The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Tomorrow Never Dies
See our full list of James Bond films.
There's no shortage of well-choreographed action in the current stream of Hollywood productions. When they can be rightfully criticised for being unrealistic, it's because they haven't laid out the framework for their excess well enough. They haven't given us any reason to accept their lack of realism. With the James Bond series, we already have decades of such framework to rest upon. We expect 007 to only just escape whatever peril he is up against. And the same formula is of course repeated in the latest outing The World Is Not Enough. Even if there are twenty previous entries in the series, Bond and his makers are able to be unpredictable, playful and creative enough to make this one work. Yes, the niche has evolved – but only slightly and in certain areas. The World Is Not Enough gives fans the usual elements, and adds some first-rate, modern action-fun to the formula.
Luckily, the filmmakers have learned that Bond's adversaries don't need to have world dominion as their goal in order to be effective – which was a flaw in Tomorrow Never Dies. This time there are also a lot more character-relations than before: M is more involved, Q retires and is replaced by R (played by John Cleese), and Bond encounters a wide array of women and villains. The rather unusual aspect is that the characters actually are quite interesting from a psychological point of view. Robert Carlyle, who was so engaging in recent hits like Trainspotting (1996) and The Full Monty (1997), is captivating yet again. His version of a Bond villain can compete with most of his predecessors. Throw some spicy intrigues, a handful of clever twists, and a pinch of real suspense into the pot, and the result is one of the more enjoyable films in the series. Pierce Brosnan demonstrates that he is as good a Bond as any of his ancestors, with his fine combo of tongue-in-cheek line delivery and apt handling of action sequences – even if he arguably would have been Irish champion in alpine skiing if that was really him.
Copyright © 06.12.1999
Fredrik Gunerius Fevang