The World is Not Enough

The World is Not EnoughSynopsis: The World Is Not Enough is an exhilarating but sophisticated, action-packed adventure. Pierce Brosnan returns as Bond, charged to protect a gorgeous billionaire heiress (Sophie Marceau) from the ruthless hands of nuclear-obsessed terrorist Renard (Robert Carlyle), who wants control of the world’s petroleum supply.

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Welcome to The Critical Eye’s ‘Mission Briefing Version’ commentaries of the James Bond movies.

Via thirteen key categories, over the course of the next few months we will rate and/or comment on each picture in brief. These MBV blurbs will also sometimes feature guest commentators, Bond fans and non-fans alike, thus offering a variety of perspectives on this iconic series.

We hope that you will enjoy TCE’s unique take on the world of 007.

The World is Not Enough

Date of viewing: February 20, 2013

1-
Opening credits

The Thorn: 6.0 – I found the opening a bit long, and not that exciting. For me, after Bond’s escape from the Swiss banker’s office, I would have had the credits start; it was plenty to get us going. The MI6 boat sequence seemed endless and it was ridiculous. The credits themselves are okay; they have women bathing in liquid. That’s kind of lovely to see, actually. And the theme song works great here – better than in Garbage’s own video.

The Horrible Dr. B: 5 – Not perfect but I like the women covered in oil.

***

2-
Story

The Thorn: 7.0 – I’m a bit bothered by the notion that the story hinges on one of M’s personal relations, because it seemed out of place for her to be having drinks with him in MI6. And I hated that they all referred to her as M, as if they would do that on a personal level. The notion of sending Bond out to get a terrorist is alright though. I like that Elektra is a product of her kidnapping, and a reverse Stockholm Syndrome. It’s just poorly-developed and annoying that another of Bond’s close peeps is either the villain or the victim.

The Horrible Dr. B: 10 – The story is an interesting hostile takeover of an oil empire. During the movie, we know the villains goals but not how they plan to achieve it.

***

3-
Banter

The Thorn: 2.0 – Wow… the jokes are really pathetic in this one; they’re either lame or plain bad – not unlike some of the Roger Moore films, actually. But Q’s departure (which tied into the banter at one point), was touching, even if his lines were contrived. You could see the sadness in Desmond Llewelyn’s eyes. John Cleese as “R” (Haha! Good one, Bond! Um… no.), however, was really sucky – but that was mostly the character, who was a total joke. And not a good one at that.

The Horrible Dr. B: 0 – All jokes by Bond are lame, very lame.

***

4-
Villain

The Thorn: 7.0 – I liked Elektra, enjoyed her complexity, and found her relatively credible as a character. However, I didn’t much like Renard – either his power/quirk (is that even possible without having other adverse effects?) or the way that he looked, which was mundane. I like the character as written, I suppose. I think that, mostly, I don’t like his incarnation. And his bodyguard, Bullion, was equally off-putting, what with his grills (Goldie ain’t not actor either). I really liked Gabor, Elektra’s bodyguard, though; he had a quiet confidence and dignity to him.

The Horrible Dr. B: 0 – Elektra is cute and looks smart enough to engineer evil schemes, however the way she supposedly manipulate men through seduction is not really believable, and every time she talks with Bond, I have no clue what she’s trying to say. Elektra’s partner Renard doesn’t live up to his reputation pitched at the beginning of the movie; he’s weak, barely use his special ability, and is not anarchist at all.

***

5-
Bond Girls

The Thorn: 7.0 – Well, from a purely two-dimensional standpoint, I’ve always found Sophie Marceau lovely, so Elektra gets an 8.5 from me. I liked that her character was self-confident and capable. I also liked the smaller female roles because they were all quite capable women. But Christmas Jones gets a a big fat zero from me: Denise Richards is not to my liking at all, either for her “acting skills” or her plastic-surgery-enhanced looks. As for the character, who is a nuclear physicist, it’s decent on paper – it’s just that, with Richards in the part, her teeth are brighter than she is.

The Horrible Dr. B: 0 – Beside Elektra, there is Dr. Christmas Jones. Sure a young person could be a brilliant nuclear physicist, but why would they took on a project like cleaning old nuclear silos? Its a lame excuse to include a young bimbo. And what’s with the stupid name?

***

6-
Gadgets

The Thorn: 6.5 – The gadgets are very techie, and they always left me incredulous, like the X-ray specs, the inflatable ski jacket, or the lame credit card lock pick (which was clearly a product placement shot). I did enjoy the detonator glasses, as simplistic as that was, and found the idea of the fertilizer bomb intriguing; I don’t know if that’s possible, but at least it wasn’t an entirely shit concept.

The Horrible Dr. B: 5 – I like the x-rays glasses (and chicks with guns), and the bubble jacket. The helicopter chainsaw used by the villains looks cool but is not very effective against a mobile target.

***

7-
Vehicles

The Thorn: 7.0 – I didn’t much like Q’s retirement boat (surely he must have been joking when he said he was planning to go fishing in it. Anyway, he wouldn’t have been designing his own boat on MI6 time). I actually liked the choppers with the saws, if only because of the sight of them. Practically, though, they’re useless. And the flying ski-dos? I would have put those on ice. The Rolls Royce was okay and the BMW was half-alright. The submarine was nothing special and perhaps too claustrophobic for a finale; it sunk the picture.

The Horrible Dr. B: 5 – I like Q’s fishing boat. Flying ski-doos are lame.

***

8-
Locales

The Thorn: 6.5 – Honestly, most of the locales were shown in unflattering light, or just in some token fashion. The most we saw of any place was London during the boat chase, but it wasn’t anything worth seeing. The new MI6 HQ, in particular, was a real eyesore. Elektra’s villa was nice, though. For me, it was probably enhanced by her presence (I’m slightly biased).

The Horrible Dr. B: 10 – Very good: London, Bilbao, Istanbul, Kazakhstan (we assume).

***

9-
Stunts

The Thorn: 8.0 – The stunt work was good. The skiing stunts, in particular, were pretty wicked to see. The boat chase, as tediously long as it is, was quite a sight. Unfortunately, the action was so lacking in vibrancy that everything was boring, no matter how hard they tried. And I hated that Bond was injured at the start of the movie but he was able to do stunts when it was convenient, plot-wise, and then suddenly unable to when that fit the screenwriters’ plans. I mean, it’s a nice touch to have Bond suffer from an injury, to make him more human, but they needed to be consistent for it to stick. Otherwise, it’s just a joke.

The Horrible Dr. B: 5 – Lots of them, not all good. My favorite: Bond execute a nice front flip in the silo through closing gates in order to pursue the villains.

***

10-
Soundtrack

The Thorn: 7.0 – As much as I’m a fan of David Arnold’s work, I found this particular score okay, no more – nothing special. I do like the theme song, though, which he composed with Garbage. It was one of the few elements that worked on this picture.

The Horrible Dr. B: 5 – Good.

***

11-
Best Bond moment

The Thorn: The landing that Bond did after jumping out of the Swiss banker’s office. I thought that was perfectly Bondian. I would have put Bond adjusting his tie underwater in the boat chase, but, as amusing as it is, it’s corny. There wasn’t much else in this film, sadly.

The Horrible Dr. B: The best thing about the movie is that the main villain is a woman.

***

12-
Worst Bond moment

The Thorn: In as much as there aren’t many great moments, there aren’t tons of horrible ones either. But the introduction of Q’s assistant was really dorky. And watching M transform into MacGuyver was painful to watch. Yeah, sure. Let’s make her a field agent. *rolls eyes*

The Horrible Dr. B: All the action scenes. They are not exciting, nor believable, and plagued with superficial explosions. Brosnan make it worst by overacting.

***

13-
Overall impression

The Thorn: 6.5 – I remember a local reviewer’s tagline at the time: “Bland. James Bland”. It’s entirely appropriate: ‘The World is Not Enough’ dulls the senses instead of stimulating them. I can’t explain it. It has all the action, jokes and set pieces, but they’re all lackluster and of little interest. To make matters worse, Brosnan’s Bond is no longer suave and charming; he’s frowny and distant. And I hate his brush-cut hair; it just gets shorter by the film. He’s basically lost his panache. And Brosnan insists on playing him “intense”, which feels contrived, unnatural; he was going against is strengths. Meh.

The Horrible Dr. B: 0 – Bland and boring. The acting is not good enough, the action scenes are not good enough, and the script is not good enough. Dont bother.

James Bond will return in ‘Die Another Day’

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