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Film Review: The World is Not Enough

Updated on June 11, 2017
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Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.


In 1999, Michael Apted released The World is Not Enough, based on the character of James Bond and a title taken from a line in the 1963 novel On Her Majesty's Starring Pierce Brosnan, Sopie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, Colin Salmon, Desmond Llewelyn, John Cleese and Samantha Bond, the film grossed $361.8 million at the box office.


After an oil baron is killed, Bond is assigned to watch over his daughter, Elektra, who had once been kidnaped. However, as he protects her and hunts Renard the Anarchist, a terrorist MI6 previously tried to assassinate only to lodge a bullet in his brain, he finds something is amiss.


Following a reinvigoration of the series, it’s odd to find that The World is Not Enough isn't a good film at all, especially in how It completely misuses Renard as a villain.The concept of Renard, a man who can't feel due to a bullet being pushed through his brain, causing him to slowly die, seems like it would be an ingenious way to write a villain, especially for the James Bond series. Yet, what is presented in this film is a complete misuse to the ingenuity of such a character. A co-villain when a character like this should act alone, Renard is known as the Anarchist. Despite said title, he never brings up any anarchistic philosophy anywhere in the film. Nor does he do anything for such a cause and instead chooses to blow things up because he’s evil and wants to and by the time the film is over, it’s found out he’s doing so out of some twisted form of love. Further, an immunity immunity to the sense of pain, doesn't mean he has an immunity to the effects of something hurting him. At one point, Renard picks up a burning rock and though he feels no pain, his hand remains unaffected when the skin should have been burned off. Moreover, his hand is completely fine for the rest of the film. Renard is a product of lazy writing and it seems like a writer sat down and had the goal of writing a cool villain without spending any thought on characterization beyond an immunity from pain.

Christmas Jones is a glaringly awful and an uninteresting character, too. One would expect a brilliant nuclear physicist like her to know one shouldn’t be wearing a tank top and hot pants around a nuclear testing facility. Her relationship with Bond is unnecessary and useless as well, containing absolutely no substance.While Bond’s other romances weren’t really full of substance, the two don’t have any romantic interaction or flirtation throughout the film and they still hook up in the final scenes. Christmas as a character really seems like an insertion in order to pad out the film, stopping Bond from ending Renard’s plot at the beginning, essentially making her the reason the entire second half of the film exists.

There are some good aspects to this film though, namely Elektra. Despite no iconic scenes in the film at all, she’s quite an interesting character. Attempting to portray herself as innocent so no one will suspect her of terrorism, she's working alongside Renard because of Stockholm Syndrome from when he previously kidnapped her. At the same time, elements of other series characters can be seen in her characterization. Elektra wants to nuke Istanbul in the hopes of being the sole transporter of oil to the West, like Goldfinger and Zorin were with gold and microchips, and utilizes feminine wiles to give Bond the belief of having found another person he might have a chance of loving, presenting her as someone Tracey could have been. But she turns out to be a Blofeld-like chessmaster, crafting a scheme where she could come out on top.

2 stars for The World is Not Enough

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinions.

Awards won

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards

  • Favorite Actor - Action (Pierce Brosnan)

BMI Film & TV Awards

  • BMI Film Music Award

Bogey Awards

  • Bogey Award in Gold

Empire Awards

  • Best Actor (Pierce Brosnan)

Golden Screen Awards

  • Golden Screen

Razzie Awards

  • Worst Supporting Actress (Denise Richards)

The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards

  • Worst Supporting Actress (Denise Richards)

Nominated for

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Awards

  • Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards

  • Favorite Actress - Action (Denise Richards)
  • Favorite Supporting Actress - Action (Sophie Marceau)

Csapnivalo Golden Slate Awards

  • Best Visual Effects

Las Vegas Film Critics Society Sierra Awards

  • Best Original Song (For the song "The World Is Not Enough")

Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards

  • Best Sound Editing - Foreign Feature

Online Film & Television Association Awards

  • Best Music, Original Song (For the song "The World is Not Enough")
  • Best Titles Sequence

Razzie Awards

  • Worst Screen Couple

Golden Satellite Awards

  • Best Classic DVD Release (For "The James Bond DVD Collection," volumes 2&3)
  • Best Original Song (Song: "The World Is Not Enough")

The Stingers Bad Movie Awards

  • Worst On-Screen Couple (Pierce Brosnan & Denise Richards)


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