Film Review: The World Is Not Enough (1999)

What a clunker! Garbage’s brilliant theme song deserved so much better than The World Is Not Enough

“What are you doing here in Kazakhstan”

Right from the off, The World Is Not Enough shows us how frustrating it is going to be as it mixes the solid and the silly. The opening speedboat chase which features London so brilliantly and then ridonkulously moves onto land, blowing up MI5 so effectively and then doing nothing with it as a plot device, offering up a beautiful final scene for Desmond Llewelyn’s Q and then introducing John Cleese as new apprentice R… We won’t mention Goldie, nor his X-ray specs that shows women in their underwear but somehow leaves the men fully dressed…

Directed by Michael Apted, the film really suffers from a nonentity of a storyline. There’s good ideas in here – Robert Carlyle’s Renard had real potential as a cold villain with nothing to lose and getting M out in the field is a great way to have more Judi Dench – but nothing memorable is done with them. I’ve just finished watching and I have already forgotten what plot there was, the focus is just on action-based callbacks to previous Bond films whilst never getting anywhere near as good as any of them. A definite disappointment.

Bond women

Sophie Marceau as the ingenue turned oil heiress turned villain is decent enough, at least her tumble in the sheets with Bond has a relative rationale in deceiving him as to her true intentions. But the scientist role reaches its nadir in Denise Edwards’ nuclear physicist Dr Christmas Jones, the film engineering any excuse to have her skimpily dressed and the punning that splutters out feebly twice at the end is simply embarrassing. That’s how you want to end your film? Really?2001)

Theme song

One of the best modern Bond themes, ‘The World Is Not Enough’ was written by David Arnold and performed by Garbage to great effect. Shirley Manson’s iconic vocals are the perfect fit, adding an almost sardonic note to its aspirations of world domination and the perfect shag.

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