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The World is Not Enough

September 12, 2010

The World is Not Enough (1999)
Director: Michael Apted
Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle

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Synopsis: James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) becomes involved with an oil heiress (Sophie Marceau) under threat from her lunatic, ex-kidnapper (Robert Carlyle), but all is not as it seems….

Review: It seems churlish to bemoan the lack of reality in a Bond movie, but with The World is Not Enough it’s hard to take its story of double-crossings in the oil world overly seriously when the arena it creates is so flimsy. Take, for example, a scene where villainness, Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), negotiates with local Azerbaijani tribal leaders during a dispute over the location of her pipeline; though director Michael Apted must have had a multi-million dollar budget for the picture, this sequence looks so amateurish and ragtag, it’s hard to immerse oneself in the veracity of the plot. Equally weak are the perpetual captions telling us we are in Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Baku and Azerbaijan, but save for establishing shots, the remainder of the sequences are so clearly filmed in bland Pinewood studio sets. In the best Bond films of the Cold War era, location and politics were so vividly conveyed, whereas Brosnan’s movies (GoldenEye aside) tend to be faceless, globetrotting missions against equally dull international megalomaniacs.

It is to Sophie Marceau’s credit that she makes her role of Bond Girl/Villainness an interesting creation, and though not in the same league, you have to shake your head in disbelief at the shameless sexism of the casting directors in conceiving of Denise Richards as the scantily-clad heroine who just happens to be a nuclear physicist – only in a Bond movie….(January 2010)

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