevertheless takes his time to have the usual "Q" for quartermaster MI6-meetings with the final appearance of lifetime-achieving actor Desmond Llewelyn (1914-1999) who states with concluding words "Always have an escape plan at hand, 007". A statement that will follow the master spy / assassin to a tough decending-submarine confrontation with a no-pain-feeling Bond nemesis character in shapes of a menacing man called Renard, portrayed by actor Robert Carlyle, as further inclusion of last minute escape from an interior mine explosion, meeting love-spreading scientist Dr. Christmas Jones, performed by action-engaging actress Denise Richards, when Bond & Jones need to dismantle another timebomb in an highlighted highspeed pimpline chase scene.
What is left of "Bond 19" in retrospective in reminiscence to Zeitgeist-confronting motion pictures as "The Matrix" and "Fight Club" directed by David Fincher out the same year of 1999, comes the wish to find exceeding production design measures, a leaner editorial in order to do one of the best mission briefings in "007" history justice, featuring iron-lady "M" portrayed by another fulminate performance by Dame Judi Dench with a beautifully captured balance between an audience-promising nemesis exposure, a thrilling plot dialogue and Bond's light-hearted medical exam statement as dessert.
© 2017 Felix Alexander Dausend (Cinemajesty Entertainments LLC)
While I tend to like Brosnan as Bond (not saying he is the best one, but a darn fine one), and this movie hits all the right notes, it tends to be a bit corny. The smut jokes seem cheaper, and the inclusion of John Cleese is (appropriately) silly. The tone just feels off, despite it still being a generally well-made movie.
One of the highlights for me, actually, is having Garbage (or is it just Shirley Manson?) perform the theme song. Being someone whose best years were in the late 90s, that really hits home for me and makes this somewhat nostalgic even if the film as a whole may not stand the test of time.
Casting Cleese is a mistake. the comedic element is again given centre stage rather being kept in the wings, so to speak.
Brosnan does try his hardest, and this is to be cummendid. Coltrane as Zukovsky is excellent. However, Denise Richard's acting leaves much to be desired. she and Marceau who is miscast - sink the film. Unfortunately her Frenchiness is all too evident plus she has very littl chemistry with Carlyle - who isn't bad as the villain but is under-written which detracts badly and adds t the film's incoherence. A very promising start though Maria Grazia Cucinotta is all too fleeting- pity, she'd'v' lifted the film no end I daresay. But the bathos overtakes... the action sequences are more set pieces rather than augmenting the overall plot - which is little existent. This picture doesn't care for the viewer much, I mean taking them to exotic sunny locations that ooze with espionagy atmosphere (I must ask did someone forget that JB is a actually a 'spy'?) Back t basics.
The story of Bond 19 is much like the story of Bonds 1 through 18. A madman wants a nuclear bomb, Bond is sent to stop him, excitement ensues. The script from Robert Wade and Neal Purvis does exactly what you would hope a Bond script would do. It sticks to the tried-and-true formula while adding its own spin to the various elements. The villain of this story is quintessential Bond; A terrorist named Renard (Robert Carlyle) whose gimmick is that he has a bullet lodged in his brain that renders him stronger than the average man and unable to feel pain. As far as gimmicks go, that's a darn good one. The script also gives an interesting twist to the traditional Bond Girl role. While Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) gets the typical spunky ally part, Sophie Marceau's Elektra King has a much juicer role as an oil heiress who we find out has much bigger plans than just bedding Mr. Bond. Her role is a nice change of pace for the franchise, allowing for a more personal bend to the plot, and ample opportunity for Brosnan and Marceau to do some real acting.
Brosnan is more than up to the task in his 3rd go-round as James Bond. He's supremely comfortable in the role, and he sharpens the suaveness and danger of the character a notch further than his previous two movies. This is his best performance as Bond, and I think with this movie, he solidifies himself as the best of the post- Connery Bonds. Plus, he looks great in a suit. The supporting cast is great as well. Carlyle and Marceau strike just the right note as the villains, and Robbie Coltrane and Denise Richards provide ample humor and eye candy. Which one provides which is up to you, I suppose. After all, Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist is pretty funny.
The biggest strength of The World Is Not Enough is not in its plot, or even the cheeky, innuendo-laced dialogue peppered throughout, but in its action scenes, which come early and often. Director Michael Apted gives us a couple of really thrilling stunt sequences including a ski chase, a shootout in an underground weapons facility, and a nifty little finale aboard a submarine. The best action scene, however, comes before the titles even start. The boat chase on the River Thames is just flat-out spectacular. Like the rest of the action in The World Is Not Enough, its imaginatively staged and clearly shot. However, the Thames scene has a real punch, a Bondian flair that the rest of the movie never quite matches. I think the film really could have used a big, standout action sequence in the middle of the film, just to bolster a middle section that sags compared to the great opening and closing action scenes, but on the whole, Apted does very well maintaining an inventive sense of fun. There's nothing revolutionary here, but the stunts and shootouts are about as entertaining as they could be.
The World Is Not Enough goes down smooth. It's a comfortable and confident Bond movie with good performances all-around and more than enough of the classic Bond elements to satisfy any 007 fan. The word to describe Bond 19 is "solid". For me, the best Bond movies are not the ones that defy the Bond formula, but the ones that embrace it. The World Is Not Enough sticks to what makes Bond, Bond, and it does it all well. Polished, vibrant, and entertaining throughout, The World Is Not Enough is classic James Bond.
Here We have the Third out of the Four Brosnan's and the 19th Overall James Bond Film. It Looks Super-Slick and the Action Sequences are Supreme.
The Pre-Title Sequence is the Longest and is Half Up-Close Violent and Half another of those Boat Chases (this time on the River Thames) that goes Expectedly Over the Top as Bond, as He has done Before with Howls coming from the Audience, drives the Boat on Land like a Car through the Streets.
But it Doesn't End there, We go, along with Bond, into the Air. Then "Garbage" begins the Title Sequence with Swirling Oil Psychedelica and it Looks Groovy. In Fact the Whole Movie is Pristine in Appearance.
"M" (Judi Dench) gets Out of the Office and is Forced into some Field Work. "Q" (Desmond Llewelyn) is Retiring, and that Brings Us to the Bond Girls. Denise Richards is Piled Upon (dream on Fanboys) as, Perhaps, the Worst Ever (even taking home the Razzie, a first for a Bond Movie).
Sophie Marceau comes Off Better but Not by Much. Her Skills as an Emoting Thespian Never come close to the Accented Cuteness. Robert Carlyle is the Villain and is OK but is Far from a Great Bond Nemesis. Robbie Coltrane makes a Return Appearance and Fills the Frame in a Few Scenes.
Overall, the New Millennium Welcomed Bond with High Box Office and a Measured Reluctant Acceptance of the Franchise Moving Forward with High-Gloss Mediocrity Rewarded as Expectations became Less and Less as the 40 Year Franchise Soldiered On.
For a basic plot summary, "World" sees Bond (Brosnan) up against the Russian baddie Renard (Robert Carlyle) for control over a key oil pipeline. Along the way, Bond runs into a few beauties (Sophie Marceau & Denise Richards), gets his orders from M (Judi Dench), and receives the gadgets from Q (Desmond Llewelyn).
The first half of the film is some of the best Bond action ever. Brosnan is incredibly slick, his chemistry with Marceau is palpable, and the action is full-throttle without being over-the-top. Basically, Bond is firing on all cylinders.
However, when Renard is introduced (and proves to be nothing ever close to menacing) this film takes a sharp nosedive. Only adding to the misery is the terrible acting from Richards. I know that Bond girls are usually "seen but not heard", so to speak, but I think one can say that Richards is the worst of the worst by quite a large margin.
Overall, "The World Is Not Enough" is a very fun Bond outing until it nosedives about halfway through. My exact rating would be 3.5 stars, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt because of how much fun I had in the first half.
Car chases boat chases gizmos....double entendres in every other line delivered. ??? Fun stereotypes and evil people this has them all I suppose. If you have nothing else to do it is tolerable as all these bells and whistles are kind of low brow and not that exciting. Maybe I am too jaded at 64 for these things.
An atom bomb that is set to go off (actually a nuclear reactor)....
This Bond movie doesn't have Spectre as the foe but a sadistic nut and a crazed Stokholm syndrome female protagonist anti- heroine.
Recommend?? Only if you are bored.
The chemistry between Pierce Brosnan and his love interests in this film is weak, this is such an important element to any Bond film that not having it work out leaves a gaping hole in the movie overall. Brosnan himself is not in great form in the role, he seems somewhat tired of it all, as if the novelty had worn off for his fourth movie.
The plot is also very uneven, it simple goes through the motions, nothing is ever effective. There are no big twist or turns throughout, each scene merely follows the other without anything overwhelming ever happening.
It still has fun, enjoyable action that passes as what we have come to expect from a James Bond movie, but the plot and performances stumble. The World Is Not Enough is certainly flawed, worth a watch if you are a fan of the franchise but do not expect perfection.
Bond must defuse am international power struggle as the world's oil supply hangs in the balance.
Best Performance: Judi Dench / Worst Performance: Denise Richards
Pierce Brosnan has settled into the role nicely, but his portrayal here is nothing short of lazy. He is also let down by his supporting cast - although to be fair the script isn't really interested in giving depth to our characters, instead preferring to have them as one-dimensional stereotypes. Sophie Marceau was hyped up as the newest femme fatale yet I think she seems out of place and miscast here - she's too sophisticated to be a realistic villainess. Robert Carlyle makes the most of his over the top villain, but he is barely on screen and the script gives him only a few lines.
Various other supporting characters pop up, including Judi Dench, who looks even more out of place than usual when she gets trapped behind bars; Desmond Llewellyn is as mischievous as ever as Q, poignantly in his final role, and Robbie Coltrane overacts for all he's worth as a greasy Russian swine. The usual familiar British actors also pop up, including Michael Kitchen and John Cleese. But it's Denise Richards who stands out, for all the wrong reasons, as one of the most wooden Bond actresses out there - until Gemma Arterton came along in QUANTUM OF SOLACE, at least.
What this film does benefit from are a couple of show-stopping action sequences, especially the opening boat chase over the River Thames which is the best that Bond has ever been. Unfortunately, things lose their way a bit with a terribly clichéd and unbelievable ski chase and a silly moment where Bond and co defuse a bomb while flying down a pipe (!). Thankfully a moment where helicopters with circular saws demolish Bond's car and a building makes up for these minor mishaps. The ending feels rushed but is pretty good too. Altogether, this is not the best Bond I've seen, and I'd rate it alongside something like THUNDERBALL.
The Bond girl of the film, Dr. Christmas Jones, is certainly capable...but it's very hard to believe she's a nuclear physicist. Her name was also just there to make a crude pun at the end of the film. Brosnan as Bond is great here, partaking in some great action, like the ski chase, the battle at the oil pipeline, as well as showing off his gadget-filled car at the caviar factory and some fisty cuffs in Renard's boat. Of course, because he can't feel anything, that fight is not satisfying and Elektra deserved that death a lot more. Overall, I think this is fairly underrated, stylish and action-packed film with some dragging and disjointed scenes, but always manages to pick up.
In this film, James Bond will protect the life of Elektra, the young and seductive daughter of an oil tycoon, murdered by the construction of a pipeline in the Caspian Sea. Despite the orders received, Bond will discover that the girl keeps dark secrets from her past, and isn't as angelic and helpless as she seems.
Its not the first time that James Bond gives attention to problems related to oil or energy, we already saw something similar in "The Man With the Golden Gun". However, its this film that focuses more directly on issues related to oil industry and the control of oil production, either by countries or by certain firms. Sophie Marceau deserves congratulations for her excellent interpretation in this film, where she had a deeply complex character. Indeed, Brosnan's time's movies, despite its serious flaws, gave some of the most remarkable and memorable villains of the franchise. As for Brosnan himself, he continued to make his role unconvincingly or unsurprisingly, warm as a bread without salt. The film is full of errors, paradoxes, continuity failures impossible to disguise and blatant advertising of various sponsors. The machines are also worth mentioning in this film, in particular the helicopter with saws which, in the most striking sequence of the film, chases Bond cutting a BMW and a caviar warehouse as if they were butter. The opening theme of this film is the longest in franchise so far. Sung by Garbage is excellent although its too long.
Solid story, besides the usual greed theme that always is the temptation for villains in 007 movies. (A woman deceives her own family for total control and absolute power over the family business.) The excellent Judy Dench got a little more space, which is very welcomed, and the supporting actors are mostly well picked for the job in hand. Some good action scenes on snow, and an action-packed ending with thrilling moments.
When I first watched this movie on a theater in the 90's, I left quite relieved, thinking they were back on track with the Bond movies. This 19th movie adventure of one James Bond moved me in some good way, never to know there was a sadly bad 21st century opening for 007 to come...
Pierce Brosnans last show delighted many, not me. With the cards now already on the table, this should have been the last chapter of James Bond Mk. V.
But the producers did want to spoil the whole thing, and raze it in a very strange way.
Pierce Brosnan is pretending to be Bond in this one but he really IS Remington Steele so it doesn't quite work. Judi Densch as M and Desmond Llewelyn as Q are their usual excellent selves.
Outstanding character was Robbie Coltrane as a rather Sidney Greenstreet like semi-villain. Odd to see Hagred in a Bond film.
If you want to see all of the Bonds you may like this one. As a stand alone watch only if you like explosions and hard to follow story.
Pierce Brosnan gives possibly his best performance in this film. He shows a real intensity and really seems to be deeply invested in the mission. Elektra King, the bad Bond girl, played by Sophie Marceau, is beautiful and alluring and Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones, while not anything too notable, isn't as bad as everyone says.
I really enjoyed Renard, played by Robert Carlyle. He is one of the most creepy and sinister Bond villains since Blofeld, in my opinion. However, the insensitivity to pain thing is admittedly pretty lame.
I like that this film is a return to the style of films like "From Russia With Love" and "License To Kill" in that it has realism in the story and characters. Robbie Coltrain's Valentine Zukovski from "Goldeneye" returns as an ally to Bond, and Judi Dench's M had a bigger role than usual.
This film is remembered for the fantastic boat chase through the Thames River in the pre-credit sequence; arguably the best boat chase in the entire series. There are other great action scenes as well, such as the helicopter battle at the docks and the climax in the submarine. David Arnold's music score really adds to it.
This film is also remembered for this being Desmond Lewelyn's last appearance as Q. He died in a car crash shortly after the release of this film. R.I.P. Desmond Lewelyn.
I think this film is just slightly better than "Tomorrow Never Dies." The last Bond film of the 20th Century, this film brings us to the new millennium in style.
There's a conflict of tone. Brosnan goes for a dark intimidating performance while writers went for a goofy script. And there's Denise Richards (ugh...).
It's over the top, filled with chainsaws, heavy machinery and bullets. It has kind of an industrial feel to it. It could've used a different director but when all's said and done, the good outweighs the bad.
As for the characters, I feel they're interesting enough, Elektra has a cool dark presence which fits well the bad guy of the story, and Sophie Marceau plays it off beautifully. But the big problem of this film to lot of people is Denise Richards, who plays this film's main Bond girl, Dr. Christmas Jones. I feel this is bad casting, putting Denise Richards in the role of a nuclear scientist, but she does what she can with the cheesy lines she is given, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.
One of the things that really grabbed me about this film is it's amazing action scenes which may just be the best of the franchise, and no, I've not forgotten Bond being pushed out of a plane in Moonraker or fighting Zorin on the Eiffel Tower in A View to a Kill, I'd happily take the boat chase or the helicopter saw scene anyday.
Brosnan makes a good performance as Bond, but even three films in he's still not reaching the standards set by Sean Connery and Roger Moore, and not forgetting Timothy Dalton.
Despite it's complicated plot and somewhat forced dialogue, 'the World is not Enough' marks one of Brosnan's best Bond films, an awesome plot when you can see it clearly, cool characters, nice acting, and not forgetting the brilliant action scenes. It's still not my all time favourite no, give me 'the Spy who Loved Me' or 'the Living Daylights' anyday.
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.
"The World Is Not Enough" runs on the same auto-pilot as the previous movie - same stock ingredients - and it's not nearly as exciting as it was back in '99. It moves from one setpiece to the next with filler in between. The filmmakers flirted with shaking things up (remember the fan outcry when word got out that Bond would be injured?), but after an x-ray, he's back to business as usual.
I will say this: the entertainment value spiked when Denise Richards showed up. Not because of boobs, but because she's jarringly awful. And working alongside her more skilled fellow actors somehow (I'm not sure how) actually spices up the professional but bland soup. It's completely illogical how a weak link like this can make things better, but there it is.