Bonding with Bond, Day 21: The World Is Not Enough

One intrepid RT editor is watching all of the James Bond films in order.

by | November 10, 2008 | Comments

The World Is Not Enough continues Bond’s signature antics with nothing particularly new to offer. I didn’t think it was as bad as some have said, but it probably wouldn’t make it into my top 10 either.


The World Is Not Enough (1999) 52%

WorldIsNotEnough2

Twenty films in, and my affection for James Bond only grows. The first thing I want to say before I begin is that I absolutely love the James Bond theme music. As the gun barrel spiral zeroes in on Bond in the intro before The World Is Not Enough, we hear a slightly updated version of the music, and not only is it an iconic tune, but it’s just great music, period. It’s a testament to John Barry’s talent that the same music could be used for every Bond movie, with few changes, and still sound great; it never gets old. I can’t say the same for some of the theme songs that have accompanied a few of the films, but while I’m not a Sheryl Crow fan, I thought her song for Tomorow Never Dies actually wasn’t too bad, and Garbage’s song for The World Is Not Enough was even better.

It seems they’ve finally settled Brosnan comfortably into the role of 007, as evidenced by the first handful of scenes. The pre-credits opening again sets the standard impressively high for action throughout the movie, with its improbable boat chase and freefall from a hot air balloon. Once placed in physical therapy for his injuries, Bond also recalls his skeevier days by sleeping with his doctor in exchange for a clean bill of health, allowing him to return to active duty. Then we have the obligatory Q Branch scene, albeit a sad one, as Desmond Llewelyn seems to be bidding us farewell as Q. I really loved his character, but I understand his need to pass the torch, as he was starting to resemble a muppet. I’m happy with the choice of John Cleese as his successor, though his introduction signals the beginning of a goofier Q than we’ve come to know, and I’ll definitely miss Llewelyn.

I was pleased with the idea that Sophie Marceau’s character, Elektra King, was one of the two central villains. This is, more or less, what I was referring to a few movies ago when I speculated how neat it would be to incorporate a female nemesis. I suspected early on that she was playing Bond for a fool, but there was enough intrigue in the plot to make me question my decision once or twice. Her counterpart, Renard (played by Robert Carlyle, who I like) was sufficiently menacing, but I thought he was somewhat underused. Unfortunately, while Marceau and Renard are both great actors, in my opinion, to have both of them share bad-guy duties ensured that neither of them really shone as the true villain.

The action, as I’ve mentioned, was very good yet again, though I’m noticing a few things. First of all, there are key elements that a Bond movie must have to be a Bond movie. At first I identified these elements simply as motorized chases, but I’ve come to expand on that. The chase must be either in a car or in a boat, and in the rare case will incorporate a chopper. Secondly, there is the option of having a winter sports chase, typically on skis, that results in at least one enemy falling to his or her death (on a side note, all rich people are expert extreme-skiers). Lastly, the final battle must always be so long that it becomes laborious and unexciting, which was the case for me in TWINE.

I am enjoying watching the relationship between Bond and the new M develop. Judi Dench’s M is a very different M than that of Bernard Lee. While Lee was constantly shaking his finger at Bond and treating him in much the same way that Q did, like a father giving his son a noogie, Dench plays the role with a much more serious tone. In addition, I believe TWINE is the first Bond film to involve M in the plot significantly, and I think this helps to elevate her character beyond a simple paper pusher sending Bond out on all these crazy missions.

Having said all of this, there is nothing particularly notable about The World Is Not Enough. It’s fairly typical, as far as Bond films are concerned, and nothing new or particularly earth shattering is introduced. And, of course, it had its faults; there’s Bond throwing out puns and one-liners like there’s no tomorrow, and there’s the casting of Denise Richards – I didn’t have a problem with her claiming to be a nuclear scientist, but I did have a problem with her atrocious acting, and even this isn’t something I haven’t seen before. To be honest, I took very few notes while watching this movie, because there wasn’t a whole lot to remark on. Overall, I was underwhelmed, and while the production quality of the Bond films has increased dramatically over the years, I feel that they’ve lost something in the way of charm, and with only two more films to watch, I find myself more drawn to the earlier installments.

Favorite line: “He’s no atomic scientist.” — Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones (what is this, a blaxploitation film?) when Bond is discovered impersonating a scientist. Oh the irony…

Favorite moment: It’s a sentimental one. I almost choked up when Bond turned to Q and said, “You’re not retiring any time soon… are you?” and Q descended out of view, saying, “Always have an escape plan.” You’re my boy, Q!


Other Articles:

Tag Cloud

Rom-Com obituary BBC America blaxploitation parents Writers Guild of America Thanksgiving game show dogs Disney streaming service Funimation Teen asian-american cats 24 frames Apple TV Plus book crossover Hear Us Out Polls and Games free movies classics casting Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Black Mirror Anna Paquin Mary Tyler Moore nature First Reviews Shondaland harry potter HBO Go Ellie Kemper Nominations TV Land Lionsgate sag awards Amazon Studios concert Crunchyroll toy story Holidays TIFF MTV dramedy elevated horror Horror indie biography spy thriller YA worst movies AMC Sundance TV Marvel italian foreign TCA 2017 versus south america The Witch zero dark thirty Rocky LGBTQ BBC One Food Network Red Carpet GLAAD psycho HBO Max Comedy Central romantic comedy A24 satire New York Comic Con directors Emmy Nominations Ovation crime El Rey comiccon Tomatazos TCA Winter 2020 Grammys technology San Diego Comic-Con PaleyFest christmas movies Trophy Talk HBO Creative Arts Emmys sequel medical drama Shudder Vudu PBS DC Universe blockbuster Summer science fiction Calendar USA Network Bravo Pirates joker child's play FX adventure ratings Year in Review Travel Channel Superheroes Hulu ABC Women's History Month transformers Columbia Pictures Starz Television Academy criterion TCA Awards independent Crackle cops See It Skip It Pet Sematary social media Comic Book emmy awards cancelled 2015 72 Emmy Awards a nightmare on elm street CBS All Access game of thrones TV Cartoon Network Drama canceled RT21 Valentine's Day batman stop motion cancelled TV shows Reality Competition Rocketman mutant Disney+ Disney Plus stoner Biopics Television Critics Association Comedy Kids & Family DC streaming service The Purge President best festival TBS Toys Ghostbusters mission: impossible ITV aliens travel Paramount Chilling Adventures of Sabrina VH1 Fantasy BET IFC Films politics adaptation Marvel Television YouTube CW Seed Comics on TV Showtime fast and furious The Academy Musicals Animation Countdown Dark Horse Comics Apple TV+ Amazon Prime Martial Arts American Society of Cinematographers Discovery Channel TCA Turner movie Superheroe Nickelodeon Disney Plus venice die hard Fall TV halloween tv YouTube Premium teaser true crime Lifetime Christmas movies Mudbound BBC spain National Geographic natural history name the review documentary USA Sundance Now universal monsters Epix diversity Christmas Song of Ice and Fire justice league Music OWN crime thriller Oscars finale SundanceTV ghosts Awards GoT historical drama spanish language TV renewals award winner reviews Film based on movie SDCC docudrama SXSW french Freeform Cosplay PlayStation FX on Hulu rotten 2020 stand-up comedy Marvel Studios Holiday latino Mystery thriller NYCC Trivia Peacock cars scary movies Certified Fresh Interview Classic Film Masterpiece DC Comics Extras 2016 Endgame Action police drama Pop TV VOD comics Pride Month children's TV werewolf green book 4/20 TCM BAFTA CBS The Arrangement FOX talk show discovery mockumentary kids spanish Esquire Star Wars golden globes strong female leads witnail Turner Classic Movies sports Trailer Musical Walt Disney Pictures facebook documentaries 2017 VICE Universal what to watch Character Guide news revenge LGBT BET Awards spinoff sitcom Emmys Tumblr animated Video Games sequels dceu Film Festival Fox News Syfy Fox Searchlight Spring TV Infographic Photos Marathons reboot political drama IFC television Heroines First Look 71st Emmy Awards Amazon cancelled TV series Tubi dc Captain marvel Black History Month The CW Paramount Network APB cinemax twilight Spectrum Originals Election CMT Academy Awards 007 films halloween Adult Swim canceled TV shows cancelled television composers comic dark Winter TV YouTube Red miniseries Pixar Brie Larson GIFs quibi screen actors guild Sci-Fi serial killer richard e. Grant festivals nfl cooking worst FXX Set visit Winners Mary poppins space WGN Mary Poppins Returns jamie lee curtis 2018 toronto Arrowverse laika 45 DirecTV vampires 20th Century Fox scorecard Premiere Dates Country psychological thriller Family video Avengers Rock breaking bad critics superhero cartoon nbcuniversal TruTV Lucasfilm OneApp series chucky Netflix theme song boxoffice Disney Channel Warner Bros. 2019 hist TNT romance disaster hispanic binge DGA MCU all-time Stephen King streaming E3 franchise archives Star Trek Hallmark Christmas movies Lifetime rotten movies we love movies anime zombie Britbox Netflix Christmas movies CNN zombies RT History spider-man Logo football Podcast Elton John Tarantino Acorn TV Amazon Prime Video dragons war A&E Binge Guide Awards Tour crime drama ABC Family Watching Series slashers doctor who Western comedies tv talk Sneak Peek MSNBC E! Sundance Apple WarnerMedia ESPN Schedule Nat Geo Disney period drama Pop Spike unscripted singing competition Super Bowl X-Men screenings NBC supernatural Best and Worst Mindy Kaling hollywood renewed TV shows remakes 21st Century Fox TLC Sony Pictures Baby Yoda Hallmark video on demand Cannes Box Office indiana jones The Walking Dead robots History Quiz cults Reality Opinion anthology Chernobyl