The World is Not Enough (1999)

This is not the weirdest thing to happen to James that day.

After a terror attack on MI6’s London headquarters, Agent 007 (Pierce Brosnan) is charged with protecting the beautiful Elektra King (Sophie Marceau). Before long, Bond finds himself in the thick of a plot involving a stolen nuclear weapon and the petroleum industry.

As always with James Bond movies, suspension of disbelief is a must. This is the second one of Pierce Brosnan’s that I have seen, the other one being GoldenEye (1995). Since he was Bond when I was growing up, I have a tendency to associate Brosnan with the role of Bond, but he was unfortunate to be Bond in what are widely considered the worst films in the franchise, particularly Die Another Day (2002).

The World is Not Enough had plenty going both for and against it. One thing I did enjoy are the action sequences. From the boat chase down the River Thames to the attack on the ski slope to the climactic showdown on the submarine, TWINE demonstrated such scenes deserved their places alongside its predecessors. One advantage TWINE had was access to far superior special effects technology to make the over-the-top action come to life on screen.

Personally, I do like Pierce Brosnan as the superspy. Granted, he’s no Sean Connery, but I always thought Brosnan to be a major improvement over Roger Moore (aka the funny Bond). Timothy Dalton started a trend toward making Bond a more human character after Moore turned him into a total cartoon character, and Brosnan continued it as can be seen in Bond’s interactions with Elektra.

James Bond movies also rank in movies with my favorite soundtracks. I have to say the title song for TWINE is vying with Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger for my favorite song from the franchise.

The World is Not Enough was an extremely flashy movie, but unfortunately it had little below the surface. Partway through the movie, Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) is introduced, and she is easily the most pointless Bond girl in any of the movies I have seen. It may have been to allow Marceau to remain in the center stage, more or less, but I felt Christmas Jones was added just to give Bond a female ally. Richards’ character had a complete lack of a backstory, and more importantly, a complete lack of reason for me as a viewer to care about her.

I did appreciate that the story was noticeably darker than previous Bond films. However, I did detect a couple unfortunate plot holes, mainly dealing with the movie’s antagonist Renard (Robert Carlyle) and how he connected to Elektra.

Overall, I can see why The World is Not Enough received a mixed reaction. I personally say it is better than the lousier Bond films I have seen (*cough* Moonraker *cough*), but not as good as the better ones (like Goldfinger), so I would suggest fellow Bond fans to pick this one up. On the other hand, I don’t think this one will win new ones over.

Score: 3/4

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