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The World is Not Enough (1999) - Illustrated Reference

Updated on October 23, 2016

The World is Not Enough was directed by Michael Apted and premiered on 8th November 1999. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards and Robbie Coltrane. Screenplay by Bruce Feirstein & Neal Purvis & Robert Wade. Music by David Arnold. Theme sung by Garbage. 128mins.

An oil tycoon is killed and Bond is sent to protect his daughter Elektra King. Meanwhile Renard, a wanted terrorist with a bullet lodged in his brain, plans to nuke Europe. Bond with the help of atomic scientist Christmas Jones sets out to stop him.

“The World is Not Enough” is Bond’s family motto, the phrase is first mentioned in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) when Bond is talking with Sir Hilary Bray at the London College of Arms.

Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan with Desmond Llewelyn
Pierce Brosnan with Desmond Llewelyn
Robert Carlyle
Robert Carlyle
Robert Carlyle with Sophie Marceau
Robert Carlyle with Sophie Marceau
Denise Richards
Denise Richards
Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane
Denise Richards with Sophie Marceau
Denise Richards with Sophie Marceau

Pierce Brosnan (1953-) / James Bond

Born in Navan, Ireland, Pierce Brosnan's films include - The Long Good Friday (1980), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Goldeneye (1995), Mars Attacks (1996), Dante's Peak (1997), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), The Tailor of Panama (2001), Die Another Day (2002), After the Sunset (2004), Seraphim Falls (2006), Mamma Mia (2008), Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2010), The Ghostwriter (2010), and Remember Me (2010). TV series Remington Steele (1982-1987)

Sophie Marceau (1966-) / Elektra King

The daughter of Sir Robert King who refuses to pay the ransom when she is kidnapped by the terrorist Renard. Feeling betrayed she teams up with Renard and they plan her fathers death together. Sharon Stone was considered for the role.

Born in Paris, France, Sophie Marceau's films include - Braveheart (1995), Anna Karenina (1997), Lost and Found (1999) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999).

Robert Carlyle (1961-) / Viktor Zokas alias Renard.

Together with Elektra King they plan to nuke a pipeline in the Bosphorus killing 8 million people to ensure Elektra has the only oil pipeline from the Caspian sea to the West. Renard has a bullet lodged in his brain which is slowly killing him and has made him unable to feel pain.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland. Robert Carlyle's films include - Trainsporting (1996 as Begbie), The Full Monty (1997), Angela's Ashes (1999), The Beach (2000), Eragon (2006) and 28 Weeks Later (2007).

Bond: “I thought Christmas comes only once a year?”

Denise Richards (1971-) / Christmas Jones

Jones is a nuclear physicist (!) who is dismantling nuclear warheads in Kazhakstan, she joins Bond in his mission to stop Renard and Elektra. The role won Richards a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress.

Born in Downers Grove, Illinois, Denise Richards films include - Starship Troopers (1997), Wild Things (1998), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), Valentine (2001), Love Actually (2003) and Scary Movie 3 (2003).

Maria Grazia Cucinotta (1968-) / Giulietta da Vinci (Cigar Girl)

Born in Messina, Sicily, Maria plays the assassin trying to kill Bond in the pre-credits teaser.

Robbie Coltrane (1950-) / Valentin Zukovsky

Coltrane returns as the Russian mafia chief, he first played the role in Goldeneye (1995).

John Cleese (1939-) / 'R'

Born in Somerset, England, one of Britain's great comic actors, John Cleese took over from the retiring Q played by Desmond Llewelyn, and who's last Bond film this was. Bond jokingly refers to Cleese's unnamed character as 'R'.

Desmond Llewelyn (1914-1999) / Q

Born in Newport, Wales, Desmond Llewelyn had played ‘Q’ in every Bond film except Dr. No (1962) and Live and Let Die (1973). he died in a tragic car accident a few days after TWINE premiered, he was 85.

The World is Not Enough contains the longest pre-credit teaser in the series, it is nearly 15 minutes before we see the opening credits. The boat chase on the River Thames took seven weeks to film and 35 boats were used, it is the action highlight of the film.

The film was novelised by Raymond Benson. M’s kidnap as a subplot first appeared in the Bond novel Colonel Sun (1968) written by Kingsley Amis.

Q equips Bond with some nifty X-Ray glasses and a brand new silver BMW Z8 Convertible complete with missile launchers. The BMW ends up being sliced in half by a helicopter with tree-cutting saws, prompting Bond to remark “Q isn’t going to like this.”

The song “The World is not Enough” sung by alternative rock group Garbage failed to chart in the US but did reach #11 in the UK charts. For the first time since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) there is no song during the end credits, a remix of the “James Bond theme” is heard instead.

The World is Not Enough was a bigger box office success than the previous two Bond films grossing $361m worldwide, though this figure would be eclipsed by the final Brosnan Bond film Die Another Day (2002).

In my honest opinion TWINE, though entertaining, is one of the weaker Bond films. It was directed by Michael Apted who clearly does not have an affinity for the genre.

Jones: "You wanna put that in English for those of us who don't speak spy?"

The two main villains are more annoying than threatening. Sean Connery would have disposed of them in the pre-credits teaser. Denise Richards is mere eye candy and completely unbelievable as a nuclear scientist in tank top and shorts. And the big climax is just feeble.

The plus points are the pre-credits action sequence, the girls were pretty, Brosnan’s indestructible hero, Coltrane’s return as Zukovsky, Q’s final farewell, the song by Garbage and music by David Arnold.

The Critics Wrote –

"A splendid comic thriller, exciting and graceful, endlessly inventive. Because it is also the 19th James Bond movie, it comes with so much history that one reviews it like wine, comparing it to earlier famous vintages; I guess that's part of the fun. This is a good one." (Roger Ebert)

"The most satisfying Bond film since 1987's The Living Daylights." (Tom Keogh, FILM.COM)

"A thoroughly satisfying, completely entertaining film." (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)

"The World Is Not Enough," and neither is this new entry in the James Bond cycle. Although not without its moments, particularly an exciting pre-credits high-speed boat chase and some solid work by the nicely matched Pierce Brosnan and Sophie Marceau.

19th assignment of Bond’s 37-year screen career sees 007 undone by villainous scripting and misguided casting and acting in a couple of key secondary roles." (Variety)

"Pierce Brosnan takes his third Bond tour, far from the worst, but also far enough from the best in the long line to make you wonder why he bothers." (David Elliott, SAN DIEGO UNION- TRIBUNE)

"Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist. Robert Carlyle as a terrorist impervious to pain. A plot so convoluted even Pierce Brosnan has admitted to being mystified. Not even Blofeld could do more damage to 007's fans." (Entertainment Weekly)

"Fizzles out at tedious length.” (Tom Aitken, Tablet)


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    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Cogerson, Rob, appreciate the comments, thanks guys.

      Cleese was unlucky, I'm sure he'd have made a memorable Q given the chance, but the jokey tone and gadgets didn't fit in with the Craig reboot.

      They kept Judi Dench as M in the Daniel Craig films just to ensure moviegoers that this was still the official Bond series by showing them a familiar face, just like they kept old Q in all the Bonds for the same reason (and because audiences loved the character).

      I just want to say that as much as TWINE is an average Bond entry with average villains, as a dedicated Bond fan I can't imagine not having this film in the collection. I've seen far worse action films.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      As soon as Denise Richards came out in her tank top and tiny shorts, looking like a teenage super-model, and claimed to be the world's foremost nuclear physicist, it was obvious that this film was either a comedy or that someone was on drugs while casting it. Sadly, it wasn't a comedy. If this film had had the self-parodying, silly sense of fun that "Octopussy" had, the casting of Richards might have been forgivable. She has to be the worst lead Bond girl ever. (Especially following after the terrific Michell Yoeh.)

      As for the rest of the film, if was below average in every way. There was nothing really memorable. Even the villains were forgettable.

      It's a strange turn of events that Desmond Llewellyn died after retiring from film. I liked the old Q, but I as a Monty Python fanatic, I had high hopes that he'd make his mark as the new Q. Too bad he only appeared twice.

      Not a very good Bond movie. Terrible Bond girl. I enjoy your Bond hubs.


    • Cogerson profile image

      UltimateMovieRankings 6 years ago from Virginia

      My least favorite of the Brosnan Bond movies...I think I saw this movie once and that was enough....Denise Richards is probably the worst cast choice in the entire Bond series....Tawny Roberts would probably be second.

      Sad that this was Q last movie....but you could tell that he was struggling at this point in his life....agreeing with Flora yet again....I miss Q as well.

      I agree with the review that says Connery would have gotten rid of these two villians within the first 15 minutes of the film. only have 3 more Bond flicks left....great job.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Hi Flora, I'm a huge Monty Python fan so I was happy to see John Cleese, though I was sad to see old Q go, and so tragically too. Thanks for popping in.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I think I was bored with Richards even before her private life became fodder for the tabloids. I miss Q. Ironic that D.L. died after the film was made as the film introduces a replacement. Who suggested an R would be needed when the film was being planned, I wonder? I love John Cleese.


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