The World Is Not Enough

The World is Not Enough: [Spoilers] when an oil tycoon is assassinated 007 is sent to protect the endangered daughter, a former hostage to one of the world’s most wanted men. After some success on the protecting front, Bond gets to the bottom of a scheme that will… erm… jack up the price of oil… (Note: villain aspirations were quite low in 1999, with Y2K getting all the attention)

Super mega cool submersible jet boat!!

Another Brosnan film, and another absolutely outstanding opening scene & mini-mission; Spanish bank robbery followed by MI6 bombing then the most ridiculously cool and insane boat chase ’round the Thames, over some streets (still on the boat!), wrapping up at the Millennium Dome.

Hot chick with a leather jacket and grenade launcher... <"blowing away" joke>

We sadly say goodbye to Q who, after the token gadget-based verbal jostle with Bond, Q says “always have an escape plan” and disappears before our eyes. While I may sound pathetic, this was hands down the most emotional and moving scene of the entire series for me (Sorry Mrs Bond). Not only is it’s laden with ‘he’s going to die soon’ overtones – he literally sinks into the ground – but it reminds you that Q has had the best relationship with every 007 for over 35 years and played a crucial part of Bond’s survival in at least 17 films. Q branch isn’t let down here, with some awesome gadgets like the X-ray specs, BMW, credit card lockpick, grapple watch and Q-boat!

One of 007's only friends (that didn't get killed)

Brosnan‘s still on a winning streak here, much aided by a whole lotta of shots of him pointing guns at people and looking angry and/or displeased. We also see Bond properly, and semi-convincingly, injured for the first time ever with a gammy shoulder for the film’s duration (although he did fall about 150 feet!). Most infuriatingly, Bond once again falls for the his one weakness, the oldest trick in the book, and the one thing that continually lands him in trouble… a vagina. If he carried out his job professionally he wouldn’t end up in so many perilous situations!!! (Although a procedural Bond movie would be pretty shit.) How many times has he been betrayed by a chick now!? Really?!

BOOM! Chestshot!!! Right in the tits!

The supporting cast and characters are such a mixed bag here. Robert Carlyle and Denise Richards seem to turn up and sleep through their scenes; sure they’re both vaguely memorable / strong / smart but they lack any presence. The character Bullion (Goldie) feels like his agent managed to sneak him in last minute, and no other henchmen do anything worth noting. On the upside Coltrane goes out in style as Bonds love-hate Russian contact, and Elektra King is played so, so well – Marceau’s beauty, strength and damaged background make her the perfect siren.

Another chick with a gun... someone in production must have a fetish

Other decent touches in this are the hypnotic oily credits, banking Pun-O-Rama, stereotype of ‘Bonnie Scotland’, “strictly plutonic”, “Christmas comes once a year” (Boom, Boom, Chiii!), classic nuke disarmament ultimatum, and Bond jumping from a normal house and landing in a submarine dock!!! There’s also a clear taste for new modes of transport: para-hover-sledge, mini super boat, pipe inspection pod, and the chopper chopper.

All aboard the tube! Next stop, nuclear warhead.

Even though you can’t fault the technical elements of most of the Bond pics, this one’s shot and framed particularly well. While it’s a good film, has a pretty interesting story and is well put together, this one feels like it’s missing some mojo and coherency. So many scenes feel gratuitous (let’s fly to somewhere snowy to have a ski-chase / let’s go to a casino so you can wear a tux…).  Despite some great twists and cool bits it just seems flatter and more lifeless than the previous few outings.

Score: 6/10

Bond's actual nemesis in this film... EXPLODING SNOW!?!WTF!!!!

Villain: Anarcho terrorist thug with a headache and no feelings. 6
Henchmen: Skinhead Russians x100 / Gold-toothed Bullion / DREADful Gabor. 3
Bond Girl: Assassin – Cruz-esque. Elektra – foxy siren. Denise Richards – Lara Croft entrance/ purple dress – smocking – 8
Action: Opening 10 mins, ski chase, nuclear bunker fight, caviar factory, submarine fight. 5

Goldie looking a bit rapey in the background...

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Elektra looking a bit rapey in the foreground

  1. I went to see this in leicester square and it was a great cinema experience. Was my first time in london and all the audience.were up for it. And then to see london feature so heavily in the opening was great. It was also first time i saw mi2 trailer, which i was quite wrongly as it turned out, excited abou. It doesnt hold up well on rewatching but sophie marceau is just great. If you havent seen Female Agents do – she kicks ass in that


  2. Stu said:

    Denise Richards should just give up the act and do porn. I think the nuclear submarine put up a more versatile performance. Sophie Marceau, on the other hand, was wonderful as usual.


  3. Darren said:

    I don’t know about the opening sequence. The boat chase seems to be very Roger Moore – it moves into the realm of self-parody (seriously, the very hot Spanish chick changes guns at least three times – each bigger and more overstated than the last; and Bond adjusts his tie under water). Roger Moore could have done this without missing a beat.

    But Marceau was just incredible. I remember seeing this in secondary school and one of the guys remarked to me, “she’s beautiful,” pausing to clarify, “not hot, beautiful.” She’s also a very strong actress.


  4. @Darren – Loved the boat chase (especially the boat itself). Perfect blend of Moore Camp and balls-to-the-wall action.

    @Stu – would pay to see Denise do Porn. She’s got the perfect dead-eyed blank expressionless grunting of lines on the go already – should be a natural!


  5. nasen75 said:

    I think the most catastrophic aspect of this one, by and far, was Christmas Jones. Seriously? Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist?

    However, I think Sophie Marceau (despite being the villainess) should get the really hard-to-get award of “Most Beautiful Bond Girl”.


    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Agreed, a pretty terrible damsel but Elektra made up for it a little! Most beautiful though, a very bold claim, and tough decision… don’t think I could put a decent list together.


  6. this bond movie ‘the world is not enough’ was good. director Michael Apted did a great job
    the action boat chase scene’s on the river Thames was awesome but a little too long
    the storyline was plausible and the film had the audience believe that renard was the main
    villain, when really king’s daughter Elektra orchestrated the whole kidnapping and ended-up
    being the mastermind villain in the film.
    the Bmw car being cut-in two was a waste. the film could’ve do with out that scene.
    pierce brosnan as bond was great in this film.
    the late desmond Llewelyn gave his final performance as the legendary q the gadget master
    which most bond fans will forever remember.
    however the submarine scene’s at the end got a little boring, but over all
    still like this movie.


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