A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The World Is Not Enough is the 19th official James Bond movie, and the third with Pierce Brosnan. It contains the usual amount of shooting, chasing, explosions, and killing. One minor character commits suicide, and Bond is tortured in a sadistic chair that chokes its occupant. Bond seduces three women during the course of the movie. No nudity is shown, though we see kissing, bras and panties, and some skin. One of Bond's partners has a second partner of her own. There is some blatant sexual innuendo. Bond drinks in a few scenes, including a whiskey and a vodka martini. Language is mild, with "ass" and "hell" used. Bond uses a VISA card to open a door and drives a BMW; these are paid product placements. It's largely considered one of the weaker Bond movies, but it still has a lot of silly energy, and Bond fans young and old will definitely want to see it.
What's the story?
A case of stolen money, retrieved by agent 007, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan), is booby-trapped and its owner, an oil baron and a friend of Bond's boss M (Judi Dench), is killed. It's up to Bond to find the killer. He traces the money to a dangerous ex-KGB man, Renard (Robert Carlyle), who due to a bullet in his brain, is impervious to pain. Bond is assigned to protect the oil baron's daughter, Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), but soon discovers that she is working with Renard. Her evil plan involves triggering a nuclear explosion to increase the value of her own, new oil pipeline. A nuclear scientist, Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), offers to help Bond, but things escalate to a deadly showdown with Renard on board a nuclear submarine.
Is it any good?
As far as nifty gadgets, beautiful scenery, giddy action, and a great song (by the band Garbage) go, this is a fairly effective, entertaining entry in the long-running series. Many Bond fans actually rank THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH among the worst of the Bond movies, mainly due to the ridiculous plot, though it's really not much more ridiculous than half the rest of the series, and also due to Denise Richards' improbable portrayal of a scientist in shorts and a tank top. (She seems to have been just barely able to memorize her expository lines.) However, she's not nearly as passive as other Bond girls have been.
In truth, the movie has some breezy energy, as opposed to the lethargy of the 1980s entries, and it has the charismatic Pierce Brosnan at the top of his game, as opposed to some of the other Bonds who never seemed quite right or were allowed to play the role a bit too long. The veteran English filmmaker Michael Apted directs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. How intense is it? How many characters have to die so that Bond can save the world? Are there any consequences?
How are the women in this movie treated? Why are they attracted to Bond? Would any of them be interesting in a movie of their own?
Bond is definitely a good guy, but his methods and behavior are questionable. Is he a role model? Does he seem "cool"? Is he someone to emulate? Why or why not?
How much alcohol does Bond drink in this movie? Does he make drinking look cool? In real life, would it get in the way of doing spy work?
- In theaters: November 19, 1999
- On DVD or streaming: May 22, 2007
- Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards
- Director: Michael Apted
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 128 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of action violence, some sexuality and innuendo
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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