The World Is Not Enough

1999, Movie, PG-13, 128 mins

Review

WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, THE
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The world changes and special agent James Bond soldiers on. In this newest installment in the 007 saga (the 19th or 21st, depending on where you stand on CASINO ROYALE and NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN), Bond (Pierce Brosnan, in fine form) is pitted against a walking dead man named Renard (Robert Carlyle), who feels no pain because of the bullet making its way through his brain. Renard seems to be gunning for beautiful Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), who's inherited an oil empire from her murdered father (an old law school chum of Judi Dench's M) and is constructing a pipeline through a network of unstable former Soviet republics. But what's Elektra really up to, and what's the real story behind her kidnapping several years earlier, an ordeal that left her missing part of an ear and ended when she killed her captors? Bond finds himself entangled with both Elektra and Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), a scientist whose expertise comes in mighty handy when someone needs to explain why it's imperative to disarm that thermonuclear thingamabob sometime in the next three minutes, lest Istanbul become toast. The requisite gadgets include the usual fully loaded car and a pair of X-ray spex that briefly turn Bond into the Immoral Mr. Teas; the action set pieces owe a great deal to previous films, including the ski chase from THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and LIVE AND LET DIE's speed boat hijinks. Purists may be bothered that Bond spends an awful lot of time being rescued from peril by supporting characters, and Richards reaches astonishing heights of ineptitude; Dr. Jones's degree appears to be in aerobics with a minor in Valley Speak. And like all recent Bond movies, the whole thing goes on way too long. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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