The World is Not Enough (1999)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Ironically not enough.

It’s really hard to find a happy medium when talking about James Bond. One really tacky film could really be successful, and a serious film could be absolutely horrid, it all depends on presentation. Above all else, this series requires a good presentation because it deals with multiple actors playing the same role, and each actor presents it a different way. Pierce Brosnan is a decent Bond, but his stories really need help. The World is Not Enough is Brosnan’s second to final film as James Bond, and it has some good ideas, but a strange end game that is too hard to place.

Basically, this film opens with an assassination of an oil tycoon, Robert King. King was apparently an old friend of M’s and when he is killed, MI6 begins to believe his daughter is in trouble. So Bond, being a chivalrous fellow, goes to protect Elektra King from their number 1 suspect, a serial killer that cannot feel any physical pain, thanks to an old gunshot wound that’s slowly killing him (kind of like the shrapnel in Iron Man). Meets Christmas Jones, a bomb expert…or something.

The problem with this plot is the endgame. I don’t really understand it, and I was trying hard to understand it. It has something to do with radiation and nuclear power, but beyond that I was lost. The rest of it is actually really good. We’ve seen James Bond in a bodyguard situation before, and he was magnificent at his job, with of course spy stuff to make it feel like an appropriate James Bond flick. The same goes here, but the plot is just a little confusing, and as the title suggests, not enough. So, as far as a good James Bond story goes, it’s better to look elsewhere.

Like other Brosnan Bond flicks, we again are faced with the issue that there is no memorable scenes. None of the scenes or even the plot is very memorable, so there is a lot of forgettable elements in this film. Again, though, the spy gear saves it, and even M’s presentation. For me, it’s clear that Judi Dench is the best portrayal of M. She has given more to the series than anyone else has in the role. She’s more than just a face behind a desk; she actively goes into action and proves that her character is worthwhile. If anything, you should watch this film for Judi Dench…seriously.

It’s not a bad film, like I mentioned above, it has good ideas, just probably the worst presentation from Pierce Brosnan…okay, I can’t say that until I watch Die Another Day. It’s just the worst presentation so far. The other good parts of this film was, of course, Q, the “new Q”, M, the gadgets – including the notable X-Ray glasses. Also good is the special effects, sets and scenery, and the improved quality of film. What’s bad about it was unfortunately – the endgame, some of the plot, and the Bond girls. Even the artsy music video is rather forgettable as well.

For the most part, it’s not horrible, just forgettable. I’ve honestly seen worse from James Bond, as well as better. If I had to guess this was right there, smack dab in the middle with pretty things to look at and explosions and gadgets to keep young viewers smiling. The film is okay.

The World is Not Enough is ironically not enough to be considered a great James Bond flick, even though it has all of the essentials. The main flaw comes from how absolutely forgettable it becomes after initial viewing. Still. It is entertaining enough to watch one time.

5 thoughts on “The World is Not Enough (1999)

  1. This is the one I’ve actually seen. And I agree that the movie isn’t horrible, per se. Very forgettable. Nothing special. I barely remember the plot.

    I will also add that Denise Richards, unlike the rest of the film, is awful. In fact, she was so awful that she turned me off of Bond completely. I didn’t see another one until Skyfall last year, when I was finishing up seeing all of the Oscar nominees.


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