The World Is Not Enough (1999) Director: Michael Apted
The third of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films, and the nineteenth overall film in the James Bond series, The World Is Not Enough is another cliché Bond picture from the Brosnan years. The title for the film is taken from the Bond family Coat of Arms created as part of the cover for 007 in the 1969 movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Generally speaking I would say this is a superior movie to its predecessor, Tomorrow Never Dies but that is hardly saying much. Apparently after the production troubles in Tomorrow Never Dies Pierce Brosnan expressed an interest in bringing things back down to earth in a more serious spy thriller.
At any rate, the film begins with Bond on a mission in Spain rescuing stolen money in a briefcase, however when he returns the money to MI6 it is revealed to booby-trapped, killing Sir Robert, the man to whom the money belonged. Bond then chases the culprit in a dramatic high speed boat chase down the Thames that ends on a hot air balloon, however the female culprit decides to blow up the hot air balloon, killing herself. Bond is injured in the fall from the balloon, breaking his collar bone among other things. However, he is cleared for duty because he sleeps with the doctor assessing him in a ludicrous scene. He traces the money to a man named Zokas “Renard,” a former KGB agent with a bullet lodged in his brain that is slowly killing him, but also making him stronger and immune to pain all the time (a remarkably absurd physical state to be in). Bond goes to Azerbaijan, to protect Elektra, the daughter of Sir King (the man killed at the outset). She is overseeing the construction of an oil pipeline for her late father’s company. After doing reconnaissance work and being attacked, Bond discovers that Elektra has been working with Zokas “Renard” the whole time. She killed her father out of revenge and then she also lured M whom she kidnaps. Bond reveals a bomb plot to blow up Istanbul and also disrupt the Russian oil industry, but Elektra captures Bond and tortures him, but Bond’s criminal friend suddenly arrives to rescue Bond. In the shootout, he is killed, but Bond is freed. Bond then kills Elektra and frees M. Bond chases “Renard” down in his submarine which he sinks and ruptures the hull allowing water in. While it sinks Bond and “Renard” battle until Bond eventually somehow releases tremendous pressure that launches a plutonium rode into “Renard” impaling him. Bond flees while the bomb detonates safely underwater.
The idea for the film arose from major international battles between oil companies. The song for the title was sung and recorded by Garbage.
The World Is Not Enough is yet another forgettable and unnecessarily complex Bond film filled with predictable and also wholly unbelievable scenes of action (including the anti-climactic ending in which Bond releases pressure launching the plutonium rod into Renard, thus impaling and killing him). Perhaps the only saving grace is the somewhat uniqueness of a villainous Bond girl who is just as cold-hearted as her evil paramour. In general, avoid these Pierce Brosnan Bond films unless you have dedicated yourself (as I have) to slog your way through the full Bond series.