Review: The World Is Not Enough (1999)

19 - The World Is Not Enough (1999)

“I’m afraid it is you who deserve credit. When I took her, she was promise itself. And then you left her at the mercy of a man like me. You ruined her. For what? To get to me? She’s worth fifty of me.”
– Renard

James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) meets with a Swiss banker on an assignment. M (Judi Dench) has sent him to collect money of Sir Robert King (David Calder), a British oil tycoon. Bond wishes to know who killed the other MI6 agent who was murdered for a report he had on him that King was buying. Bond makes a narrow escape when things go awry. Meeting up with M and Sir Robert at MI6 headquarters, he returns Sir Robert’s money. However, it seems the money was booby-trapped, and Sir Robert is assassinated within the MI6 headquarters. Chasing down the assassin outside the building, Bond gets close enough to her for her to say she that she cannot be protected and continues to commit suicide.

Bond backtracks the money to Renard (Robert Carlyle). He is a terrorist and ex-KGB agent. Once ordered to be assassinated, the bullet that lodged in his brain did not kill him, but is killing off his senses and him slowly. This makes for him to be a terrible enemy, however, seeing as he does not have the limitations of a normal man to stop him. Bond is assigned to protect Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), Sir Robert’s daughter who was once kidnapped by Renaud. M fears that she may be Renard’s target again. Elektra is monitoring the construction of her family’s oil pipeline, and is very dismissive when Bond warns her that her life may be at stake. She finally relents to make use of Bond’s protection when an attempt on her life is made.

the world is not enough assassinate
“You can’t kill me. I’m already dead.” – Renard

Bond calls in some old contacts, most importantly Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane), who has theoretically gone legit. It becomes apparent that Elektra’s head of security, Sasha Davidov (Ulrich Thomsen), is the insider that is working with Renard. Bond kills Davidov and impersonates him when he catches a plane to Kazakhstan, where he ends up at a Russian ICBM base. Bond is now impersonating a nuclear physicist, and meets with Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), who is also a physicist. Bond’s cover soon falls apart when he comes across Renard, and though Bond does not kill him, red flags are raised in his mind due to the similarities between Renard and Elektra. Renard removes a GRP locator and weapons-grade plutonium from a bomb and makes off with the plutonium, leaving the card.

the world is not enough jump
“Revenge is not hard to fathom for a man who believes in nothing.” – James Bond

Bond accuses Elektra of suffering from Stockhom Syndrome, and she hits back that Bond is mad, and that she has called M in to take over. Bond voices his opinion to M that Elektra may be in bed with Renard, so to speak, which M blows off promptly. She knew Sir Robert, and she trust Elektra. Elektra joins up with M and Bond, and they are alerted to a problem in one of Elektra’s inspection rig. It almost appears that she is innocent, and Bond takes Christmas with him to go and prevent the explosion in the pipeline, and they establish that the plutonium was stolen to create a nuclear explosion, wrecking the oil line in Istanbul, making Elektra’s line the only one, and making a fortune. In the meanwhile, Elektra has taken M hostage and plans on killing her for revenge.

the world is not enough torture
“There’s no point living, if you can’t feel alive.” – Elektra King

Will Bond be able to call in all the favours he needs from various people to prevent Elektra’s plan from being executed? Will M survive, and will she be able to adequately explain herself to Elektra? Will Christmas prove to be an asset or a liability to Bond in the location of the nuclear reactor and plutonium? Will Bond be able to stop it all, save M, and get the girl (again)?

A 6.5/10 for The World Is Not Enough. I actually thought that this one was alright, not too bad, but no great shakes either. The plot was a basic revenge plot, so they played it safe. The story progression was alright. I really liked seeing more of M in here, and more of her character was demonstrated. Q announcing his retirement finally does not come as a shock, though it is amusing to see Bond worried that it will be a very quick resignation and Q moving on. Sophie Marceau was a beautiful Bond girl, I must admit, and far more interesting than Denise Richards. Something about Denise Richards just didn’t work too well, though I am not sure exactly what. I can also say it was not just her name’s fault though! The action sequences were alright, the music was ok, so nothing really to write home about. There was (get this), another remote controlled car for Bond to play with. I don’t know what it was about Brosnan that inspired remote controlled cars. However, The World Is Not Enough was the first Bond film since Dalton to keep me interested and watching all the way through (GoldenEye had the cast yet still fell flat). It was nothing innovative or anything, and it truly had its flaws, but overall it didn’t annoy me, and this was the one Brosnan one I don’t really have complaints about. I really hated the Christmas coming once a year comment from Bond at the end, though I still do not find it as tasteless as Q’s re-entry comment in Moonraker. Overall, it was just another average addition to the Bond world – nothing new, nothing too extreme, but nothing too dead boring.

22 thoughts on “Review: The World Is Not Enough (1999)

  1. Nice write up Zoe, agree with your score on this one and agree with you on the Christmas coming once a year comment. That one was ridiculous even for a Bond film. The Brosnan Bond films get progressively worse for me, so good luck with Die Another Day, my least favourite of all Bond films!


    1. Thanks Chris! I hated that comment, but still, that and the re-entry were the two most disturbing ones for me throughout all the Bond ones. Oh, I am not looking forward to Die Another Day, let me tell you that. Invisible cars and ice surfing stuff… bound to be a kicker! (NOT). They do get worse, you are right, but even at their worst they still aren’t Roger Moore dreadful (I have a pet peeve about that guy, him being Bond, and his movies). Thanks for the luck, I am sure that it will come in handy!


  2. Nice review! It is not a favorite of mine, though Sophie Marceau did a nice job and M was more focused upon unlike previous Bond flicks. Die Another Day has a cameo of Maddona in a fencing sequence. The story is hardly worth mentioning………………


  3. Denise Richards, eh??? YUM. Still doesn’t compel me to give this a go. By the way, it’s been almost TWO WEEKS and I still haven’t finished that damned movie we’ve been talking about….


  4. I think you’re a little too kind to Denise Richards. She’s just terrible here, and the issue is that she’s totally unconvincing. I do think there are some great elements to this movie, including more from M and Robert Carlyle. It had potential but fell flat near the end. Next up: The Invisible Car!


    1. Alright, fine, I will revoke the sugarcoating… She was wholly unconvincing and absolutely ridiculous! 😛 I thought it had potential, but it just didn’t catch all the way. Pity, too.

      Oooh I cannot wait! What an ingenious concept, I mean buy as Aston Martin and then HIDE it!


  5. I actually enjoyed this a bit more because of Sophie Marceau, but my goodness, Denise Richards is just horrid! WORST Bond girl ever in the history of the franchise, I’m even embarrassed for her as I was watching it, ahah. Robert Carlyle is a great actor but terribly wasted here, too.


    1. Sophie Marceau was good, but I couldn’t agree more on the Denise Richards front. Phew. Embarrassing. The Brosnan Bond era seemed intent in wasting good actors, but using the names to pimp the movie with, if you know what I mean. However, seeing John Cleese, all I could think of was Basil Fawlty haha!


      1. Ahah yeah, John Cleese is always great comic relief. I still prefer Desmond Llewellyn though, nobody else could hold a candle to the original M. I so agree w/ you about pimping the good actors’ name but end up not utilizing their talent properly!!


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