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Number three of the Pierce Brosnan entries sure isn?t going to end up being ?number one? in anyone?s hearts or minds - at least, not in very many peoples?. This film represents a point (which has happened before and I?m sure will happen again in the Bond series) at which the story, actors and even the production team all seem to be tired with the material. Plot twists are thrown in and feel like they?re simply there to mix things up a bit, and despite these subtle changes it all just feels even more formulaic than the typical Bond adventure. I don?t have any illusions in my mind of the Bond series boiling over with originality or brilliance, but a film like The World is Not Enough feels like it?s even more standard, been-there-done-that fare. However, that being said, it?s well-executed, has one or two good moments, and Robert Carlyle is in it. Plus, when you compare it to the abomination that follows it, it looks like Seven Samurai.
The plot follows Bond?s mission to protect Elektra King (played by Sophie Marceau), the daughter of an oil baron and generally powerful, abundantly rich businessman Sir Robert King who is assassinated at the beginning of the film. Throughout the narrative, secrets are revealed such as a possible romance between Sir Robert King and M - who attended law school together - and possible backstabbing plots. It?s all fairly standard Bond stuff, except for the fact that M is directly involved in the plot of the film. This is something which has never really happened before in the Bond franchise, as M has always been an outside force who would simply send Bond off, then we wouldn?t hear from him/her for the rest of the film.
The villain is Renard - a terrorist who was at some point shot in the head, but survived. Now the bullet is very slowly digging through his brain, cutting off his senses as it goes. It will eventually kill him, but as of now, he?s inhumanly strong and has almost limitless stamina, due to his deadened pain receptors. It doesn?t make any sense at all when someone puts more than two seconds worth of thought into it, but it?s Robert Carlyle, so who cares?
The World is Not Enough has three main babes. One is played by a fairly respectable French actress, one is played by an Italian bombshell, and the other is played by and American ?actress?. See if you can guess which one?s which...
Maria Grazia Cucinotta is the first one to appear in the film, and her part is so small that her character is called ?Cigar Girl?. She gives Bond a cigar at the beginning of the movie, then a few minutes later he realizes that she is responsible for the assassination of King. She is involved in a pretty cool boat chase, and is disposed of pretty quickly.
Sophie Marceau plays Elektra King, the emotionally fragile woman who survived a kidnapping and is distraught over the death of her father. She is completely paranoid now about repeated kidnap attempts, but decides the best course of action is to show no fear, and continue appearing in public as much as possible. This leads to the film showing her in many different skimpy dresses, as well as a love scene with Bond where you can catch a very quick glimpse of her nipple (though it?s not like I slowed it down to check or anything).
Finally we have one of the most ridiculous characters ever, and one of the greatest instances of miscasting ever. Dr. Christmas Jones (HA!) is a nuclear physicist, and she is played by Denise Richards (double HA!). She has enormous breasts, which are shown in a wet white t-shirt at numerous times throughout the film - that?s about as deep as her character goes.
There are a few gadgets in this entry in the series, but, again, nothing overly original or interesting.
First off there are Bond?s x-ray glasses...
...at one point in the film, Bond goes to a nightclub owned by Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane returning to his role from Goldeneye), and Bond uses the glasses to see who all in the club is armed.
Then there?s Bond?s new watch, which contains all the usual trimmings you?d expect from a Bond watch (grappling hook, laser, video, remote mines, etc.). It?s an Omega Seamaster, and it?s a damn nice watch...
Then there?s Bond?s super-boat thing, which he uses in the beginning chase sequence with ?Cigar Girl?. It can fully submerge, and is balanced in such a way that no matter how you land off a jump, it rights itself. It?s actually Q?s fishing boat, but Bond grabs it out of necessity...
There?s also Bond?s car, a BMW Z8, which meets a sad demise later in the film as it is sawed in half...
There are a few other gadgets, such as Bond?s blow-up jacket which he uses to protect himself and Elektra during an avalanche, and a credit card which works as a universal lock-pick.
Again, it?s all pretty standard stuff.
Distinctions From the Other Films
-Theme song performed by Garbage, and can be heard along with the opening titles sequence [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0kjffYeppU]here[/url]
-First film in the franchise to directly involve M in the plot and action
-The title, The World is Not Enough, is Bond?s family motto and is taken from a quote in On Her Majesty?s Secret Service
-The final appearance by Desmong Llewlyn as Q
-The first appearance by John Cleese as Q?s apprentice
-Robbie Coltrane reprises his role as Russian gangster Zukovsky, and much of his dialogue is the same as the dialogue he had in Goldeneye
-Elektra King was originally going to be played by Sharon Stone, but studios wanted someone more European in both looks and voice
Of course there?s the boat chase and the avalanche, but other scenes which are memorable in this film include the assault on Zukovsky?s caviar refinery...
...the helicopter with the 5 buzzsaw blades is responsible for the destruction of Bond?s BMW.
There?s also the scene at the end of the film where Bond is set down on a torture chair which puts pressure on the back of his neck, while simultaneously suffocating him...
...now, normally I would say the above picture is a spoiler since it sort of gives away that Elektra is not a very good girl, but seeing how her evilness is shown in the trailers and pretty much everyone knows anyways, I figure it?s fair game.
And finally there?s any one of the many scenes featuring Denice Richards in a white t-shirt, which just happens to end up submerged in cold water...
Memorable Quote of Villainy
There aren?t any particularly memorable or villainous quotes in this film, but there are some wonderfully bad puns, such as the following...
RENARD: You had me. But I knew you couldn't...
[Renard squeezes Bond's injured shoulder. Bond groans with pain]
RENARD: ...shoulder the responsibility.
RENARD: Welcome to my nuclear family.
So while it?s certainly best described as ?mediocre?, it would be an out-and-out lie to say that The World is Not Enough ranks among the worst Bond films. One of its greatest detractors is Denice Richards? character, Christmas Jones, whose retardedness is so thick it could be cut with a knife. The film features a welcome return by Robbie Coltrane - though some better material would have been much appreciated - and Robert Carlyle is great in just about anything.
Rating for The World is Not Enough - 5.5 out of 10
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