In The World is Not Enough, MI6 super spy James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to hunt down terrorist Renard (Robert Carlyle), the man behind the assassination of a billionaire oil tycoon who is also attempting to instigate a nuclear meltdown. Additionally, Renard has a bullet lodged in his skull that renders him with diminishing senses and the inability to feel pain.
Now that we have contextualized the absudity, let’s begin.
This is Brosnan’s third outing as James Bond. It is hard to say that he has “settled in” to the role at this point in his tenure. His acting as the spy certainly grows more comfortable as his films progress, but his first film, GoldenEye, is the superior installment out of his four. Perhaps the reason for this lies in the supporting cast.
The World is Not Enough (or TWINE, if you’re so inclined) sees actors from GoldenEye returning. Judi Dench, the M replacement introduced in GoldenEye, always has on point performances in the role, and here is no exception. Robbie Coltrane, as well, returns as Bond’s Russian informant Valentin. Coltrane doesn’t disappoint.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Denise Richards playing a nuclear physicist. Yep, Dr. Christmas Jones. Is Christmas a name? Absolutely not. Does Richards fit into her role at all? Absolutely not. Her time on screen is nearly insufferable, her words wooden and her facial expressions indecipherably off-key. At least we get the benefit of Sophie Marceau to balance out the Bond girl area of the film.
We also have a farewell for Q (Desmond Llewelyn), who appeared in more Bond films than any other actor, beginning his tenure with the second film, From Russia With Love. Replacing him is John Cleese, who, despite his comedic talents, doesn’t quite fit the role, watering the tech expert character down to lazy gags.
The action set pieces in this movie are fine. Most notable is the extended cold open, which spans almost 20 minutes. Mainly, however, the action scenes lack imagination, devolving into meaningless explosions.
The World is Not Enough is a forgettable Bond film that marks the decline of the Brosnan tenure. Just wait until we get to Die Another Day.
The World is Not Enough: D+
As always, thanks for reading!
The World is Not Enough is currently available to rent/buy on Amazon Video here.
- The World is Not Enough: D+
- Tomorrow Never Dies: C
- GoldenEye: A-
- License to Kill: B+
- The Living Daylights: B+
- A View to a Kill: D+
- Octopussy: C-
- For Your Eyes Only: C
- Moonraker: D
- The Spy Who Loved Me: B-
- The Man With the Golden Gun: C+
- Live and Let Die: C+
- Diamonds Are Forever: C-
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: B+
- Casino Royale (1967): D+
- You Only Live Twice: C+
- Thunderball: C-
- Goldfinger: A-
- From Russia With Love: A-
- Dr. No: B
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)