May 25, 2024

BOND #19: THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999)

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Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2

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As the Bond series progresses the titles begin to lose its punch and gets more generic and redundant. This 19th entry to the franchise is a good example of this. Additionally, its title song during its opening credits continues to be unimpressive with the rather unfortunate but somehow appropriately named pop group, Garbage, belting out the forgettable theme song. At least the elaborate set up and action presented in its all important opening gambit involving a speed boat chase along the River Thames in London, that ends up on the roof top of the just completed Millennium Dome, was spectacular enough to make audiences sit up!

Sadly, the rest of the episode was mundane and run of the mill Bond. Somehow, the writers manage to go backwards in their sexist tendencies and we are once again bombarded by numerous sexist jokes in bad taste while having Bond bed the two lead actresses played by the sophisticated French bombshell Sophie Marceau and the, shall we say, the more ignominious Denise Richards. Sophie plays the damsel in distress who has a secret or two to hide up her skirt in a reasonably decent performance, while Denise Richards comes across as probably the most unconvincing nuclear physicist who sees it fit to wear the skimpiest of outfit while working in the mines! Bond movies have always been laced with humour but one have to draw the line whether it intends to stay true to its original intentions or cross over to outright campiness.

As for the rest of the film, we have the usual action sequences to kill time but nothing as memorable as its opening gambit. The gadgets and technology displayed this time appears to be a bit more sophisticated and advanced, perhaps to reflect the era as it is about to enter the new century. However, a good Bond outing needs to have a good and convincing villain. Here we have Robert Carlyle (Full Monty, Trainspotting) as Renard, a KGB agent turned terrorist with a bullet injury to his brain that makes him immune to pain (yeah, right). He comes across as not very menacing and not quite to the type of truly nasty villains we have come to expect in Bond movies.

All in all, The World Is Not Enough may have enough action happening on screen to keep you awake but it is forgettable and not one of Bond’s or Pierce Brosnan’s best in the franchise. Not even Brosnan’s charm and charisma could save this outing from being anything more than just passable.

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