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The World Is Not Enough

Starring: Pierce Brosnan
Director: Michael Apted
Genre: Action
Year: 1999
Rating: 3 / 5

"Haven't we seen this before?" This question is asked quite often regarding recent James Bond offerings. Obviously, we have seen this before, but that is precisely why we keep coming back for more. Sure, today's James Bond films feature more explosions, cooler gadgets, and fancier special effects, but the stories are as formulaic as ever. The good news is that fans can always expect to be entertained. The bad news is that the films will rarely exceed fan expectations. This is never more true than it is for The World Is Not Enough, the twentieth entry in the James Bond series. It contains boatloads of action (literally), the trademark Bond double entendres, and another dizzying collection of Bond girls, but little new or original.

As is often the case, The World Is Not Enough opens with James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) already knee-deep in action. He is meeting with a group of Swiss bankers to retrieve some ransom money, funds which the Swiss are all too happy to return to its rightful owner. When things go horribly wrong, and Bond seems to be in quite a bind, a mysterious guardian angel aids him in his escape. Bond returns to MI-6 headquarters and returns the ransom money, only to learn that his harrowing escape was planned. He was meant to bring the money back to MI-6, where the intended target is unaware of a surprise contained in Bond's package.

With another dead body on their hands, MI-6 dispatches Bond to look for Renard (Robert Carlyle), the mastermind behind the recent kidnapping of Elektra King (Sophie Marceau). Elektra has escaped, and Bond is instructed by M (Judi Dench) to use her to lure Renard out into the open. We soon see, however, that things are not quite as simple as they seem. Caught up in all of this is Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), a nuclear physicist who alternates between "damsel in distress" and " respected scientist" with alarming regularity. Add in a conspiracy involving oil pipelines, the Russians, and stolen plutonium, and you have yourself a standard James Bond adventure.

Director Michael Apted does an excellent job of shuttling the viewer from one action sequence to the next, rarely giving the observant fan time to identify the horribly unoriginal plot. This speed almost allows the audience to forget that Denise Richards (Wild Things) is meant to serve an actual purpose (other than window dressing) in the movie, though, for the life of me, I know not what it is. Pierce Brosnan is once again in good form, even displaying a little anger and fury in certain situations. Robert Carlyle makes a decent Bond villain, though he is somewhat underutilized by Apted. The fast-paced adventure does set The World Is Not Enough apart from its immediate predecessors, if only barely. While I doubt that this franchise will produce anything revolutionary in my lifetime, it is oddly refreshing to be able to see a film where the viewer knows exactly what to expect.

Pierce Brosnan..........James Bond
Robert Carlyle..........Renard
Sophie Marceau..........Elektra King
Denise Richards..........Christmas Jones
Judi Dench..........M
Desmond Llewelyn..........Q
John Cleese..........R

Certification: Rated PG-13 for violence.
Running Time: 127 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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