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The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Film Review: The World is Not Enough

In a fit of political correctness, CLUAS gives the thumbs up to the new Bond movie

What can you say about James Bond? Just as it looks like the boat is running out of steam, the secret agent of all secret agents makes a valiant return to save the world. Once again Bond is back for the 19th occasion in "The World is not Enough". Pierce Brosnan returns for the third time, in arguably his best screen appearance yet, as the legendary MI6 agent 007.

The latest was not only the priciest to produce ($69 million) but also turned out the greatest amount of action scenes seen to date. The movie can also take credit for reasserting, in most people's minds, that Brosnan was the natural successor to the role and is definitely the best Bond since Sean Connery. As with most Bond movies the script isn't likely to produce a nomination for the Oscars. The plot is as flawed as any previous Bond attempt but honestly who cares? Nobody watches these movies for the realism of the story line, the relationship between the characters, or even the plausibility of one man saving the world. Three things make a great Bond movie. Long legged beauties that he ends up saving and eventually bedding, neat gadgetry supplied the ever reliable Q, and, innuendo filled clich?. This movie is padded with all three.

For the record, the plot is centered on Bond attempting to act as bodyguard to an oil tycoon's daughter, played by Sophie Marceau. Her protection is required after the evil villain Renard, brilliantly played by "The Full Monty's" Robert Carlyle, assassinates her father in the MI6 Headquarters. The plot progresses to show that all is not right with the history of Marceau and her relationship with the Bond baddie Carlyle. In comes the ever-reliable Robbie Coltrane as the ex-KGB, current Mafia godfather and overall nice guy/ bad guy. With some help from Coltrane, Bond must save all in risk, including the stunning new Bond girl 'Christmas Jones' (Denise Richards) and his critical boss M (Judi Dench) and whoever else is dressed in a short skirt. That is the quick gist of it. Classic Bond material. Along with sexy women and ex-KGB gangsters the usual bits and bobs dominate the screen. These include such things as missing plutonium, economic world domination and U-V tinted sunglasses. Everything that makes a great Bond movie is squeezed into the script to make this an enjoyable return of the Bond character.

This is not to say that the latest attempt couldn't be better. The biggest flaw of "The World is not Enough" happens to be the most visually attractive part of it. Denise Richard is at best poor in her quest to be a nuclear physicist who specializes in disarming old nuclear weapons. Her character, flawed and two-dimensional, is simply not believable. It is possibly something to do with the fact that, like her previous movies, she is better suited to acting as a teenager still in school. "Drop Dead Gorgeous", "Wild Things" and "Starship Troopers" all proved that she is quite capable of playing characters of a younger age. However making the leap from teenager to nuclear scientist could be just slightly premature for her career. Then again as a red-blooded male I didn't let this bother me in the slightest. The plus side is that she is simply one of the sexiest Bond girls ever to grace the screen. Her sculptured legs, pouted lips and flowing waves of hair can make a grown man weep.

Bond movies have always been full of flaws. This however means nothing in the whole picture of things. This movie is no different from previous Bond flicks in that it is full of these flaws and inconsistencies. This is classic Bond and Pierce Brosnan is fast becoming a classic in his own right. It is a bargain at a fiver and a well spent two hours. If you're a Bond fan of the old school or of the younger age groups this will be a Bond that you will love.

Garret Connolly