The World Is Not Enough (1999)


James Bond investigates the murder of a wealthy industrialist within the very walls of MI6 by the ruthless terrorist who kidnapped and tortured his young daughter.

The World Is Not Enough has plenty of qualities to admire; it attempts to re-inject a more cold and ruthless streak in the central character, echoing the early days of Sean Connery’s tour and has an interesting plot of betrayal, subterfuge and revenge. Unfortunately the franchise is still suffering from the after effects of the financial failure of Timothy Dalton’s attempt to make Bond a more believable character and so the producers clearly felt the need to include many unnecessary crowd-pleasing set pieces and jokes that are rather at odds with the tone of the story. Pierce Brosnan’s dialogue is more often quips and innuendo than not and he feels more like a collection of Bondisms than a real person as a result, plus the inclusion of Denise Richards’ irrelevant “wet T-shirt Barbie” of a character is clearly purely there to give 007 someone canoodle with at the end. Sophie Marceau’s performance also does not really measure up to the potential of the character, although Robert Carlyle’s unfeeling terrorist is an entertaining villain. Like Tim Burton’s Batman films, it was very good at the time but the reboot has raised the bar for the franchise much higher and so it falls short by modern standards.

A nice try and one of the better Bonds of the pre-Daniel Craig era nonetheless.


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