The World is not Enough Review
By Joe Lozito
Pierce Brosnan has finally settled into the role of James Bond. In "The World is not Enough", the 19th Bond outing and the best one since the early 80s, Mr. Brosnan gives a looser and less self-conscious performance than his previous two efforts ("Goldeneye", "Tomorrow Never Dies") - even going so far as to give 007 character.
After years of trying to tone down the sex and Politically Correctify the Bond series, the makers have finally gone back to the old format. There's a classic, Bondian, over-the-top plot. For most of the film, in fact, no one - especially the audience - seems to have any idea what the villain's plan is or how to catch him. It has something to do with a kidnapped heiress (Sofie Marceau, carving out a sexy niche in the Pantheon of Bond girls) and the oil supply in the Mid-East. Somehow, 007 winds up on the trail by richoceting across the globe and for the most part it's better not to try to figure out why.
Also breathing life into the series are John Cleese, extremely well cast as Q's successor, R, and heavy use of the wonderful Dame Judi Dench as Bond's boss, M. Director Michael Apted ("42 Up") keeps the paces going adequately (Isn't it about time to give John Woo a Bond film?). Particularly exciting is a ludicrous chase through an oil pipeline. Even the theme song, by Garbage in an inspired choice of performers, is up to muster.
On the other side of the coin, Denise Richards as the capriciously-named Dr. Christmas Jones makes an appearance of Sofia Coppola proportions. She seems equally uncomfortable delivering her would-be nuclear scientist dialog and laying in bed with Bond. Also still lacking in the series is an adequate villain. As Renard, Robert Carlyle does an admirable job with his few non-action scenes. But the cute "he's got a bullet in the brain, so he has no feelings" trait gets old fast, and makes for an enemy more brooding than threatening. Will there ever be another Blofeld or Goldfinger or, dare I say it, Dr. No?
At this point it doesn't seem likely. But if nothing else, at least 007 seems back to his old tricks again. And for now that, if not the world, will have to be enough.