Sunday, February 7, 2010

The World Is Not Enough

The World Is Not Enough; Action, USA/UK, 1999; D: Michael Apted, S: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, John Cleese, Judi Dench

James Bond tries to persuade a Swiss banker to give him the name of a man who takes the responsiblity for the death of an agent. But then Bond kills him because he attacked him. In a London explosion tycoon King is killed, and when Bond captures the female assassin in a boat, she commits suicide. Bond heads of to Azerbaidjan where King's daughter Elektra is making oil pipelines, but her job is being sabotaged by the evil Renard. In Kazakhstan, Bond fails to prevent an atomic bomb theft, but meets scientist Christmas Jones and discovers that Elektra and Renard cooperate on a join project to bomb an oil tanker in the Black Sea in order to get monopoly on oil. Bond kills them and saves Jones in a submarine.

It's not quite clear why some critics praise "The World Is Not Enough", the 19th James Bond film, since it's a matter of a not so fun run-of-the-mill Bond flick, the weakest in the last 12 years, not counting the awful "Goldeneye". And then again, it's hard to make an exciting and credible film when everyone already knows that, no matter how "dangerous" all the adventures will be, the main hero always has to stay alive at the end in order to make a sequel. Michael Apted previously directed dramas ("Nell"), but here his action sequences are surprisingly well made - a boat chase through the river, parachuters who shoot at the heroes who are skiing through the snow, a sequence where Bond is chasing after a speeding bomb in a pipe - which is why the movie was again successful at the box office. Unlike other films, this one starts directly with Bond, but is stiff, lax, cliched and too serious. Robert Carlyle as the villain who can't feel any pain and even takes a burning hot stone in his hand is wonderful as well as John Cleese as Bond's scientist, but Marceau and Richards are sadly underused - especially the latter who barely says a few lines and thus seems more like an extra.


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