(out of 5)
Frustratingly weak James Bond adventure is the worst of Pierce Brosnan‘s entries in the series. A far cry from the dynamics of Goldeneye or the cool styles of Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough provides all the essentials of exotic locales, loud action scenes, gorgeous women and zany villains, but none of it ever gels well enough under Michael Apted’s direction. Bond is the man on the job when one of M’s dear friends and colleagues is mysteriously murdered in an explosion at London headquarters by a dying madman (Robert Carlyle) with a bullet lodged in his brain. The victim’s beautiful daughter (Sophie Marceau) may be next, so Bond is assigned to make sure she is kept out of harm’s way and safe from Carlyle’s reach. Along the way, our dashing hero hooks up with a nuclear weapons specialist (Denise Richards) with breasts bigger than anything she could ever disarm (and t-shirts way tighter than any of her thought processes). The casting of Richards is likely the most obvious flaw; having a ridiculously pretty girl playing a doctor (with a PhD certificate that reads “ACME” no doubt) is usually a joke that actresses playing Bond girls are aware of, a joke that Richards appears not to have been let in on. It also doesn’t help that she’s in the same movie as Marceau, who is so far ahead of her it’s not even worth mentioning. Judi Dench gets to do more as M this time around, but her character is made somewhat of a weakling and it spoils the pleasure. Not a horrible waste of time, but nothing too memorable.
Directed by Michael Apted
Cinematography by Adrian Biddle
Music by David Arnold
Production Design by Peter Lamont
Costume Design by Lindy Hemming
Film Editing by Jim Clark