Pierce Brosnan returns as Secret Agent 007 for his third mission which takes him to Spain, England, Azerbijan, Istanbul to protect an oil heiress from the same man who kidnapped/tortured her years earlier.
The Timothy Dalton movies (The Living Daylights; Licence to Kill) incorporated the pre-credit sequence into the plot-line of the movie. The Pierce Brosnan films (GoldenEye; Tomorrow Never Dies) turned these sequences into elements of the main plot. "The World Is Not Enough" roars to life from the "Gun Barrel" opening shot. Bond is sent on a mission to Bilbao, Spain to retrieve a large sum of money used to purchase an MI6 report. But Bond is more interested in who killed the MI6 agent who bought it. Mayhem results in the longest precredit sequence in Bond history. Audience members probably forgot about the title sequence until the music started. Bond makes his escape from a Swiss bank, with the money, back to MI6 headquarters in London only to have the money explode causing the death of Sir Robert King. An excellent boat chase/balloon sequence on the river Thames and above the Millennium Dome follows.
MI6 suspects that King's daughter, Electra (Sopie Marceau) may be in danger and dispatches Bond to protect her. Bond follows his hunches throughout only to discover that his moves have been planned/manipulated by terrorist Renard (Robert Carlyle). Bond had better think/act quickly before the oil fields of the Middle East are jeapordized.
Denise Richards (Dr. Christmas Jones) will not fool any one into thinking she is a nuclear physicist. The sound track is excellent. Gadgets and action abound. Most importantly, this is not a standard, stylized Bond story. This is one of the few Bond adventures that makes the audience think to try to solve the puzzle. This may prove too difficult for some who are expecting the same old Bond. To blatantly steal a quote, "Like fine whiskey, Bond gets better with age!"
Pierce Brosnan is very good as James Bond, here portraying a more vulnerable secret agent. My problem with Brosnan, that I noticed from "The Thomas Crown Affair", is that he really doesn't have a screen presence that dwarfs all the other characters. Maybe this is intended to show that he has to go the extra mile to succeed in his missions.
Movie review © 2000 Larry Novotny/Spectre Films Ltd.
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All images © 1999 MGM.
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