Bond

Countdown to Spectre: The World is Not Enough (1999)

This is the next installment in my look back to the James Bond 007 series in anticipation for the new installment, Spectre coming out on November 6th. If you are interested in any of my earlier installments, click here.

Bond (Pierce Brosnan) must race to defuse an international power struggle with the world’s oil supply hanging in the balance. Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), is the daughter of a murdered oil tycoon whom Bond is assigned to protect. The villain is Renard (Robert Carlyle), who has a bullet lodged in his brain rendering him unable to feel pain. Also featuring nuclear weapons expert Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards).

So this is the next to last of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films (oh how time flies). I thought the film started off with a pretty exciting pre-credits scene, maybe the best (or at least second to the skiing scene in The Spy Who Loved Me), featuring Bond going head to head with a beautiful female assassin. I did not like the theme to this film by Garbage because it might have been just me but the only words of it I understood were “The World is Not Enough”. The plot in this one was a little misleading at first because it made you think it was going to be about Bond and King and Bond trying to figure out who was trying to kill her but then, without giving anything away, became something else. I think it spent too much time with what it was at first because what it became afterwards was so much more interesting to me. It was also a little hard to follow as it took a long time for us to get a clear picture of who the villains were. There were also supposed to be more to the villain characters but we never really got to see anything of it. Carlyle was a decent villain here but he was rather limited in this role, in freedom and screen time. The limited screen time was for the fact that he was only the secondary villain in the film with the first is someone else, without giving anything away. He managed just the right amount of evil but his performance just felt subdued and almost dead, like his character was. Marceau was okay here as Elektra King and she did get better further into the film. Richards’ Christmas Jones is another badly named Bond girl (especially for word play’s sake) who was just there to assist Bond later on with events occurring later on in the film (while looking good of course). Judi Dench’s M who had the biggest role for an “M” so far in a Bond film, proving that she could aptly handle herself in the field. Desmond Llewelyn, in his final Bond film as Q, was great again here while reminding us all why he is the greatest “Q”. The film did a nice job addressing this by introducing his replacement, John Cleese as “R”, in a funny way as all Q and Bond interactions have been over time. Brosnan is as good as always as Bond here showing an aggressive side when necessary while not taking himself too seriously with his good sense of humour. With the escalation of the Bond series, the action, the stunts, and the special effects keep ramping up with newer advances over time. They have never looked better here as they were both exciting and engaging and Brosnan did a great job at keeping up with all of it. Overall, this entry is on the same level technically as its best film, Goldeneye, while the film’s plot lags behind.

Score: 7.5/10

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Next: Die Another Day

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2 replies »

  1. Keith, your countdown is almost over! I’ll be sad to see it go. I love me some Pierce though. I’m not a big Craig fan – but we are hitting Spectre up this weekend nonetheless.

    • I wish I could see it today but I want to finish this first. I was a little slow at the beginning but I should be done by Tuesday. That blu-ray set of all the movies sure has come in handy.