"The World Is Not Enough"
Directed by Michael Apted.
Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Bruce Feirstein.
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards and Robert
Release Year: 1999
Review Date: 11/26/99
Happy thanksgiving! I'm one of the lucky
few that has to go to work tomorrow, so count your lucky blessings
that you can sleep in tomorrow...or, go shopping at 5:30 in the
morning, which, sadly, is what some of you will be doing.
Being that it is a family gathering holiday,
my mom, Dave Bell and I always go check out a flick after having our
3 pm dinner. Dave and I were pretty excited: our pick this year
was Bond, James Bond! It's not every year that we get to check out
the long-running Bond franchise for thanksgiving! So, being that it
was my treat this year, I didn't mind slapping down the cash to
check out some globe-trotting spy action.
What's your favorite Bond picture? For me,
it's a toss-up between "Thunderball" and "Goldfinger", although I do
have a soft spot in my heart for "Octopussy." The worst one,
however, is easy: "Moonraker" is a shameful, pitifully-conceived
flop that does 007 harm for even being made. “Fifteen Days of
Bond”, the best part of the TBS broadcasting season, is coming up
and I can't wait to watch all of the movies again.
Unfortunately, it must be said that "The
World is Not Enough" is as bad as either of the two Timothy Dalton
movies, and periodically as bad as "Moonraker." Sacre bleu, you
say? Well, I kid you not: this movie does not deliver the goods.
Where to begin? Denise Richards. A
shockingly bad actress (yes, I knew that from watching "Starship
Troopers"), any hetero man must give her credit for being flat-out
hot. This brings to mind her similarity to Mariah Carey: great at
one extreme (octave range), horrid at the other (couldn't out-dance
Rob "Jellybean" Grant with the house deed on the line). Richards,
who I last saw lap-riding Matt Dillon while giving tongue to Neve
Campbell in the white-hot "Wild Things", is playing a nuclear
scientist. That's right, young'uns: a friggin' nuclear scientist.
Talk about range! Robert Carlyle, so good in "The Full Monty", has
continued his sell-out descent as the bad guy Renard in this movie,
and it is unclear why his character's getting shot in the head makes
him completely resistant to pain (I didn't buy the "bullet stuck in
his brain" excuse the doctor gave me in the beginning of the
movie). Further, the plot that has Renard stealing a nuclear
warhead must have taken no longer than 45 seconds to concoct. Bad
guys are always stealing nuclear warheads (Bond movies, by their
nature, ALWAYS feature nuclear warheads) in action movies, so it
would have been nice to see Renard do something a little
Or different. Bond movies are already a
cliché, so I have to know that in each movie, the bad guy is going
to die this horrific, ridiculous, overly-violent death. In "The
World is Not Enough", Renard gets a pole stuck in him. That's it.
Even though he feels no pain, the writers forgot that for the
ending, and Renard just dies. And usually, the bad guy has this
really evil main henchman that fucks up Bond in a fight scene before
getting shot up. Not in this movie; no huge, Jaws-like 7'4"
behemoth to menace Bond throughout the movie. And, normally (being
that this is a spy movie), Bond has some super-phat gadget that
helps him fly, or a pen that is actually a new pair of shoes. In
this movie? a jacket that, with a pull of a rip cord, turns into a
large, inflatable bubble. That's it. No exploding gum, no
missile-firing key chain, nothing. Even the Bond car in this movie
just has a missile launcher; no Palm Pilot-remote control or
ejection seat or oil slick. Hmm.
And, you'd think being the world's most
famous spy, he would be better at keeping out of sight! Nope, he
just parks his car out in the middle of wherever he is going, so as
to make it easier for all of the movie's bad guys to discover his
location! This 007 dude is a bloomin' idiot! I was reading an
interview with Carlyle about making Bond movies, and he said it best
by saying "you know already that you [the bad guy] aren't going to
kill Bond, so you have to make it as interesting as possible."
Maybe, that's just it for me--these movies
are such cliché, that some of Bond's otherwise silly lines come off
as just a little cheesy, and when bad guys fire at Bond, you know
they are going to miss so badly that it just becomes funny to see
how many times they will keep shooting at him. The gunplay in this
movie feels as lifeless as any I can remember for a Bond movie;
almost like bad guys are getting shot because the producers
remembered that's what people want to see when they see a Bond
movie. (I don't need to see people getting lit up without just
cause; it just seemed like, in this movie, the value of the people
getting shot seemed much lower than other Bond pictures.) I also
hope that the stunt double for Pierce Brosnan, Bond for at least one
more picture, got paid as much as Brosnan did, because he is
on-screen doing all of the heavy lifting for Brosnan almost as much
as Brosnan is hooking up with various female characters. It would
be cool if they just had a little fun with the concept of these
movies, and made them straight action pictures, used more
martial-arts scenes, or involved more of the unseen other MI6 agents
(the other 8 double-O agents) in a "Mission: Impossible"-type team
As it is, there are good things about "The
World is Not Enough"--the opening sequence is really cool, way over
the top but it happens to work; Sophie Marceau is the best acting
Bond girl, I think, the series has ever had; the music always gets
me going; beautiful locations and lots of other hot women. But,
this movie is easily the worst of the three movies that Brosnan has
made as Bond, and because
"The Thomas Crown Affair" (a far better
movie with a far more imaginative script, even if it was a remake)
is still fresh in my head, I am rooting for the next Bond movie to
be better than this. My mom wanted to give this movie "a 6 out of
10", but I don't think I can go that far, as my brother so aptly
reminded me: "Whoa, mom...I don't think I would go that high!"
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard