The World is Not Enough

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: Michael Apted

REVIEWED: 11-29-99

D: Michael Apted; with Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane, Desmond Llewelyn, Samantha Bond, John Cleese. (PG-13, 125 min.)

The World Is Not Enough ... but two hours is plenty sufficient. It's not as though there's anything too new to report on here, apart from the latest nifty techno-gadgets and this year's model of the archetypal Bond girl. The World Is Not Enough is solid 007 entertainment ­ not as bad as some of the recent Bonds but not as spunky as some of the series' originals. Predictability, however, is the series' strength and weakness: The films draw us in with the comfort of the familiar as they also turn us away with the disappointment of the repetitive and obsolete. Has James Bond outlived his time? It's a fair question, and not only one that Bond's megalomaniacal nemeses might ask. With his handmade suits, sexist quips, and wanton destruction of life and property, his appeal seems antiquated in terms of Nineties values. Yet prosper he does. He always gets his man and he always gets the babes. The women in The World Is Not Enough run the show. As M, Dench is given greater narrative participation in the story than the character has ever had. Marceau is on point as the bad good girl, although Richards fares less fortunately as the story's good bad girl. Brosnan is perfectly graceful in his third Bond outing, although it would be nice to see the hint of a knowing twinkle in his eyes. Carlyle, as the villain who has no sense of pain, has too little to do, but Coltrane, reprising his role in GoldenEye, packs a lot of entertainment value. Much has been made of Apted coming on board as director in order to emphasize the character and narrative elements of the story, indicating the franchise's wish to ground the formula with more identifiably human aspects as it marches into the new millennium. Llewelyn, as the series' gadget inventor Q, is given what seems like a send-off after appearing in 17 of the 19 MGM Bond films ­ but not before he introduces his promising protégé played by John Cleese. The World Is Not Enough is all right for what it is, but will the day ever come when enough is enough?

2 Stars

--Marjorie Baumgarten

Full Length Reviews
The World is Not Enough

Capsule Reviews
The World is Not Enough
The World is Not Enough

Other Films by Michael Apted
Class Action
Extreme Measures
Nell

Film Vault Suggested Links
Passion in the Desert
End of Days
The Thin Red Line

Related Merchandise
Search for related videos at Reel.com
Search for more by Michael Apted at Reel.com
Search for related books at Amazon.com
Search for related music at Amazon.com

Rate this Film
If you don't want to vote on a film yet, and would like to know how others voted, leave the rating selection as "Vote Here" and then click the Cast Vote button.