The World is Not Enough
Essay written by Jermaine L. Smith
“The World Is Not Enough” is a great action-adventure movie with exciting stunt scenes, exotic locations, beautiful women and traditional Bond one-liners. Pierce Brosnan carries on the role of the world’s most famous secret agent, James Bond in which was established by Sean Connery in 1962’s “Doctor No”. Since it is also the 19th installment to the longest running film series in history, comparing this one to the older movies is like comparing one athlete to another. But hey, I guess that’s the fun of it all.
To get more in depth of the film, let’s see if the traditional Bond trademarks live up to their roles.
1. Bond…James Bond. Pierce Brosnan, in his third appearance as agent 007, has become comfortable in his role and plays it with confidence. He’s now more understanding and has added a more sensitive side, but also a harder side to the role that Sean Connery had as Bond and what Timothy Dalton attempted to achieve. For example, in the scene between Bond and “M”, “M” tells Bond the story behind the kidnapping of King’s daughter, Elektra and the reasons for why MI6 was involved. The example of the harder side is near the end when Bond confronts Elektra for the last time and orders her to call off Renard from carrying out his plans. She doesn’t do so; therefore, Bond shoots her in the chest and killing her. Some may argue that this is something that James Bond shouldn’t do since Elektra was unarmed, but I beg to differ because that is part of the mission. In 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever” Connery’s Bond slapped Tiffany Case (played by Jill St. John) across the face to get her to tell him information.
2. Who would ever thought that “Q”, the inventor of all of James Bond’s gadgets is retiring. Desmond Llewelyn has played the character in all the Bond films for the exception of “Doctor No” in 1962 and “Live and Let Die” in 1973. After demonstrating his lasted invention to 007, Llewelyn drops out of sight by a sinking platform. I guess that was his way of saying goodbye.
3. Well, who could replace “Q”? John Cleese makes his debut to the series as “R”, the replacement for “Q”. Although “R” is very precise, he doesn’t use the correct terms for his inventions like “Q” did.
4. Judi Dench is also back as Bond’s boss and head of the British Secret Service “M”. She plays the role with grace and with authority, creating an intelligence chief who actually seems focused and serious, even in the uproar of the plot.
5. Only 2 of them? It seems that Brosnan’s Bond has become a Jenny Craig follower when it comes to the number of women that are involved in his life. There seems like a shortage in women in this film compared to the earlier films. French actress Sophie Marceau plays Elektra King, who is the daughter of a tycoon who wants to link his pipeline from the former Soviet controlled areas to Europe. Marceau does an incredible job of playing her role as Elektra. Especially during the intimate scenes with Bond and with her so-called captor, Renard. Denise Richards is the other Bond girl in this adventure. She plays a nuclear scientist named Dr. Christmas Jones. Her performance in the film is ok, but could be better. For the most part, her part doesn’t fit into the film as much as Marceau’s character. Basically, she just in the film to kill time and isn’t all that helpful to Bond. She’s just eye candy for the film and I think that producers just added her in the film to bring more people to the theaters.
6. The earlier James Bond films went by the format of having the lead villain and a henchman as the bad guys. In this film, two people, Elektra King (spoiler) and Renard share the role of lead villain. Scottish actor Robert Carlyle plays the character Renard, who was shot in the head by 009. Since the bullet is stuck in his head, he cannot feel any pain at all nor can he taste, feel or smell; therefore, making him limp and can push himself longer and harder than any normal man. Renard is not the traditional Bond villain like Auric Goldfinger or Ernest Stavro Blofeld, but more of a thug type of person that would be seen on an episode of “Cops” or something. I thought that Carlyle did an exceptional job playing the role. His intimate scene with Elektra was excellent. It gave the audience a sense of why they were together and the feelings they had for each other.
7. The locations in the film were great. From the Millennium Dome on the banks of Thames to the adventurous oil fields of Azerbaijan, exotic backgrounds and locations are the backbone of a James Bond film and “The World Is Not Enough” lives up to the die-hard 007 fan.
For the most part, I enjoyed watching “The World Is Not Enough” so much that I’ve seen it four times. Michael Apted directed this thiller and does a pretty good job. Neal Purvis and Bruce Feirstein are the writers for this Bond film that I felt should have left some of the script from the earlier drafts onto the final draft. I read part of the script six months prior to the film release and noticed right away that there were some things that were left out that would have made the film much better. Also, I felt that the switching of locations was used too much for a Bond film and felt the director could have done a little more to make the story run more smoothly. The film had some “old school” elements that were missing in “GoldenEye” and “Tomorrow Never Dies”. I enjoyed watching the stunts that were in the film. The boat scene during the opening sequence was fantastic and reminding James Bond fans of the boat scenes of in “From Russia with Love”, “Live and Let Die” and “Moonraker”. The ski chase reminded me of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” when James Bond and Traci Draco were skiing for their lives down the Swiss Mountains. I liked the way the writers added the title of the movie into the script. When Elektra tells Bond that she could have given him the world, Bond responds, “The world is not enough” then he says that it’s a “family motto”. Bond was referring to his family coat of arms that was translated to him in the 1969 movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. And finally the music scores. David Arnold, who was the composer for “Tomorrow Never Dies” comes back again with an excellent sounds and adding a techno or a retro theme to James Bond.