The World Is Not Enough is a 1999 spy film, the 19th in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the third to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was directed by Michael Apted, with the original story and screenplay written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Bruce Feirstein. It was produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The title is taken from a line in the 1963 novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The film’s plot revolves around the assassination of billionaire Sir Robert King by the terrorist Renard, and Bond’s subsequent assignment to protect King’s daughter Elektra, who had previously been held for ransom by Renard. During his assignment, Bond unravels a scheme to increase petroleum prices by triggering a nuclear meltdown in the waters of Istanbul.
Filming locations included Spain, France, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the UK, with interiors shot at Pinewood Studios. Despite receiving mixed reviews, with the plot and Denise Richards’ casting being frequently targeted for criticism, The World Is Not Enough earned $361,832,400 worldwide. It was also the first Eon-produced Bond film to be officially released under the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer label instead of United Artists, the original owner and distributor of the film franchise.
MI6 agent James Bond arrives at a Swiss bank in Bilbao, Spain, to retrieve money for British oil tycoon Sir Robert King. Bond also wants the name of the killer of a fellow MI6 agent, but the banker is killed by his assistant before he can reveal it. Bond escapes from the banker’s office with the money, but it is revealed to be booby-trapped; Sir Robert is killed by an explosion inside MI6 headquarters in London. Bond gives chase to the assassin on a Q-modified speedboat down the Thames to the Millennium Dome, where she attempts to escape by hot air balloon. Bond offers her protection, but she refuses and blows up the balloon, killing herself.
Although injured falling from the balloon, Bond is cleared for duty, and traces the recovered money to Viktor “Renard” Zokas, a KGB agent-turned-terrorist. Following an earlier attempt on his life by MI6 agent 009, Renard was left with a bullet in his brain, which is gradually destroying his senses, making him immune to pain until he dies. M assigns Bond to protect King’s daughter Elektra against Renard, who had previously abducted her. Bond flies to Azerbaijan, where Elektra is overseeing the construction of her family’s oil pipeline. During a tour of the pipeline’s proposed route through the mountains, Bond and Elektra are attacked by a hit squad in armed, paraglider-equipped snowmobiles. Despite being unarmed, Bond is able to dispatch the snowmobiles by using the terrain to his advantage.
Bond visits Valentin Zukovsky at his Baku casino to acquire information about Elektra’s attackers; he deduces that Elektra’s head of security, Davidov, is secretly in league with Renard. Bond kills Davidov and takes his place on a plane bound for a Russian ICBM base in Kazakhstan. He poses as a Russian nuclear scientist and meets American nuclear physicist Christmas Jones, before entering the silo. Inside, Renard is removing the GPS locator card and weapons-grade plutonium from a nuclear bomb. Before Bond can kill him, Jones blows his cover. Renard drops a hint that Elektra and he are collaborating and flees with the plutonium, while Bond and Jones escape the exploding silo with the locator card.
Back in Azerbaijan, Bond discloses to M that Elektra may not be as innocent as she seems, before they discover the stolen bomb from Kazakhstan is attached to an inspection rig heading towards the oil terminal. Bond and Jones enter the pipeline to deactivate the bomb, and Jones discovers that half of the plutonium is missing. They both jump clear of the rig before a large section of pipeline is destroyed, and they are presumed killed. Back at the command centre, Elektra reveals Renard and she are conspirators and that she killed her father as revenge for using her as bait for Renard. She abducts M, whom she resents for advising her father not to pay the ransom money, and imprisons her in the Maiden’s Tower.
Bond accosts Zukovsky at his caviar factory in the Caspian Sea for information on Elektra, having deduced Elektra’s culpability himself, and is then attacked by Elektra’s sawing helicopters. Zukovsky reveals his arrangement with Elektra was in exchange for the use of a submarine, currently being captained by Zukovsky’s nephew, Nikolai. The group goes to Istanbul, where Jones realises that if Renard were to insert the stolen plutonium into the submarine’s nuclear reactor, the resulting nuclear explosion would destroy Istanbul, sabotaging the Russians’ oil pipeline in the Bosphorus and leaving Elektra’s uncontested. Bond then receives a signal from the locator card M has activated using a clock battery, just before Zukovsky’s underling, Bullion blows up the command centre. Bond and Jones are captured by Elektra’s henchmen. Jones is taken aboard the submarine. Bond is taken to the tower, where Elektra tortures him with a garrote. Zukovsky and his men arrive and seize the tower, but Zukovsky is shot by Elektra. Although dying, he frees Bond with his cane gun. Bond frees M and kills Elektra, before diving after the submarine.
Bond boards the submarine and frees Jones. Following a firefight with the crew, the submarine hits the bottom of the Bosphorus, causing its hull to rupture. Bond catches up with Renard and kills him in the submarine’s reactor room by impaling him with the plutonium rod. Bond and Jones escape from the submarine via the torpedo launcher, leaving the flooded reactor to detonate safely underwater.
As MI6 try to locate Bond by satellite surveillance, he and Jones celebrate in Turkey.
by simon schofield