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Awesome: 16.91%
Worth A Look24.64%
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Sucks: 12.56%

14 reviews, 123 user ratings

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World is Not Enough, The
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by Andrew Howe

"Mind-numbing, formulaic twaddle"
1 stars

About a week ago I was having a conversation with a female acquaintance, and the topic at hand was the James Bond phenomenon. The exchange went something like this:

Me [with studied air of righteous indignation] - "I've never understood why Bond films are so popular. It seems to me that most people flock to the cinemas out of pure instinct - they notice the ad in the paper and say 'Oh, a new Bond film. Guess we'd better go and see it this weekend.'"

MD - "I go and see them because I want to see them."

Me - "But you've always seemed like a reasonably intelligent person - what could possibly entice you to subject yourself to two hours of that trash?"

MD [taking a book of Jung down from the shelf] - "Well, it's the classical "man of mystery" archetype, isn't it? Bond is every woman's fantasy - the suave, good-looking hero who exudes an air of danger and mystery. Oh, and Pierce Brosnan's really cute."

Me - "You are a sad and twisted individual. I'm going to take a little survey and prove you wrong."

So I took my little survey, and lo and behold, nine out of ten women proved me wrong. The corollary, of course, is that men watch Bond films so they can indulge their fantasies of being the ultimate chick magnet, bedding nubile young things left, right and centre while still finding time to knock back a few martinis and, as an afterthought, save the world into the bargain. Nice work if you can get it.

However, I would contend that once you strip away the opportunities for misty-eyed wish-fulfilment afforded by your average Bond flick, what you are left with is a soulless vehicle which fails on virtually every level you care to name. But don't just take my word for it - consider the following crimes committed by the latest formulaic spyfest to shamble out of the Broccoli stable:

- a succession of schoolboy-level double entendres which had me wondering if I'd stumbled into a Carry On revival by mistake;

- a succession of one-liners which make your average Schwarzenegger script sound like Shakespeare;

- a major supporting role for Denise Richards, who would be the next big thing if I used sexual charisma instead of acting ability as my yardstick;

- a boat chase and a ski/snowmobile runaround which fail to arouse even a moderate level of excitement (see Bond drive his boat through a restaurant! Thrill to Bond skiing off the edge of a cliff! See me go in search of a John Woo film before I fall asleep …), and which also mimic similar scenes not just from other action films, but from other Bond films; and

- an almost-criminal waste of the talented Robert Carlyle, appearing in a role which apparently called for a total absence of emotion, motivation and characterisation.

Let us now take a moment to consider the elements which conspire to lift an action film above the everyday (keep Aliens, Die Hard and The Killer in mind as you read this). The witches brew in question will require several of the following ingredients:

(a) well-drawn characters in whom you can develop an emotional investment;
(b) a villain capable of arousing a significant level of hatred, with bonus points earned for personality traits which deviate from garden-variety psychosis;
(c) action scenes which blow your socks off;
(d) an original, involving storyline; and
(e) a significant degree of style.

Your average Bond film generally meets exactly one of these criteria, being the requirement to exhibit a certain measure of style. However, even this is a dubious achievement, since the style in question is a boy's-own formula straight out of the mid-sixties. As for the rest - now and again you will find a character you can care about (which usually marks them for an early, exit-wound assisted exit), once in a while there will be a villain who arouses some measure of interest (usually a supporting character such as Jaws or Oddjob, since the world-domination/destruction storylines inevitably call for the assistance of your friendly neighbourhood megalomaniac), and once in a blue moon there will be an action sequence worth the time it takes to watch it. However, they never seem to happen in the same film, and what is more the series has never, ever, managed to contrive a storyline which is anything other than pure formula (though Never Say Never Again did show touches of originality. I guess one out of nineteen ain't bad.) Given these facts, it is little surprise that the best of the Bond films are only a touch above average, and the worst (a club to which The World is Not Enough has paid its dues and then some) border on the unwatchable.

There are exactly three good things about this film - a fine performance by Sophie Marceau, a mildly diverting climax (the claustrophobic confines of a submarine adding a little character to an oddly subdued final confrontation), and, for what it's worth, Pierce Brosnan proving once again that he was born to play the role.

However, this is not enough to save a film loaded with stereotypical characters, inane dialogue and inert set-pieces. And yes, I realise that I am attacking the film for the very things many people find so quaintly charming about the series (the audience at the matinee showing seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely), but I see no reason to allow drivel to pass me by unmolested simply because it was never meant to be anything other than mind-numbing formulaic twaddle (now there’s a quote for the cinema advertisements …).

This film aims low, and hits its mark with unerring precision. I can't help but feel that it would be better for everyone concerned if we kept these particular fantasies where they belong, instead of putting them on the big screen where, in the cold light of day, the juvenile nature of the whole charade becomes painfully apparent.

Before the credits rolled I was informed that James Bond would return, and I guess there's nine out of ten women who will take some measure of comfort in that fact. As for me, it's either a change of career, the sin of envy, or a quest for the magic ten percent.

Just don't ask me to sit through any more films like this one - Lord knows, I've suffered enough.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=717&reviewer=193
originally posted: 12/19/99 10:45:30
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User Comments

10/11/17 Louise Marceau's accent kept slipping.Not one of the better Bond films. 3 stars
9/12/17 morris campbell kind of dull 2 stars
12/04/15 1800suckmydick Extremely boring in spots, like most Brosnan films. Good villainess. 3 stars
9/02/12 roscoe bette rhangoldeneye and tomorrow never dies 5 stars
8/29/09 Jeff Wilder On a par iwth Tomorrow Never Dies. 4 stars
8/06/09 Simon it's par for the course, a cheesy good time 3 stars
3/01/09 T^3 The WINE suffers from severe Bond Villain Syndrome, even Mi6 succumbs to fatal gullibility. 2 stars
10/05/08 Mark Gibson Okay as it is, I liked the action sequences a lot and Brosnans bond is great in it 4 stars
10/04/08 Lenny Zane Poor Denise Richards! -- so terribly overtrashed for this, so now we never see her anymore. 5 stars
7/29/08 chris f very under average not very good at all 1 stars
7/21/08 the dork knight Pretty crazy. But the co-stars liven things up quite a bit 4 stars
12/14/07 Jason Elektra King & George Bush, James Bond meets Peak Oil! Great movie.Realistic plot. 5 stars
11/23/07 mrsinister Sophie Marceau elevates this movie a few notches. 4 stars
10/11/07 Charles Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist? Need I say more?? ALMOST left the theatre... 2 stars
8/31/07 johnnyfog Best of the Brosnan Bond films. Robbie Coltrane's back, yay! 4 stars
5/27/07 order valium arthritis pain relief 1 stars
4/23/07 David Risser Lots of action, but it wasn't great. 3 stars
2/15/07 johnnyfog The best Brosnan Bond film. I hated Denise Richards though! 4 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega Great 007 action/adventure film. 4 stars
2/02/07 laboo IT FUCKING RULES 5 stars
1/25/07 Dirk Pitts hair Bogged down by a boring plot and a dodgy villian 2 stars
1/01/07 ProSneakyD Best bond film of the 90's, intelligent story & 1st class action, no one should miss it. 5 stars
6/10/06 Yorkee Marceau not sexy? - MP you must be kidding. Confusing plot and too slow. 3 stars
5/28/06 inty yeyey best bond ever it rules ya 5 stars
5/09/06 omar its ok 3 stars
4/25/06 CUT AWAY It is a great Bond, if u want plot u got it 4 stars
4/01/06 poo it rules 4 stars
3/12/06 date movie sucks great 4 stars
2/10/06 Mack a great one 4 stars
1/02/06 Anthony Feor The best Bond since the 60's 4 stars
11/20/05 chris satisfactory bond movie but nothing special 3 stars
9/27/05 Indrid Cold Interesting attempt at a female arch-villain, but unsatisfying and forgettable. 3 stars
8/25/05 Eden Only awesome in comparison to Die Another Day 3 stars
5/26/05 tony Chris perry needs a lesson in reviewing. Exellent flick with spectacular plot. good action! 4 stars
4/01/05 Alice Colwell typical 007 movie 5 stars
2/05/05 Tom Benton Those it suffers heavily from poor editing, this is a stylish and very cool 007 film ... 4 stars
1/07/05 keithers.. Too much attention on action not enough on plot, bond has come diehard....boooo 3 stars
12/06/04 some guy yeah it's quite good, your reviewer guy is shit. 4 stars
9/22/04 Al Guy Good for a rental.I forgot about it as soon as I cut it off. 3 stars
7/17/04 Daveman Perhaps the most tiresome, boring film in the series... avoid! 1 stars
5/31/04 Nobody They should make a realistic bond movie where he gets an STD 3 stars
5/07/04 Littlepurch. If not for Goldfinger, this would be the best by far. Seed boat chase MUST be a classsic! 5 stars
12/01/03 tatum Benign Bond, but better than Brosnan's first two 3 stars
11/29/03 john Ms Richards is about as believable as a nuclear scientist as my uncle would be as 007 - 1 stars
11/27/03 R.W. Welch Passable Bond flick has everything but the kitchen sink -- and believability. 3 stars
10/21/03 Littlepurch Gr8 film! Boat chase best bond action scene EVER!!! Story better than other brosnan's too!! 5 stars
8/01/03 Stefan Halka This film had good action in it, but the storyline lagged. 3 stars
7/06/03 Paul S. Classic bits: the entire first 20 min., Elektra, torture chair, x-ray casino scene,Q`s exit 5 stars
12/03/02 Jiz So unmemorable I forgot it in less than a year. I remember it sucked though 1 stars
10/27/02 Matt Neopalitano Too much product placement. 3 stars
9/16/02 CVJ Brosnans best bond movie to date 5 stars
8/16/02 scott great 5 stars
7/20/02 Bastard Child of Mother Teresa Denise sucks! Sophie rules! Bond conquers the world! 5 stars
5/14/02 Stud The world is not enough. 4 stars
3/30/02 Zargo the best brosnan so far 5 stars
3/13/02 Stewy Evans The only goog thing about the film was Q's speed boat 3 stars
3/01/02 Alan Smithee The only thing that Denise Richards brought to the table were her great tits. 2 stars
2/27/02 Shrike Shallow and boring, bring back Connery! 2 stars
2/21/02 Ashley Corpening Superb! Denise Richards much better than all the hype has said 5 stars
2/21/02 Julia Cox Good except Sophie Marceau would be more appealing having a good bowel movement. 4 stars
1/15/02 David A. Bond is good but Brosnan is weak. Roger Moore is the REAL Bond! 4 stars
10/01/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good! but not good as Tommorow never dies, but the plots good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
9/03/01 Butterbean Carlyle's character couldn't feel pain, but nothing cool was done with him. Very dull flick 2 stars
7/27/01 Henry Ginsberg Over rated 4 stars
7/09/01 TLsmooth How in the fuck do people sit thru this bullshit? Brosnan is shitty. 1 stars
6/08/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Denise Richards as a genius?? Uh-huh, and I can chew nails & spit out quarters. 3 stars
4/01/01 fifu neat first half but jumps off a cliff when "christmas" come in what a fucking horrible name 3 stars
3/24/01 Monster W. Kung Very mediocre Bond movie. Even Robert Carlyle seems weak in this. 2 stars
2/16/01 James Lackluster and pointless. 2 stars
11/25/00 Connoisseur Pierce Brosnan is good, but this movie sucks! 1 stars
10/23/00 Gremlin Not as good as Goldeneye but Denise Richards makes up for it......oooh...denise.....oooh... 5 stars
7/06/00 Terrie Smith Good looking women; lots of action but I'm going to miss "Q" 4 stars
6/27/00 Naushad Khanji The Bond premise is stale.Brosnan is terrible and makes the worst Bond 2 stars
6/02/00 danilo worst bond movie ever 1 stars
5/28/00 Cooke Bond is awesome. 5 stars
5/20/00 mahone It made me wonder if the series doen't need to be put to rest with dignity. 2 stars
5/19/00 The Bomb 69 richards annoys but the rest was pretty enjoyable 4 stars
5/02/00 cort major Brosnan is a good bond-but the franchise is going downhill faster and faster-FLUFF- 1 stars
2/28/00 Neil Austin Boys will always be boys and bond will always be bond 5 stars
1/24/00 Cibeus This is the best of the three for this Bond. Saw it twice! 5 stars
1/18/00 k.tomkowski Not bad, but instantly forgettable. 3 stars
1/08/00 John Markham Everyone looked lost and confused. 3 stars
1/04/00 Gotham DK The best Bond film in awhile. As much as I love Richards, she isn't convincing as a Nuke Dr 4 stars
1/01/00 LJ Kong Absolutely the best BOND film 5 stars
12/30/99 Janus Just because its bond its a must see but it was not comparable to tomorrow never dies 4 stars
12/30/99 Richard Miller I think Pierce masterbated before every scene, I hated hated hated hated hated this movie!! 1 stars
12/30/99 K. Lackey Yet another Bond film in which mediocrity prevails as bond blows stuff up & gets the girl. 3 stars
12/21/99 saMas when will he die 3 stars
12/19/99 Mr Showbiz So thick with puns and double-entendres it plays liek a Marx Bros routine. 1 stars
12/16/99 Ezra Xenos The movie claims to be nothing more than it is, a fun two hours, at which it is successful. 4 stars
12/15/99 Jason S. Biggest waste of time(Besides Wild Wild West) of the year, toss a crappy Supernova trailer! 1 stars
12/14/99 Heather Bond fans will see this anyway, good, but not as brilliant as Goldeneye, Tomorrow 4 stars
12/14/99 Ara Margossian one of the best bonds in decades 5 stars
12/13/99 voyant Good Escape movie 4 stars
12/11/99 Tyson Stewart Everything I want in a Bond film! It's great! 4 stars
12/08/99 JonnyAngel "Carlyle chewing the scenery"? What movie were you watching? He didn't chew, he just sucked 3 stars
12/06/99 Ryan Mathers Not bad as Bond films go 3 stars
12/02/99 Doug Paulsen WAY to many one liners. 2 stars
12/01/99 Chris It's a good bond film. They should have done more with the bad guy. 4 stars
11/30/99 Ryan Phillipe got hit by a car and it rules I was in awe of all the talent. If it wasn't for end of days Id say best picture right here 1 stars
11/29/99 Mic What a great last line. The old formula still works reasonably. 3 stars
11/28/99 Chet Patel Worse than GoldenEye, Tommorow Never Dies kicked ass compared to this movie. 2 stars
11/27/99 nootch Even Salma Hayek could've played a more convincing nuclear physicist! 2 stars
11/26/99 Kevin Cho - Movie Junkie Broznan's BEST - Great action, well worth the trouble. One of the bes t- Highly recommend. 5 stars
11/26/99 Matthew Smith brosnan has bond written all over him 5 stars
11/25/99 Rachel B. i thought this was another sweet Bond film. In my opinion Pierce Bronsan is the best guy . 5 stars
11/23/99 Jamie It's exactly what you expect from bond. Hot women cool gadgets and bad humor 4 stars
11/23/99 Lianne I thought it was one of the best Bond Movies in a long time. 5 stars
11/22/99 Jason S. Good action movie....shitty James Bond movie 2 stars
11/22/99 john carpenter excellent, first rate 5 stars
11/22/99 Mr. X A waste of Robert Carlyle 2 stars
11/22/99 Zaw Oo Denise Richards Can't act.. she was funny make me laugh everytime she say something. :-). 3 stars
11/22/99 Mr. K The cold-blooded Bond is back. He sleeps with the good girl and the bad, then offs the bad! 5 stars
11/21/99 majawat more breasts, less talking 2 stars
11/21/99 anon Good acting by most, good action, poor script. Denise Richards was not convincing. 4 stars
11/20/99 SJKelley I grew up reading Ian Fleming. I threw up watching this. Way too many "WHAT?" scenes. 2 stars
11/20/99 Jqirish A solid Bond, but nothing knew 4 stars
11/20/99 C.A.T.M. With Brosnan as Bond, Richards' bouncing chest, and the stunts, you can't lose. Great ! 5 stars
11/19/99 Dax It's the 19th Bond movie. You get exactly what you'd expect. 4 stars
11/18/99 Tay It sucked 1 stars
11/14/99 george Oh give me a break, its Bond! Everyone loves bond! 5 stars
9/30/99 the Grinch First Pierce Brosnan, now DENISE RICHARDS? Brosnan's bimbo enough! They're fucking up 007! 2 stars
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  19-Nov-1999 (PG-13)



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