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%


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

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