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With: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards, Robert Carlyle, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane, Samantha Bond, Desmond Llewelyn, John Cleese
Written by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Bruce Feirstein
Directed by: Michael Apted
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence, some sexuality and innuendo
Running Time: 128
Date: 11/08/1999

The World Is Not Enough (1999)

3 Stars (out of 4)

This 'World' Is Plenty

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Bond is Bond. The best thing one can say about a James Bond movie is that it's a James Bond movie. Everything is in place. The new The World Is Not Enough (now on DVD) has; the opening teaser, the sexy opening credits sequence (with a new song by Garbage), Bond having unseen sex with beautiful women, Bond walking into a casino dressed in a tux, Bond chasing an assassin in a hi-tech boat, and Bond telling someone that he's "Bond... James Bond."

Directed by Michael Apted, The World Is Not Enough pleased me enough for me to say that I liked it better than GoldenEye (1995), but not as much as Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). I also think that the Pierce Brosnan Bonds are the second best series after the Sean Connery Bonds, but that's a discussion best left to the internet. I also suspect that Brosnan is playing with the character a bit. This Bond seemed to be a little more aggressive and a little short-tempered, perhaps in an attempt to get closer to the books.

The James Bond books (by Ian Fleming) and movies give us all kinds of secret delights. They're full of the things we're not supposed to do, or can only dream of doing. They're a vicarious thrill. It's ludicrous that someone can be so suave, bed several women in a few days' time, always have a one-liner at the ready, and is always ready for action. Wouldn't we all love to be James Bond? Wouldn't women secretly love men to be James Bond? In the 1960's perhaps Bond wasn't so romantic to people, but in the politically correct 90's (or the 21st Century) he's a lost commodity that we like to keep around.

I also like that Bond is now enjoying a higher grade of director than he usually has. Sean Connery's directors Guy Hamilton and Terence Young were decent, but their kind went out the door as the series went into the 70's and 80's. Tomorrow Never Dies was directed by Roger Spottiswoode (Under Fire) and now we have Michael Apted, who has some decent Hollywood credits (Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist), but who will be remembered for his incredible "Up" documentaries. The latest, 42 Up, is now playing in New York.

Oh yeah. The plot. Robert Carlyle (lovable in The Full Monty) plays the evil bad guy Renard who wants to steal nuclear warheads to take over the world. Sophie Marceau is Elektra, the beautiful daughter of an oil baron, and Denise Richards is the sexy Christmas Jones(!), a nuclear physicist(!). That's really all there is, except for a twist that I don't want to give away. Marceau and Richards make great Bond girls. They're both amazingly easy on the eyes but offer two different "types" to look at. And frankly, when I'm watching James Bond, I don't mind being a little voyeuristic.

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