Director: Michael Apted
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, John Cleese, Samantha Bond, Desmond Llewelyn, Judi Dench
Film matched beverage: Christmas Cookie Cocktail
Synopsis: MI6 is fooled into returning money to industrialist Robert King, money which ends up being the device used to murder the recipient, Bond gets injured in pursuit of the henchman observing the hit, an injury which affects him while he attempts to protect Elektra King, whom he believes will be the next target of the terrorist behind the attack. After all, she was formerly the kidnap victim of the same man, Renard.
And so, the downward turn in quality begins. Not to say that this film does not feature many of the elements that make Bond great. There is an interesting plot with many twists and turns to be unraveled There are some fantastic actors in two of the major supporting roles, with Carlyle as terrorist Renard, and Marceau as damaged former kidnap victim and love interest Elektra King. Both are very seasoned actors, and bring that experience to their roles. Carlyle’s villain also has an interesting affliction, an inability to feel pain, which is a quirk fitting for a traditional Bond villain.
Yet this is not amongst my all time favorite Bond films. There are a few jumps of logic in the script, some of which seem to be ironed over by a conveniently placed explosion. I remember one reviewer on release quipping that this film was really James Bomb. Yet the biggest flaw is Denise Richards. She has only ever been at best a passable actress, starring in roles that took advantage more of her appearance than of any particular talent. She is particularly unconvincing as a nuclear physicist, a role which has her defusing bombs and sporting technical jargon she is just not comfortable with. In addition, her character’s name, Christmas Jones, was clearly a device purely for the final quip in the film.
The final elements that does not sit well with me in The World is Not Enough is the implication that Elektra is a love interest to rival Tracey, whom appeared in the film that we as an audience first here the Bond motto which makes the title of this film. Marceau is great, and a more intriguing love interest than Christmas, however she never really fits that level of quality in the Bond realm. The only Bond girl who has successfully hit those heights since OHMSS was Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd. I am not surprised at all that these Vesper and Tracey are the two that even Fleming indicated had the most lasting impact on the Bond psyche.
So this is far from the best film. To add insult to injury, however, I noticed at some points that the Blu-Ray upgrade was not always pristine. Take for instance an early skiing scene. It looked amazing to begin with, but during the action we do see some overcast sky and a greyness to the background as a result. This shadowy picture looks very grainy, and was clearly missed during the upgrade in favor of the foreground action. In the age of every house having access to high-definition, this type of image just does not cut it.
To be fair, I am still entertained watching this film. I am just not as excited watching it as other Bonds succeed in doing.
3 stars out of 5
Christmas Cookie Cocktail recipe
1 part Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 part Kahlua
Shaken over ice and served in a cocktail glass.