November 20, 2015

The World Is Not Enough – underrated?

Pierce Brosnan’s part as the most iconic cinematic secret agent, James Bond may have turned out to be largely forgettable. In general, poor scripts and Brosnan’s lack of onscreen toughness, hard edge and his tendency to just smug his way through didn’t help. While his films are dismissed as some of the lowest in quality and are generally unambitious, it begs to wonder if there was one produced, aside from the highly regarded Goldeneye, that was actually underrated. Well, the good news is that this article will not be pulling up a lot of nothing trying to justify why Die Another Day deserves to be ranked higher than it should be. But is The World Is Not Enough so consumable as to be given a second chance?

Released in 1999, just shortly before the turn of the Millennium, The World Is Not Enough was Brosnan’s third outing. The marketing for Tomorrow Never Dies that it received before its release was adequate, but the one following it also had it’s fair share. The spectacular boat chase during the now famed pre-credit sequence centered around the then newly created 02 arena in London certainly helped! The performance of Pierce Brosnan, for the first and only time, contained a lot more substance. The screenplay and direction had him evoke more emotion that was explored for the first time. The Irish actor looked the most confident in this installment and his presence was at its most striking.

Of course, what made The World Is Not Enough better than it had any right to be wasn’t all down to Brosnan. There was a significant plot twist involving the film’s main bad guy. Or should that be bad guys? Actually, that question isn’t strictly accurate, either. French actress Sophie Marceau played Elektra, a former hostage victim who develops Stockholm Syndrome, a type of emotional defect that sees one grow affection for their captor. initially, Robert Carlyle’s Renard is played up as the main villain but he eventually takes a back seat to Elektra, who becomes hell bent on not only finishing Bond but also taking out head of MI6, M, played then by Judi Dench. At first, the chemistry between Bond and Elektra is apparent but as things progress Bond has to battle some psychological demons, no doubt due to his unmentioned former marriage to deceased Tracy. If you have not seen The World Is Not Enough then you probably have guessed by now that it was quite large in its story telling. Tomorrow Never Dies’ main focus was more on being one big extravagant action piece which did not quite balance everything together.

Also returning in the 19th 007 flick is Valentin Zukovsky. Many will remember his first appearance in 1995’s Goldeneye. Here, he comes to Bond’s assistance once again, more physically this time around. A James Bond film is not complete without some humour, and a sizeable amount of this involves reflects off this character. Thankfully, it does not hurt the film. But if there is one thing that does, then there is no doubt that it is, unsurprisingly, Denise Richards. Most would agree that her performances have always been something short that are normally desired, and that is no different here. She plays the Bond girl this time around. The name? Christmas Jones. It shall be said again. Christmas Jones! It still doesn’t have a ring to it, does it. A sizeable number of names of past Bond women have some sort of sexual innuendo contained within. There is none with that name. The sexual innuendo doesn’t even matter. It’s just a poor title, overall. But the second rate acting probably compliments it, to be honest. It is a good thing that Richards only gets involved in the second half of the movie.

Finally, the action sequences, particularly the aforementioned boat chase, are just as good as any that are seen in most Bond films. Another standout scene involves the action hero’s feature ladden car, and a pair of choppers. And something that had not been witnessed since the days when Roger Moore dominated in his era back in the 1980’s, this one included an explosive skiing segment. The latest 007 flick, SPECTRE seemed to promise another in it’s trailers but that turned out not to be so. So, The World Is Not Enough has the honour of doing something that has proven to be few and far between.

The third 1990’s 007 film has the unfortunate luck of being surrounded by a couple of other less memorable Bond motion pictures. But with stellar action scenes, a more than competent storyline, and strong performances, particularly from Brosnan and Marceau, one should not hesitate to give this film another spin!

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.


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