The World is Not Enough movie poster

Is the World Enough?

a review of The World is Not Enough
by Frank Costello: lifetime James Bond fan

Much like a well made vodka martin, what are the key ingredients of a James Bond film? Bond always makes sure to remind the bartender that shaken not stirred is a key factor so could this be the case with a Bond movie as well if let’s say the film is stirred instead of shaken will it affect the end product, therefore is this the case with The World is Not Enough, was the formula stirred instead of shaken and has it had an effect on the end product.

When people list there favourite Bond outings The World is Not Enough rarely if at all ranks high on the list in fact in an interview Brosnan says that it all gets a little jumbled for him after Tomorrow Never Dies. Was there a key ingredient missing, or was something upset in the method. To analyse this let’s look at the film using the elements we come across repeatedly in the franchise namely the Bond Formula.

The Plot:

An Espionage and sometimes complicated plot is essential to a Bond Film and The World is Not Enough is no exception. Here we get a plot that we find evolving from world control of a natural resource to an old fashioned revenge plot.

The plot of this film takes the viewer as well as Bond by surprise.

Just when we think we have it all figured out we are thrown completely off course and the whole basis of the film and the mission changes from protecting a supposed vulnerable character to stopping a surprising and ruthless villain who the audience has seen gone from an innocent captive to callous villain.
The World is Not Enough UK Quad Teaser Poster

The Assassin
The Oil Baroness
The Nuclear Physicist:

This leads us conveniently to the villain of this film. The biggest twist of this film has always been who the true villain of the piece is. From the very opening the viewer is led to expect that the mastermind of the piece is a forbidding and menacing character and when we are introduced to Viktor “Renard” Zokas played intensely by Robert Carlyle as the mercenary who 006 failed to kill.

After we get some back story that he was the kidnapper of Elektra King and the part played by M in the whole debacle we the viewer have a firm picture of what we believe to be the main villain whom Bond will have to foil. Much like 006 colossal mistake when trying to kill Renard only to turn him into a supernatural walking corpse whose time is running out we the viewer have mistaken Renard for a Blofeld type when in fact he is merely an oddjob or Jaws type in the fact that he is merely taking orders.

Many actors who have played Bond girls have gone on the record when doing the press tour of stating how their character will break the mold and they aren’t the typical Bond girl. More often than naught they are a typical bond girl but there can be no doubt Sophie Marceau was not typical.

The character led us to believe that she was a typical damsel waiting to be saved by Bond and to fall into his arms when in fact she is a revenge bent architect who understood if she wanted to be saved when kidnapped years ago she had to do it herself. Marceau gives such a layered performance that it can be understood why she hates her father and wishes to destroy M the viewer may even route for her success at times. When inevitably Bond must kill her, the evident regret on Brosnan’s face can be felt when he mutters “I never miss”

The other Bond girl of the piece has often been quoted as a primary reason fans don’t resonate as strong with this Bond outing as others the comically named Dr. Christmas Jones played by Denise Richards, who is argued as being as far from a nuclear physicist as James Bond is to being celibate. Denise Richards is this films token bond girl and really shouldn’t be taken as much more. There is nothing fundamentally lacking or wrong with her performance it’s just nothing different or memorable.

While striding the line between villain and ally we would be remiss if not mentioning the cracking performance of Robbie Coltrane who makes his second (arguably best) and final appearance in the franchise. We never quite know where this character will come down right up to the very end and we are kept chuckling with his many great lines such as “The Insurance company is never going to believe this” and his own glee as Bonds BMW is sawed in half.

“If You’re Q does that make him R”

Speaking of cut in half BMW another let down in this film could be said of Bonds field tech. None of it is remarkably memorable or too clever either. We are presented with a rather straight forward jacket that can deploy a safety Cocoon and that’s about it apart from some x-ray glasses. Not very original neither are Bonds wheels as mentioned earlier the most memorable thing about this BMW was its rather dramatic ending.

While these were rather bland entries into the franchise the following can’t be said about Q’s retirement fishing boat commandeered by Bond for one the most exciting and meaning openings to any of the films. The chase on the Thames is one of the most visually stunning and executed in the entire franchise with an ending which not only sets up the remainder of the film but we see Bond suffer an actual injury which will have repercussions throughout the film.

When speaking of Bond’s Tech we could not mention the final appearance of Bonds Quartermaster who has been both a father figure and confident of Bond since almost the beginning. Desmond Llewelyn  final appearance is a memorable one as he scolds Bond for destroying his Fishing boat before announcing his replacement, R. Another possible casting letdown while cleese is a fine actor this is not a role he was made for. We are left with Q final advice to bond. Never let them see you bleed and always have an escape plan before he disappears for the last time.
The World is Not Enough Puns and One-Liners

Conclusion.

The World is Not Enough can be summed up as a film which both succeeds and stumbles as well. While we have seen many clever thought provoking things in it we can also be guilty of dwelling on its letdowns which can be personal for each of us wither it be casting choices or lack of car envy. However on analysis the film seems to be stacked more positive than negative and deserves to be higher on the list of best Bond Outings, we have plot twist, jaw dropping action and humour all rolled in to 100 mins. Therefore this Bond fan believes that the world is enough.

… about the author …

My name is Frank Costello I’m from an island called Arranmore of the North West coast of Ireland. I am a systems tester and a life long fan of James Bond.


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