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The World is Not Enough

Is it just me, or do the latest Bond movies feel less and less like Bond films, and more and more like Our Man Flint?

Don't get me wrong, I dig the Flint movies, but somewhere along the way, Bond films have almost become parodies of themselves. How sexy is James Bond? Why, he sleeps with every woman in a five mile radius. In the latest Bond adventure, The World Is Not Enough, there practically isn't a woman on screen he doesn't boink. I was getting ready for Bond to lay down with Judi Dench for a time. Not that that wouldn't be an honor mind you, I mean she's an Academy Award winner and all, but she's also about 60 or so. Still, in the Bond universe, no woman is safe.

Speaking of safety, or lack thereof, why isn't Bond itching and twitching from every known STD on the planet? Have you ever seen him even think of a condom? What kind of message are we teaching our kids?

But wait, you say. This is James Bond. It's not real life. We agree to suspend disbelief over things like that when we enter the world of 007. So true, so true. So it's not really fair to judge these movies by the same standard as one would judge, say, Snow Falling on Cedars or The Cider House Rules. So the question becomes, how does Bond 19 (quick, can you name all 19 without looking them up? I got 17 before hitting the IMDB.) stack up against Bonds 1-18?


There's a ton of action. He slices, he dices! He shoots, he scores! There are some incredible shots and death-defying stunts. I don't think I've ever seen a more exciting scene that took place inside an oil pipeline. And bravo on a creative and admirable use of England's Millennium Dome. Where action is concerned, this movie delivers.


Aside from various random lays, there are really two women of note in the film. (Well, three really, but Judy Dench doesn't count because Bond doesn't try to screw her six ways to Sunday.) The two women are Electra King and Christmas Jones. Electra King, played by Sophie Marceau, is wonderful. She's exotic, sexy, mysterious, sexy, well written, sexy and sexy. She lit up the screen, as far as I was concerned. However, Christmas Jones, played by Denise Richards, is a waste of screen time. Poor Denise, who would have thought that the movie that finally proved, once and for all, that she couldn't act would be a BOND film? Her character makes no sense, and Denise looks like she's in a student film.

"Hi. I'm a nu-culer fist-is-sist!"

And to top it off, she isn't really that sexy here. Sophie has her beat hands down.

When will these people learn? The worst part of the last two Bond flicks have been the American actresses shuttled in for name value. Teri Hatcher in Tomorrow Never Dies and now Denise. We don't want American women in our Bond movies. That's not what Bond's all about. Bond is about exotic, foreign women. Mysterious Slavic beauties or romantic Greek lovers. Actresses with names beginning in Z and Q. Next thing you know they'll sign Jennifer Love Hewitt and Brandi for Bond 20. God help us all. This movie gave the phrase "Stupid Americans!" another 150 years of life.


Bond villains are great. They are dark creatures of evil, bent on taking over the world. This flick's baddie is Renard, played by Robert Carlyle. He's pathetic. He has a bullet in his brain which makes him impervious to pain. That would be really cool if they ever used it! Not once does Renard use his incredible superhero-like talent against Bond, instead, he uses it to show his deep, emotional side. Hello! This is a Bond villain! He doesn't need a deep emotional side! He needs oddly-named henchmen! You learn early in the movie that this bullet in his head will eventually kill him, and there's nothing anyone can do. So boo-hoo! He laments about how 'he's already dead' in every other scene. Where's the fun in having Bond chase down someone who's already dead?

"James, how will we ever stop Renard?" "I'm thinking of going skiing, he should be dead by the time I get back."


Of course, no Bond review would be complete without a look at Bond himself, played once again by Pierce Brosnan. You know, he's no Sean Connery, but I like him. I look forward to seeing him as Bond. He's sexy, smart, suave, sophisticated, and a bunch of other words that begin with S. All in all, I give him a thumbs-up!

So to re-cap. Action and Bond, good. Women mediocre, bad guy lame. Not the best Bond film ever, but not the worst. I'm giving it 3.007 Babylons. Just because I like to get cute with my ratings.

Editor's Note:

12-9-99: OK, what's weird here is that when I was editing this review, I looked up "Judi Dench" on the IMDB to make sure that the SMC had spelled her name right (he hadn't) and also to verify that he had her age right (he didn't) and realized that today, December 9, was Judi Dench's 66th birthday.

Maybe the SMC should change the "C" in his name to mean "clairvoyant".

The World Is Not Enough
Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Michael Apted
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, M, Q, R, ZZ, XXX, and a number of horizontal women.

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