The World is Not Enough

The World is Not Enough marks the nineteenth installment of the aging James Bond franchise. Pierce Brosnan is back for the third time (after Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies, and he is likely to leave after the next movie, which marks the end of his contract) as the venerable MI6 spy. This is a Bond movie, so once again there are amazing stunts, lots of explosions, beautiful women, a theme song (performed by Garbage - an ominous portent of the movie itself), and a razor thin story. Here, Bond is protecting oil heiress Elektra King (Sophie Marceau, Lost and Found, A Midsummer Night's Dream), whose father was recently killed. The King Company is trying to build an oil pipeline through Eastern Europe, which, if successful, will allow an alternate, viable route to preexisting pipelines. Understandably, someone wants to stop the new pipeline from its completion.

The obligatory opening sequence is by far the most exciting part of the movie. Bond's antagonist in this near fifteen-minute mini movie is Maria Grazia Cucinotta (Il Postino, Brooklyn State of Mind), the most appealing Bond girl of this movie. The stunts are impressive, with a high-speed boat chase that culminates on a hot air balloon over the Millennium Dome in London. The movie goes downhill from there, faster than Bond can ski. Bond suspects that a terrorist named Renard (Robert Carlyle, Plunkett and Macleane, Angela's Ashes) killed Elektra's father. Bond also wants Renard because Renard killed another MI6 agent. This agent did manage to shoot Renard. The bullet is now lodged in Renard's brain, slowly killing him. However, the bullet destroyed certain parts of his brain, giving Renard dulled senses, making him impervious to pain. Do you see a story yet? Bond, instead of carefully piecing together the plot, stumbles headfirst into many of the twists and turns. He later meets Dr. Christmas Noel (Denise Richards, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Wild Things), a world class nuclear weapons expert. Richards does a particularly bad job, delivering her lines, sounding as if she had just read the part for the first time.

Director Michael Apted (Thunderheart, Gorillas in the Mist), acclaimed for his documentary series (42 Up being the most recent) said that in The World is Not Enough, Bond would be more human. He does sustain an injury in the beginning of the film, which affects him throughout the entire movie, which gives a nice touch of reality. Otherwise, this movie is the same old, same old. Bond regulars M (Dame Judi Dench, Tea With Mussolini, Shakespeare in Love), Q (Desmond Llewelyn), Moneypenny (Samantha Bond) are present, and we even get John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) as R, Q's assistant, who will probably take Q's place in the near future (Llewelyn is 85 years old, and Cleese signed a multipicture deal). The entire Bond series is starting to show its age. There are only so many times you can watch the same movie before getting tired. There are many exciting sequences in the film, but it still manages to keep you bored. The double talk is amusing for a couple of minutes, but in the last couple of movies has become overbearing. The gadgets here are nifty, and thankfully, the level of commercialization is less than that of the previous movie. When you see a Bond movie, you already know to lower your expectations. However, in this case, low expectations are not enough.
Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
2 hours, 8 minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence, some sexuality and inneundo.

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