The World Is Not Enough

on November 19, 1999 by Annlee Ellingson
   Chock full of everything that makes a Bond movie a Bond movie-high-octane action sequences, double entendre-laden dialogue, slick gadgets and sexy sidekicks-"The World Is Not Enough" lives up to the 007 formula, even taking it a step further to tongue-in-cheek.
   After the murder of a Russian oil tycoon, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) vows to protect his daughter, Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), who's taken over her father's operation. Bond suspects that Renard (Robert Carlyle), who had kidnapped Electra years before, is responsible for her father's death and determined to ambush the pipeline she's building across the Russian countryside.
   Screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade had a couple of great ideas for a high-speed boat chase on the Thames River and a high-altitude pursuit on skis-both deftly executed by director Michael Apted-but, particularly in the latter's case, it appears they worked backwards, coming up with how to get Bond and Elektra down the mountain before figuring out how to get them up it.
   Once again proving that his casting as Bond is damn near perfect, Brosnan is joined here by the equally talented and attractive Marceau, who's more convincing as a revengeful daughter than a helpless victim. Carlyle is underused, however, as a villain who can feel no pain-a quality that could have inspired gripping scenes of torture.
   And Denise Richards, as nuclear scientist Christmas Jones (a name that provokes Bond's quip, "I thought Christmas only comes once a year"), suffers from having nothing to do. In flatly delivered dialogue, she's constantly delineating the terrible atrocities that will occur if she doesn't do something to stop it, then proceeds to do nothing, running for her life instead. Richards is so bad, in fact, that one starts to wonder if her character isn't a self-aware mockery of all the Bond girls that have come before her. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle and Denise Richards. Directed by Michael Apted. Written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. An MGM release. Action. Rated PG-13 for action violence and sexuality. Running time: 128 minutes
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