Following on from Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough is a great improvement from the somewhat previous medicore outing. Brosnan is back in his third movie as Bond, and is now perfecting the role with a great mixture of humor and action.
This movie has a good pre-title sequence, as Bond meets a Swiss-banker to retrieve money for a British oil-tycoon Sir Robert King, an old friend of M. After the banker refuses to give Bond the information he wants, the banker and his assistants go to attack Bond who then overpowers them, with a little help from an unknown sniper. When the authorities arrive, Bond absails out of the building using some wire-cord fastened to the banker to break his fall. We then are next seen at MI6 where King is getting his money back, however the money is a bomb device, that blows up, and Bond persues a sniper on the Thames using a stat-of-the-art- super boat. They have an excellent chase through London which ends at the Millenium Dome with the assassin in a hot-air balloon, and kills herself as there is no escape.
This was quite a long pre-title sequence, at 14 minutes long, it is the longest pre-title sequence to date. I did like the theme tune by Garbage, it was definately along the Bond tone's, and was slightly haunting. The video sequence that accomanied it however, was a great let-down, in fact I did not like it one bit, it does look dated watching it now, but even back then I was not a fan, it just felt completely unattached to the rest of the movie. It was painful at times to see.
The movie returns and we see Sir Robert Kings' funeral, and are introduced to Electra King, Roberts daughter. Elctra had been previously kidnapped by a man named Renard, and a failed rescue attempt by agent 009, had left Renard with a bullet in his head that would eventually kill him, however, until it did he would become more powerful as he would lose his senses, and be capable of pushing himself harder and harder. Bond travels out to protect Electra in Azerbaijan, and while skiing Bond and Electra are attacked by para-glind snowmobiles. Bond later visits Zukovsky (who had previously been seen in GoldenEye) and finds out that Electras head of security Davidov is secretly working with Renard. Bond kills Davidov and takes his place on a mission to Kazakhstan where Renard is trying to steal weapons-grade plutonium. Bond meets Dr Christmas Jones, but are unable to stop Renard. Bond discovers that Electra and Renard are working together ad discloses this to M. Bond and Christmas then go after the plutonium which they think is being used as a bomb to blow up the pipeline, this, however is a decoy, and Electra kidnaps M. Bond goes after Zukovsky at his caviar factory which is attacked by Kings helicopters, the manage to escape but find out that Zukovsky had a deal with Electra and they were planning to use a submarine captained by his son. M activates a tracking device in her posession and Bond rescues her and kills Electra, and he and Dr Jones go after the submarine and Renard who plans to use the plutonium to make a giant bomb out of the submarine. Follwoing a fight in a sinking submarine, Bond kills Renard, and he and Christmas leave the sunken submarine to let it detonate safely underwater.
This movie is heavy on action and set pieces, which are all great, from the excellent opening sequence to the final battle on the submarine, the are all very well done. The highlight for me has to be the opening speedboat chase, I thought this was great entertainment and good to watch, a favourite part of mine is when he loses the boat, and then takes the boat on land to try and cut off the sniper, going through, among other things, a fish market and a restaurant. It is also nice to see him adjusting his tie as he dives underwater to avoid a bridge. The sinking submarine sequence has some excellent suspense in their, as Bond has to leave the submarine to swim down to a different part where Renard is, and the fight between the two was all thrilling stuff.
At times the plot seem to be a little here, there, and everywhere, but it just about manages to hold onto its mission ojective, so you can just about keep up with what is happening. The action sequences are also pretty excessive, but it is a Bond movie, and we expect action, and when they are executed in the way they have been in this movie the are enjoyable and help move the story on.
All of the actors play there part well, particularly Robert Carlyle as Renard. I thought he was a great villian and Carlyle played him down to a tee. He isa great actor and cements down a solid performance as the villian, I just feel he show have had slightly more involvement, and be more of an equal to ELectra.
On the acting part I think the only let down was Denise Richards who played Dr. Christmas Jones. The character was pretty pointless and did nothing for the movie at all, apart from being some on-screen eye candy. I don't know any other nuclear physicists who spend there time in hot pants and vest tops. He acting was slightly wooden and for me did pull the movie down a few notches.
This was Desmond Llewelyns final appearance as Q in the Bond franchise, although he never officially announced that he was retiring from the role, he was training in a replacement. Shortly after the movies release he died in a car accident. Q appeared in 17 Bond movies starting with From Russia with Love, and only missing Live and Let Die, and this was his final one, he was solid throughout his role, and gave a mixture of comic relief and state of the art gadgets.
This movie is a great watch, it has some excellent action and a good dose of humor, Brosnan is a brilliant Bond, and this is a good example of why. The are a few let downs but overall it is a solid outing for 007.