The World Is Not Enough

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

What don't you have to do to get a 12 certificate these days. Go to bed and make it look sexy, maybe, because everything else in the bang-bang-whoosh-zap-kerchow arsenal is taken care of.

James Bond is back with a vengeance. Pierce Brosnan has stopped being polite. He's angry now. The only thing that might faze him is a stuffy evening at the roulette table. He's not good at letting go. He likes to stay on top.

Michael Apted and the team (an army of stunt meisters and explosive experts and gadget boffs) have dished up a dizzy display of pyrotechnics. Neil Purvis, Robert Wade and Bruce Feirstein are in charge of the screenplay, which means inventing a multinational plot that is so complicated it self-destructs, and filling the spaces between gunfire with double entendres or one-liners.

There are traditions that have to be adhered to. The formula is gold-plated and timeless. Q (Desmond Llewelyn) introduces Bond to "the young man" he is training as his successor. Turns out to be John Cleese. Nice little present for the future, although it will be sad to lose an old friend from From Russia With Love days. M may be close to retirement. She goes into action this time and somehow it doesn't look right. Dame Judi Dench is not cut out for hand-to-hand combat. Bond girl of the moment, called Christmas Jones - giving James the opportunity to quip, "I thought Christmas came only once a year," after a balcony bonk on a warm Turkish night - is played by Denise Richards in the style of a Malibu Beach Wet T Shirt contestant. The real squeeze is Sophie Marceau, as an oil magnate's daughter, who believes she is too beautiful to kill. Few would disagree.

Robbie Coltrane is simply not around enough. His purpose in the plot is a bit confusing. He's Russian, runs a gaming house, girls on the side, drugs probably, caviar, vatefer-you-vantski. He's a pleasure to be with, as always.

Robert Carlyle, having eaten flesh in Ravenous, is the anarchic madman, with a bullet in his head. He looks like Count Dracula's footman and behaves like a football hooligan. Brosnan earns it. The guy has to go through hell and back on behalf of 007, wearing bespoke tailoring, while simulating a dislocated shoulder blade. He deserves his perkettes - Sophie and Denise. The story? It's forgotten 10 minutes after leaving the cinema.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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The World Is Not Enough packshot
007 tumbles down the Thames and battles a bullet-in-the-head madman.
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Director: Michael Apted

Writer: Bruce Feirstein, Neal Purvis

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn, John Cleese, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Samantha Bond, Michael Kitchen

Year: 1999

Runtime: 128 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK, USA

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