28 October 2010 | amesmonde
A better more grounded Bond
James Bond must rescue M, protect an oil heiress from her former kidnapper Renard, a terrorist who can't feel pain.
It begins with the sleek gun barrel Point of View walk, and what follows is arguably one of the greatest Bond pre-title sequences and certainly Pierce Brosnan's best. There's a specular escape in Spain, an explosion in MI6 headquarters London and a chase on the River Thames to apprehend an assassin (Sicillian star, Maria Grazia Cucinotta) that climaxes at the Millennium Dome. All this action before the James Bond title song and it's carried out not just for show, but as it's all part of the story's later developments.
Michael Apted directs the 19th Bond instalment in which Brosnan gives his finest performance as 007, he appears, confident, intellectual, more dangerous and authentic as the spy. In this he is injured and carries his ailment throughout the film, making him more vulnerable and real in life threaten situations, leaving the entertaining but bland Tomorrow Never Dies behind.
For the most part this instalment is more grounded and played serious with fewer gags than in previous Bonds, certainly less than Moore's outings. A lot of this is due to Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Bruce Feirstein screenplay which lends itself as a mystery, whodunit thriller theme and the villains, have more shades of grey as well as the heroes.
Despite, Denise Richards beauty with brains role as Dr. Christmas Jones, she still appears as the typical Bond girl by the end. Robert Carlyle character Renard is given depth and ulterior motives as the villain but he still is cliché Bond Villain with scars. This aside, Sophie Marceau is excellent as femme fatale oil baron heiress Elektra King and M's (Judie Dench) late friends daughter. Dench is given more to do and shines on screen, and regulars Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny) and Colin Salmon reprise their roles. Robbie Coltrane makes a welcomed return as Zukovsky to briefly assist Bond, and Goldie makes an appearance as a henchman. Comedy legend John Cleese plays Q's side kick R.
The music score and Barry's trademark theme comes in just at the right moments to heighten the action on screen. And as a bonus the title songs music is interlaced throughout the movie.
The World Is Not Enough is only marred by some poor cringe-worthy quips that are synonyms with the franchise. It's a shame that all the hard work of writers, Bronson's and Apted's subtly was discarded in Die Another Day (2002), where it was CGI heavy and returned to a Moore- like, lighter spectacle adventure.
This Bond is in the tradition of the earlier Connery outings, the vein of Dalton's steely incarnation, and a credit must goto Pierce Brosnan as this influenced the style of the later Casino Royale rework.
Ultimately, The World Is Not Enough due to it's great plot is one of the better Bonds that can be enjoyed by fans and the causal viewer.