By now, Bond pictures are as elegantly formal as a Bach chorale, and this one opens on an unusually powerful note. A stunning pre-title sequence reaches beyond mere pyrotechnics to introduce key plot elements as the action leaps from Bilbao to London. Bond 5.0, Pierce Brosnan, undercuts his usually suave persona with a darker, more brutal edge largely absent since Sean Connery departed. Equally tantalizing are our initial glimpses of Bond's nemesis du jour, Renard (Robert Carlyle), and imminent love interest, Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), both atypically complex characters cast with seemingly shrewd choices, and directed by the capable Michael Apted. The story's focus on post-Soviet geopolitics likewise starts off on a savvy note, before being overtaken by increasingly Byzantine plot twists, hidden motives, and reversals of loyalty superheated by relentless (if intermittently perfunctory) action sequences.
Indeed, the procession of perils plays like a greatest hits medley, save for a nifty sequence involving airborne buzz saws that's as enjoyable as it is preposterous. Bond's grimmer demeanor, while preferable to the smirk that eventually swallowed Roger Moore whole, proves wearying, unrelieved by any true wit. The underlying psychoses that propel Renard and Elektra eventually unravel into unconvincing melodrama, while Bond is supplied with a secondary love object, Denise Richards, who's even more improbable as a nuclear physicist. Ultimately, this World is not enough despite its better intentions. --Sam Sutherland
The most obvious credit to the writers is Carlyle's brooding, existentialist villain, which reminded me of The Misfit in O'Connor's 'A Good Man is Hard to Find.' Carlyle, in surprising contrast to his turn as the psychotic Begbie in Trainspotting, plays the role with just enough subtley and understatement, making the character's evil much more believable than the cackling megalomania of earlier specimens. What I also like about the screenplay, though, and what isn't immediatley apparent, is that it casts some doubt on the role of Bond in the world. In other movies, he seems to have an absolute moral imperative, able to gun down scores of people without any consequence, simply because his enemies are abosolutley evil. In this film, though, among the ruins of the USSR (a theme already explored in Goldeneye), there's more gray than black and white, and the circumstances don't allow him to get off so blamelessly; ultimately he has to do something which he might might regret. It's far from making him human - if that were to happen, it would undermine the whole promise of the series - but it's an interesting take.Read more ›
The precredits sequence sets up the story nicely: Sir Robert King, oil magnate and friend of "M" (Judi Dench) is killed by booby trapped money delivered to him by Bond. All roads lead to Rome, the roads being clues, and Rome in this case being represented by Electra King (Sophie Marceau), Sir Robert's beautiful daughter, who was the victim of a recent kidnap plot hatched by the mysterious Renard, a terrorist rendered unable to experience pain by a bullet lodged in his skull. "M" dispatches Bond to protect Electra, who has taken over her father's petroleum empire in central Asia.
From the moment he arrives in Azerbaijan, Bond is a hunted man. Although first enamored of Electra, Bond soon realizes that there is something amiss.
In TWINE, Brosnan resurrects the dark Bond of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. His dual nemeses, Electra and Renard, are ably played by Marceau and Robert Carlyle, who both bring some surprising depth to their characters. Electra is particularly sympathetic, being both the brainwashed victim and willing accomplice of Renard. She is by turns sexual and ingenuous, vulnerable and implacable. Marceau is breathtakingly beautiful.
Carlyle's Renard, trapped in a body that can't feel, exudes both pathos and hatred as he plots the destruction of the democracies.
Dench's "M" plays a central role in the film, far larger than any "M" before her. The film is notable for being the last appearance as Desmond Llwellyn as "Q".Read more ›
Upon viewing "The World is Not Enough" the second time I would definitely have to say that I was overly critical of its theatrical release. Taken as a whole, this third Bond film with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond is a pretty good film. The basic premise is a bit weaker than the other three Bond films starring Brosnan but of course, the films producers overcome that with some spectacular action sequences and scenery.
Performance wise, Pierce Brosnan does Bond extraordinarily well in this, his third appearance. At this point in time, who else could play Bond, probably nobody as he's made the part entirely his and we, the fans, are the better for it. One of the greatest treats in this Bond film, as with all Bond films is some new Bond babes and as even more special treat this film stars the extraordinarily beautiful French actress Sophie Marceau who may be best known by American audiences for her role in "Braveheart." Her performance for this film is pretty much perfect to the role, which is "over the top," as she takes her character from one end of the extreme to the other.Read more ›