The World is Not Enough
Oddly enough, this one seems to be Pierce Brosnan’s most hated film in the series. The worst reviewed of his especially (which seems insane compared to Die Another Day). I feel like all people remember about this one is that Denise Richards played a nuclear scientist. Yeah, she is not the best actress for that role and is pretty terrible here, but why can’t an attractive woman be a nuclear scientist? Other than Richards’ performance, the rest of the film is spot-on as a Bond flick. I feel this is arguably Brosnan’s best performance as Bond and you can see what he was trying to do with the character.
The World is Not Enough starts out with what is easily one of the top five opening sequences in the series (and the longest, I believe) and easily transitions into one of the best Bond themes. The song, performed by the band Garbage no less, is reminiscent of the classic Bond openings from back in the day. We also get a very different Bond here, one who’s been injured in the line of duty and is more fragile than we’ve seen him. Oddly enough Bond battles a villain who, due to a recent attempt on his life, feels no pain at all. Surprising that no other film in the series had used this before given their track record for over-the-top villains. However, Robert Carlyle plays the villain well and actually makes you feel for the guy by the end. While he is more of a henchman by the end of the film, you really sympathize with him because he has been seduced ultimately to his death by the real villain played by Sophie Marceau. It was a nice change of pace to see Bond really be tricked by one of the woman he seduced and suffer consequences because of it. The scene where he kills Marceau’s character is also fantastic; brutal, unexpected, and oddly heartfelt. Brosnan plays the scene to perfection as well.
I have to say that of the previous Bond films, this is the one that most resembles the Daniel Craig era we are used to now. Which makes sense because this is where Neal Purvis & Robert Wade began, the screenwriters who have served on all of the Craig films. It’s serious, has some emotional heft, has a number of great action sequences and some well-written characters. This one really gets a bad wrap, and I think if people watched it now, they would really warm to it.
The action sequences in this one are fantastic here and I feel this is the best looking Bond film to this point. The opening sequence, ski chase, nuclear silo sequence, chainsaw-helicopter sequence, and the final set piece of the film are all astounding. Not to mention, this is the final time we see Desmond Llewelyn as Q. He passed away soon after the film’s release, having been in 17 of the Bond films, starting with From Russia with Love. The film gives him a good “retirement” scene, although his final lines are absolute rubbish, which is a disappointment from such a great, iconic character.
Overall, I really enjoy this movie. Starting with this one, the rest of the movies to come are at least a B+ in my mind. Brosnan is really great here and, with the exception of Denise Richards’ performance (not character), I have no real problems. If you didn’t like it the first time you saw it, I would suggest watching it again.
Worst to Best so far:
24. Live & Let Die
23. The Man with the Golden Gun
22. A View to a Kill
21. Die Another Day
18. Diamonds are Forever
17. Quantum of Solace
16. Licence to Kill