Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / The World Is Not Enough

Go To

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Elektra truly the villain, manipulating Renard for her purposes, or is it the other way around? Fans can't agree at all!
  • Anticlimax Boss: For all Davidov and Gabor were built up, they're disposed of extremely easily.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Garbage's theme, which is widely considered the best Bond theme from Brosnan's tenure (and among a few, the best since at least A View to a Kill). It would also appear to be the only Bond theme song sung from an in-universe perspectivenote ; it's Elektra's Villain Song.
    • Advertisement:
    • From the soundtrack, Only Myself to Blame by Scott Walker. It was to be used in the film's end credits, but was unfortunately decided to be too glum a note to go out on.
  • Contested Sequel: One of the more polarizing Bond films, certainly moreso than Tomorrow Never Dies. It's not uncommon to find The World Is Not Enough ranked anywhere from the bottom to the top in fan's rankings. Some hate it, some think it's okay, and some love it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Say what you will about this film's faults, but few can deny it created a fantastic character in Elektra King. She's typically found near the top of people's Bond Girl and Bond villain countdowns, and amazingly enough accomplishes this without really having any "iconic" scenes like Ursula Andress or Honor Blackman did.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: This was Desmond Llewelyn's last appearance as Q in the Bond movies. He died in a car accident shortly after the movie's premiere, and his last scene shows him descending through the floor on an elevator with a car. VHS home editions, DVDs and Blu-Rays of the movie lampshaded this with a tribute to Desmond Llewelyn.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Renard and his reasons for committing his Evil Plan, now that Robert Carlyle has played Rumpelstiltskin, whose plans were for the same reason. Also, both here and in the 2005 mini-series Human Trafficking he portrays a kidnapper/criminal mastermind, only the latter production didn't try to paint him as sympathetic whatsoever.
    • Renard, a dying Death Seeker with a head wound, also kidnaps M in the film's third act. 13 years later, M would die thanks to the men of Raoul Silva, who also has a head wound and is a Death Seeker.
    • The video game features a mission called "Underground Uprising", where James has to foil a hostage situation and bomb threat in the London Underground. Five years after the game was released, the London Underground was bombed in real life by terrorists.
    • The entire Evil Plan with the villains embarking on an enormous terrorist attack to massively drive up oil prices. Two years after the film came out, the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon plunged the world into The War on Terror, a war immensely controversial for, among other things, the role of oil companies in profiteering off of the chaos - including numerous conspiracy theories that the war was waged only for this purpose.
  • Advertisement:
  • He's Just Hiding!: Valentin, not helped at all by the DVD commentary saying on the subject, "It's only a flesh wound!" Of course, since the character did not appear in Die Another Day, and since the series was subsequently rebooted, it will never be known if Zukovsky in this continuity could have ever come back.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The rich, glamorous love interest of the hero is the real Big Bad and a Femme Fatale with Daddy Issues, while the person we thought was the Big Bad, a suicidal, anarchistic terrorist who is immune to pain, is actually her Dragon and is assisting her in her insane revenge plan to nuke a major city out of love for her. Are we talking about The World is Not Enough or The Dark Knight Rises?
  • It Was His Sled: Elektra King being the villain was supposed to be a surprise but it's possibly one of the most famous plot twists of Brosnan's Bond films, spoiling the surprise.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The mixed reception to TWINE served as an alarm bell that the Bond formula was making moviegoers restless. The Agony Booth puts it succinctly:
    "That era of the franchise addressed the anachronistic aspects of the character, portraying Bond as a flawed, morally ambiguous throwback to an older era, almost a man out of time. This approach of self-awareness had mixed results. It certainly helped give older fans a taste of what they’d been missing in their Bond movies, but it wasn't very forward thinking, as it did little to adapt the franchise to its modern setting. It was merely a stall tactic."
  • Jerkass Woobie: Renard, even more than Trevalyan and Silva. Just try and read his character profile without tearing up for the guy.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Elektra King has her own father assassinated and his oil pipeline attacked to deflect suspicion and set up her own plans. Having once been abandoned to the terrorist Renard, Elektra seduced him to the point he is utterly loyal to her, using him to sow chaos while she remains behind the scenes. Intending on causing a nuclear meltdown to enrich her own pipeline, while also gaining revenge on those who abandoned her, Elektra easily outwits the heroes throughout the film, constantly a step ahead of all MI6.
  • Narm:
    • As listed in the Funny section, the scene where Bond learns from Renard that Elektra just might be behind it all would probably be a bit more dramatic if Bond didn't react to it by saying "HUH?!" with a hilariously dumbfounded look on his face.
    • Brosnan's overstated performance in other scenes gets it fair share of mockery as well. The scene where he confronts Elektra, specifically his lines, "Knew all about my shoulder; knew exactly how to hurt me," stands out, as does his "pain face" when being garroted by Elektra.
    • Denise Richards playing a nuclear physicist. Her name, ensemble, and many of her lines simply don't lend themselves to whatever credibility she might've had. It also doesn't help that, in addition to 28 being barely old enough to have finished a PhD at all, much less be a project lead on a nuclear facility, she looks and sounds even younger—only a year earlier, she had convincingly played a teenager in Wild Things, and in the same year as TWINE, she played a high school student in Drop Dead Gorgeous. Especially narmtastic are any moments when someone comments on her first name, Christmas [why she doesn't just go by Chris or Chrissy is never explained].
    • The 'Christmas came once a year' line is clearly supposed to be in the tradition of inuendo but is usually seen as either lame or excessively coarse.
    • Renard's 'feel no pain' gimmick feels too sci-fi, isn't used much in the film or makes much sense [why are his hands not damaged when he picks up hot Coles?]. Perhaps tellingly, this part of his character was Adapted Out of the PS1 video game.
  • Nausea Fuel: Elektra plucking a large glass shard out of Renard's bleeding hand.
  • Never Live It Down: The casting of Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones is almost universally regarded among the film's fans and detractors as its greatest weakness. The fact that she won the first Golden Raspberry Award to be given to a Bond film certainly doesn't help either.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Cigar Girl assassin. The director actually wanted her actress to be Elektra King, but upon realizing that her English wasn't up to par, he gave her this part instead which she happily accepted. With only a few minutes of screen time and exactly two lines, she manages to be one of the more memorable minor Bond Girls—her panicked, terrified response of "Not from him!" (when Bond promises that he can protect her from Renard) just before she kills herself is enough to provide an intriguing hint about just what kind of monster Bond is dealing with.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Tie-in games were released for Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Game Boy. The Nintendo 64 version was hit with this far less than the others (and was actually met with better reception than the film itself), since it had a lot of what made GoldenEye (1997) great despite being made by a different developer.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Christmas Jones, due to being an uninteresting character in her own right, Denise Richards's acting and obvious miscasting, and getting in the way of the much more compelling relationship between Bond and Elektra. Fans almost invariably rate her as the absolute worst Bond Girl in the whole series, since she harms the credibility of an otherwise well-received movie, whereas the other widely disliked Bond Girls (Mary Goodnight, Holly Goodhead, Stacey Stutton, and Jinx) appeared in films that would have been underwhelming regardless.
    • Mr. Bullion, who is played by Goldie, a British DJ whose limited acting experience becomes glaringly obvious on-screen. He doesn't get as much hate as Christmas due to her attracting most of the vitriol and Bullion's lesser role in the plot, but he has similar issues as a character.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Often considered either slightly better or slightly worse than Tomorrow Never Dies. To most fans, it either has the edge over TND thanks to its larger scope and more involved plot, or is an otherwise-decent film torpedoed by Denise Richards.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • After Bond sabotages and escapes the submarine as it is left to explode, it comes apart rather unimpressively like a toy.
    • When Bond pursues the Cigar Girl in Q's speedboat, he clearly fires the top missile first, but the immediate close-up shot shows the bottom missing gone first with the top one launching yet again.
    • When Bond flees the attacking choppers at Zukovsky's oil factory, the pipes visibly wobble as Bond takes cover.
    • The final battle between Bond and Renard leaves a lot to be desired, being shot inside a room that is turned sideways in a cramped space with them forced to fight around not just the many rods of the nuclear reactor but also while the room is partially flooding. The entire set and the way it is shot makes for a scuffle that fails to build any real tension leading up to the nuclear meltdown.
  • Strangled by the Red String: While one can hardly expect a relationship between Bond and his current Bond Girl to have any real substance, his fling with Christmas Jones is a glaring example of this. They have absolutely zero romantic interaction or flirtation (shockingly absent for a Bond film) before hooking up in the movie's final scenes. Her sole purposes in the film seems to be to completely botch Bond's first attempt to stop Renard's plot (making the second half of the movie her fault alone), and for Bond to have a warm body to be in bed with once Elektra is revealed as the villain and Bond kills her. Made all the more jarring by the fact that he does have chemistry with Elektra, and it's even implied that she's one of the few women he's considered settling down with which unfortunately ceases to be an option by the end.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Valentin's death. Renard's may count as well.
    • Also Q's farewell on a meta-level. It doesn't help that Bond, for a split second, looks positively grief-stricken as he asks Q if he really plans to retire soon.
  • That One Level: "Night Watch" in the video game. You have to sneak around Elektra's villa and you're not allowed to kill anyone. Sure, you can use darts and punch people's lights out all you want, but it does seem foolish running up to hit people armed with assault rifles and only being allowed to use said assault rifles to shoot locks and surveillance cameras. If that's not enough, Gabor has an annoying habit of showing up when you'd least expect him, and you automatically fail the mission if he detects you.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Bond and M going up against a Machiavellian villain bent on revenge for failing to help them? Bond being pushed to the limit of his emotional and physical capacity, questioning his choices as an agent? If the movie had been braver, ditched Christmas Jones, and not gone for the typical Bond cliches (campy or otherwise) we could have had Skyfall 13 years early. As it is, "The World Is Not Enough" is a big ball of missed potential for some fans of the Bond franchise.
    • Bond could have rescued Electra from her kidnapping and been the one to shoot Renard-giving him a connection to both characters. Instead the kidnapping is treated as an exposition dump and the events involved 009 rather than Bond.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. In fairness to Richards, the character would likely have been very unpopular anyway for the other reasons described under her The Scrappy entry, but her completely unconvincing performance helped propel her to being one of the most universally hated Bond Girls ever.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Christmas' tank top and short shorts earned this from many critics.
  • Vindicated by History: It's actually very difficult to find people nowadays who hate this film. With the exception of Denise Richards' casting, people have largely warmed up to TWINE. It's also fondly remembered by people who miss the Brosnan era, and regret that it ended with the inferior Die Another Day. It probably helps that the highly-acclaimed Skyfall recycled a lot of ideas from TWINE (as seen in this post), so there's a greater acknowledgement that the latter had the potential to be a great Bond movie, but it got hampered for some people by some of its more campier elements and a few questionable casting choices.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: