James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to protect Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) an oil heiress who is under threat from her former kidnapper Renard (Robert Carlyle), a terrorist who can’t feel pain and has plans for nuclear weapons.
The World is Not Enough kicks off with a great boat chase along the Thames and it shows London and the Millennium Dome (now known as the O2 Arena) nicely – I wish the woman Bond was chasing (played by Maria Grazia Cucinotta) was in the film more as she seemed pretty cool. There was also a ski chase in The World Is Not Enough and we haven’t had one of those in a while so it was nice to see a Brosnan-era take on it.
In The World Is Not Enough you see M’s (Judi Dench) softer side and she and Bond are more on a level footing. Bond definitely seems to respect her more than in the previous two Pierce Brosnan films. Also M has a chance to show why she is the head of MI6 and how resourceful she can be even when she seems defenceless.
Elektra is smart and compassionate and definitely one of the more interesting and complex Bond Girls. Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) is the other Bond Girl and she’s quite competent and smart as she’s nuclear physicist who saves Bond a couple of times.
Renard is quite a manic villain. Having him be a man who feels no pain makes him a formidable villain but he is also quite over the top. His relationship with Elektra is creepy and I’m not sure it was always handled that well as it was sometimes not clear who was in control.
Robbie Coltrane is back as Valentin Zukovsky who we last saw in Goldeneye (1995). He is still a great character and is a lot of fun (though is sometimes a little corny) and his relationship with Bond is a joy to watch.
The World Is Not Enough is Desmond Llewelyn’s last appearance as Q and he’ll definitely be missed. It’s kind of incredible how he’s been in the series since the beginning. But with Q retiring that allows the introduction of R (John Cleese) who seems a bit of a bumbling idiot in comparison to Q.
The action scenes are some of the best in Brosnan’s tenure as Bond – the finale in the submarine is great. The characters are quite different and interesting though some of the performances weren’t always that great. Overall The World Is Not Enough is good fun and an easy watch. 3/5.