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Elektra King: "I could've given you the world."
James Bond: "The world is not enough."
Elektra King: "Foolish sentiment."
James Bond: "Family motto."
―James Bond and Elektra King.

The World Is Not Enough is the nineteenth official James Bond film made by EON Productions and the third to star Pierce Brosnan as Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond. It was released in 1999, and produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The film's story and screenplay was written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade who later teamed again for 2002's Die Another Day, 2006's Casino Royale, and 2008's Quantum of Solace. It is the final film to have to Desmond Llewelyn as Q released one month before his death on December 19, 1999.

The title comes from the English translation of the Bond family motto, the Latin Orbis non sufficit, which was established and adopted by James Bond in Fleming's novel, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Plot summary


In Bilbao, Spain, James Bond, meets with a Swiss banker to recover a large sum of money. The banker, however, plans to have James killed. James uses a flash grenade disguised as his pistol to create a diversion and ends up holding the banker at gun-point. The banker had taken the money from another "00" and is about to tell Bond who the agent's assassin is when he himself is killed by a thrown knife from his secretary, the Cigar-Smoking Woman. Bond grabs the case of money and is about to escape when another man tries to shoot him; that man is hit by an unseen sniper. Bond escapes out the window.


At MI6 headquarters in London, Bond returns the money to a wealthy man named Sir Robert King. King and Bond's boss, M, are both present in M's office when Bond arrives. Bond learns from them both that King is building an oil pipeline through the Caucasus region and that the project has been threatened with destruction from several factions. King leaves and M gives Bond a glass of bourbon with ice. When the ice begins to bubble, Bond deduces that the money, which he'd handled, may itself be dangerous. In a nearby lab, the metallic security strip in one of the bills bursts into flame and the money explodes, killing King and blowing a large hole in the outer wall of MI6 HQ. Bond looks out through the hole and sees a woman on a boat who tries to shoot him with an automatic weapon.

Bond hijacks a small, experimental, jet-powered boat belonging to Q and races after the woman, chasing her down the Thames. She tries several times to evade him but Bond catches up with her, finally destroying her boat near the Millennium Dome with a torpedo. The woman commandeers a hot-air balloon and floats upward, with Bond hanging on to one of the anchor ropes. The woman, the Cigar Smoking Woman who killed the Swiss banker, points her handgun at the gas tanks on the balloon. Bond pleads with her not to fire, claiming MI6 will protect her. She says no one can protect her from "him". She then shoots the tanks and the balloon explodes, killing her and dropping Bond onto the Dome. The rolling landing fractures his collarbone, but he's still able to arrest his slide down the side of the Dome by grabbing onto the support cables.


At Robert King's funeral service, Bond notices King's beautiful daughter, Elektra. At an MI6 retreat in Scotland, Bond discovers that Elektra had been kidnapped sometime prior and held ransom for a considerable sum. He notices that the money he recovered for Robert King is equal to the ransom, and concludes that King's death was more of a message than a simple terror attack. He goes to a briefing held by M who declares that the likely suspect behind the bombing is a man named Victor Zokas, aka "Renard", an international terrorist who occasionally hires out his skills to anyone with money. Renard had had been the mastermind behind Elektra's kidnapping but Elektra managed to escape by seducing her guards and killing them. Renard was subsequently hunted down by 009, who managed to shoot him in the head but the terrorist miraculously managed to survive. The bullet, still lodged in Renard's head, has slowly been traveling through and destroying the area of his brain that controls his senses. As a result, Renard no longer feels pain and is now able to push himself to the limits of human endurance until the bullet eventually kills him.

M now believes that Renard's next projected target will be Elektra herself. Through sexual coercion, the MI6 doctor declares Bond fit for duty. M then assigns Bond to protect Elektra at all costs and kill Renard, anticipating that using Elektra as bait will lure the terrorist out of hiding. M strictly instructs Bond to not bed Elektra and to keep the identity of her attacker a secret.


Map of the Middle East showing location of fictional King Pipeline and its three competitors.

Bond travels to Elektra's location near Baku, Russia, where she is overseeing the construction of her father's pipeline. Bond joins her on a brief inspection of the line in the mountains; the area is snowed over and they must ski to the right spot. They are attacked by a small group of men piloting "Parahawk" vehicles. Bond is able to stop them, causing a few of them to collide with the landscape or each other and explode. The last explosion causes a small avalanche, burying Bond and Elektra. Bond deploys a rapid-inflating sphere to protect them, but Elektra panics from claustrophobia. Bond rapidly frees them from the snow and takes her back to her house to recuperate.

Seeking further information about Elektra's attackers, Bond goes to a casino owned by his old enemy, Valentin Zukovsky, to find out more about Renard and the men who attacked him earlier. Zukovsky tells Bond that Renard is a former KGB agent and may be working for Russian oil barons in the region who want the King pipeline destroyed. Bond and Zukovsky are summoned back to the main floor; Elektra has come to the casino to show she isn't afraid of her enemies and in hopes of winning a sizable amount of money using her father's standing credit. She loses on a high-low draw but is gracious in defeat.

In a Hindu pilgrim site, Renard meets with a man named Davidov, Elektra's security chief, and a nuclear weapons scientist named Arkov, who also secretly works for Renard. Renard kills Arkov for failing to kill Elektra and orders Davidov to take Arkov's place on a secret mission the next day. Davidov agrees. Bond slips out of Elektra's mansion and goes to Davidov's office, looking for more leads. When Davidov returns, Bond kills him and takes his place on a plane.


TWiNE - Pomotional photograph of 007 and Renard (1).jpg

Bond accompanies Renard's men to Kazakhstan, where a decrepit Soviet underground nuclear weapons facility is being inspected by the UN and prepared for decommissioning. Bond meets the head of the project, Dr. Christmas Jones, who is removing all the radioactive material from the warheads. Bond goes down into one of the silos and finds Renard and his men stealing an active warhead. Bond briefly captures Renard, and tries to force the criminal to reveal his plan. Renard resists, feeling no pain from Bond's blows. During the improvised interrogation, Renard uses a phrase Bond had previously heard from Elektra ("There's no point in living if you can't feel alive.") and reveal he was the sniper during the encounter on Bilbao. Bond also notices that one of Renard's men has removed the tracking card from the bomb.

At that moment, Dr. Jones and a squad of guards come into the room and she accuses Bond of being an impostor. Bond is forced to his knees by Renard, who presses on Bond's injured collarbone. Bond and Renard and the others are about to be arrested when Renard's crew opens fire and try to escape in the melee. Bond tries to stop their escape but fails and he and Jones are trapped in the silo with a bomb planted by Renard. They manage to get out before the bomb explodes. Jones tells Bond they should be able to find the bomb Renard stole quite easily using it's tracking card but Bond shows her the card he'd taken from one of Renard's men.


Bond returns to Baku and harshly confronts Elektra about Renard using her motto and about the way Renard knew about Bond's injury. He concludes that Elektra and Renard are working together. When M arrives, Bond gives her the locator card from the bomb and tells her his theory. At that moment, an alarm sounds, indicating trouble on the pipeline. Renard has planted the bomb he stole on an inspection car that's traveling down the pipeline out of control. Bond and Jones use another of the vehicles to catch the bomb. While Jones dismantles the device she finds that only half of the plutonium from the original bomb is there. Bond tells her to let the explosive charge detonate to create the illusion that they were killed.

The bomb goes off and a large section of the pipe is destroyed. Back at Elektra's command center, she gives the visibly upset M a gift: her father's lapel pin. The pin King was wearing when he was killed was a fake that activated the detonator in the money Bond had retrieved. Elektra tells M that she killed her father out of revenge for using her to bait Renard. M is taken prisoner. Bond and Jones are puzzled as to why Renard only used half of the plutonium. Bond thinks he knows where to look for answers.

Bond once again visits Zukovsky, this time at his caviar factory. While trying to gather further information from Zukovsky, they are attacked by helicopters with dangling, circular saw blades. Bond is able to destroy one of the helicopters with missiles fired from his BMW, but the other chopper saws his car in half. Bond uses a flare gun to ignite leaking gas from a nearby pipe, destroying the second helicopter. In the confusion, Zukovsky falls into a pit of his own caviar. While he struggles to free himself, Bond asks him what his connection to Elektra is. The gangster tells him that he'd arranged for his nephew, a Russian Victor-III class submarine captain, to smuggle some machinery out of Istanbul for Elektra in exchange for him being able to keep her father's credit line by easily defeating her in a simple card game. Bond fishes Zukovsky out of the caviar and the Russian agrees to help Bond stop Renard.


In Istanbul, Bond and Zukovsky work to discern Renard's plan. They figure out that a nuclear explosion in Istanbul would contaminate the Bosphorus, preventing all shipping out of the Black Sea, and rendering the Russian oil pipelines useless. That would leave only one viable method of extracting petroleum from the Caspian region; the pipeline owned by King Industries. The submarine will be detonated using the stolen plutonium and will look like an accident. When Bond and Zukovsky determine where the sub is docked, near the Maiden's Tower, Zukovsky's assistant, Bullion, rushes out of the room, having planted a bomb. Bond and Jones escape and the bomb goes off, rendering Zukovsky unconscious. Outside the command center, Bond and Jones are captured by Renard's men.

Bond is taken to the Maiden's Tower and delivered to Elektra. Renard takes Jones with him to the submarine. Elektra has Bond shackled to an antique chair that causes asphyxiation and she proceeds to torture him. Suddenly, Zukovsky and his men take control of the tower, killing Renard's and Elektra's men. When Zukovsky reaches the room where Elektra has Bond, he sees his nephew's captain's hat on a nearby table; he demands it from Elektra. She shoots Zukovsky with a pistol hidden behind the hat and he falls to the floor. She turns her attention back to Bond, just long enough for Zukovsky to cock the rifle hidden in his cane. He first aims at Elektra, but turns toward Bond and fires, seemingly hurting him. Zukovsky dies, however his shot has in fact freed one of Bond's wrists and he is able to free himself completely. Elektra runs off, Bond takes her pistol and chases her through the tower, stopping briefly to free M. He finds Elektra at the top and demands she call off Renard in the submarine. She tells Bond he'd never kill her and that he'd miss her. She yells through a two-way radio for Renard to proceed with the plan and an enraged Bond shoots her, saying "I never miss."

Bond leaps from the tower and boards the sub, where Renard has extruded the stolen plutonium into a rod to be inserted into the sub's reactor. Bond kills most of Renard's men but the terrorist locks himself in the reactor room. Bond swims outside the sub, and enters the engine room through a pressure lock. Jones follows, but distracts Bond from his battle with Renard when she needs him to let her in before she drowns. As a result Renard is able to lock Bond and Jones away from the reactor chamber. Bond sees a way to eject the rod using a pneumatic control and the rod impales Renard, killing him. However, the reactor's cooling has been compromised and it will still explode, though not as seriously as Renard planned. Bond and Jones escape through a missile hatch to the surface and are picked up by a passing boat.

Back at MI6 HQ, M, Q and the rest of her staff scan satellite channels looking for Bond. They find him in Istanbul, in bed with Dr. Jones.

Cast and Characters

This was Desmond Llewelyn's last appearance as "Q" before his death in December, 1999. Llewelyn died in an automobile accident only a few weeks after the film's release. The film introduces "Q"'s successor, played by John Cleese, and jokingly referred to as "R" by Bond. In future movies, "R" takes over the job of Quartermaster, thus taking on the title "Q".



Film locations

  • Bilbao, Spain — Guggenheim Museum
  • London, UK — MI6 Headquarters and Millennium Dome
  • Scotland, UK — Eilean Donan castle
  • Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Istanbul, Turkey

Shooting locations


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Vehicles & gadgets

Main articles: List of James Bond vehicles and List of James Bond gadgets

  • BMW Z8 - Loaded with several Q refinements including ground to air missiles, a key chain that can control the car remotely, and as R proudly points out, cup holders. For films, this is the first car Bond is given by Q-branch where the steering wheel is on the left side.
  • Q Boat - used in the opening sequence. Was created by Q for his retirement.
  • Omega Watch - Bond's watch has the ability to shoot a grappling hook that can allow him to climb to new heights.
  • Protective Jacket - Q gives Bond a jacket, that when deployed encloses Bond and potentially another person inside a ball. This feature appears to be based on the Zorb.

Marketing & Merchandise

Concept teaser poster.

At the time of the film's release, MGM signed a marketing partnership with MTV, primarily for American youths who were assumed to have considered Bond to be "an old-fashioned secret service agent". As a result MTV broadcast more than 100 hours of Bond-related programs immediately after the film was released, most being presented by Denise Richards. The BMW Z8 driven by Bond in the film was the final part of a three-movie product placement deal with BMW (which began with the Z3 in GoldenEye and continued with the 750iL in Tomorrow Never Dies). Other promotional and product placement partners included Omega SA, Heineken, Smirnoff, evian, and Wilkinson Sword.

The film was released on DVD and VHS on 16 May 2000, and sold over 5 million copies. The initial release of the DVD includes the featurette "Secrets of 007", which cuts into "making of" material during the movie; the documentary "The Making of The World Is Not Enough"; two commentary tracks—one by director Michael Apted, and the other by production designer Peter Lamont, second unit director Vic Armstrong, and composer David Arnold; a trailer for the video game, the Garbage music video, and a "making of" booklet which featured trivia on the film's production and stills from the film. The Ultimate Edition boxed set release from 2006 had, as additional extras a 2000 documentary named "Bond Cocktail", a featurette on shooting the Q Boat scenes, Pierce Brosnan in a press conference in Hong Kong, deleted scenes, and a tribute to Desmond Llewelyn. The Ultimate edition was re-released individually in 2008 on DVD and Blu-ray; most recently it has been released as part of The James Bond 50th anniversary Blu-ray set and in bare-bones dvd form.


Featuring "The World Is Not Enough" performed by Garbage, the main soundtrack was composed by David Arnold. This is the second James Bond soundtrack composed by Arnold after he was hired to replace Éric Serra for 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies.


Released in conjunction with the release of the film, the novelisation was penned by Raymond Benson and adapted from the screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Bruce Feirstein.


Released in the fall of 2000 for Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation, The World Is Not Enough is a first-person shooter developed by Eurocom and Black Ops Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts.


  • While the film was in production, several noted gossip columnists reported that the producers planned to include cameos by virtually every surviving former Bond girl from Ursula Andress to Michelle Yeoh. Although this rumor turned out to be false, a young woman in the casino scene was played by the daughter of Eunice Gayson who had played the very first Bond girl, Sylvia Trench, in Dr. No and From Russia with Love.
  • During filming of the opening boat chase, web cams were set up overlooking the Thames River and Internet users could watch the filming from around the world.
  • This was the first official James Bond film not to be released by United Artists. Its parent company, MGM had since Tomorrow Never Dies assumed co-production and distribution of the Bond films.
  • This film is notable as being one of the few Bond movies in which James himself kills a leading female character. In the scene, Bond points a gun at her and threatens to shoot her if she contacts the enemy on her two-way radio. She replies that he can't kill her, because "You would miss me," possibly referring to their romantic involvement. He says nothing, and in the crucial moment, she defies him, alerting the enemy, and he promptly shoots her. Standing over her body, he says, tersely: "I never miss." An early version of the script has Bond shoot her in cold blood before she actually attempts to contact Renard. A longstanding stereotype regarding James Bond is that 007 routinely kills women he beds; in truth, the death of Elektra is the only occasion in the EON Bond film series in which this undeniably occurs (It is debatable whether Bond actually kills Fiona in Thunderball or if she is a victim of her men's poor shooting skills; he does, however, directly kill the version of the character that appears in the non-EON film, Never Say Never Again).
  • Although the producers have not acknowledged it, M's kidnapping is perhaps borrowed from the Kingsley Amis James Bond novel, Colonel Sun. One of the film's settings, Baku, Azerbaijan, is also one of the settings of the 1991 John Gardner Bond novel, The Man from Barbarossa.
  • The fictional news report which Bond views from the MI6 Archive was provided by BBC News. This was out of date by the time the film was released (November 1999) as the BBC relaunched their news output in May and Martyn Lewis (the newsreader) left the corporation at the same time.
  • The pipeline featured in the film is a thinly disguised fictional version of the real Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which runs from the Caspian to the Mediterranean via the Caucasus. Unlike the film's "King pipeline", however, the BTC pipeline is almost entirely underground. As in the film, it is the only land route by which oil can be transported from the Caucasus to the Mediterranean.
  • Elektra's father is named Robert King. This is also the name of the co-writer of Your Deal, Mr. Bond, a collection of bridge-related short stories that included an unauthorized James Bond story.
  • The film ends with a joking reference to the Millennium Bug. More commonly referred to as Y2K, this was based on a well-publicized prediction that the rollover from 1999 to 2000 might cause widespread computer failures. This is one of the few moments in the Bond film series that directly ties it to a specific point in time.
  • When Sean Connery received the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award, Pierce Brosnan, in his tribute, revealed that Connery visited the set and watched Brosnan film one of the movie's action sequences. Afterwards, Brosnan joked, Connery asked Brosnan if they were paying him enough money.
  • This was the last Bond movie to be released in the 20th century and before the 9/11 attacks.


See The World Is Not Enough (novelisation)


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