The World Is Not Enough
First things first ...
Distributed by MGM/UA Home Video
Pierce Brosnan returns in his 3rd adventure as the legendary super spy in the 19th EON production of the James Bond series.
The movie opens with Bond sent to Bilbao, Spain to collect the money of an oil tycoon, Sir Robert King used to pay for a secret report. Of course things go wrong and Bond has to escape via an office window. Normally the movie's pre-credit sequence would have ended with James crossing the bridge with silver suitcase containing the money but this time the story follows 007 back to Vauxhall's MI6 Headquarters. Here he returns the money to M but soon discovers it's been booby-trapped resulting in the death of Sir Robert. This leads to one of the most exciting ( & expensive ) boat chases down the River Thames taking in old & new landmarks - just a shame not saved for after the opening titles. Aided by a little black boat from Q Branch, Bond pursues the Cigar Girl ( Maria Grazia Cucinotta ) through different obstacles climaxing at London's Millennium Dome.
Bond's fall ( similar to Moonraker's Jaws ) from a balloon assists the opening titles and Garbage's acceptable theme song and also allows composer David Arnold to incorporate the music into the rest of his enjoyable score.
The story moves on with Bond getting his first glimpse of King's daughter Elektra at the funeral. After a quick repair job on his shoulder with help from Dr Molly Warmflash, James is assigned to protect Miss King. Before he leaves the temporary MI6 Scotland base ( did you notice the oil painting of Bernard Lee as M ? ), he meets Q's new assistant ( John Cleese ) jokingly called R by 007 and his new BMW Z8 car filled with new gadgets.
On arrival at King's oil fields, the plot thickens with Bond falling for Elektra, another murder attempt in the mountains pursued by some handy black and clumsy parahawks, the appearance of the baddie Renard and the re-appearance of GoldenEye's Zukovsky now running a casino and caviar factory. Watch out for another cameo from Bond producer Michael G. Wilson ( a frustrated actor ? ) handing Miss King a form to sign at the casino and also at the tables Bond composer Arnold ?
The cast includes Sophie Braveheart Marceau as Elektra King, Denise Starship Troopers Richards as Christmas Jones, Robert Trainspotting Carlyle as Renard and Robbie Coltrane as Zukovsky plus regulars Judi Shakespeare In Love Dench as M, Samantha Bond as Moneypenny & Desmond Llewelyn as Q.
The movie is helped by a better script, great action scenes and good direction by Michael Apted. Brosnan as Bond improves with each movie, the sultry Marceau acts Richards ( far too young for the role ) off the screen and Dame Judi gets to see more of the action. It's a pity that Carlyle does not carry more weight or stature as the villain perhaps hindered by his limited appearances.
To the next one alas without Llewelyn who sadly died after the movie's release but he got the chance to jokingly tell 007 "There are two things I've always tried to teach you. First: never let them see you bleed [ And Second ? ] Always have an escape plan". The World .. will keep 007 fans more than happy until James Bond Returns ....
First released in 2006 MGM Home Entertainment brought us James Bond Ultimate Edition 2-Disc DVD set of each of the 20 movies, now in 2008 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment repackage the same 2 MGM discs with a cardboard copy cover ( this one with Brosnan & Richards - uninspiring like the whole golden theme series ) and minus the interesting eight page booklet. The format remains the same with disc one having the digitally restored movie and disc two with the extras - Declassified: MI6 Vault, 007 Mission Control, Mission Dossier, Ministry of Propaganda & Image Database. Each menu has a Bond lookalike silhouette, shooting girls, casino chips & cards and gun barrels incorporating photos & music from the movie.
Two regular features tucked away in 007 Mission Control with movie snips is a section called Exotic Locations with Samantha Moneypenny Bond narrating about the filming locations & their history and within 007 section is Opening Titles - Textless enabling you to enjoy them without wording covering the girls/images.
For this disc movie audio commentaries comes from director Michael Apted or Lamont, Arnold & Armstrong. On the extras: usual pop video with Garbage plus a montage tribute to Desmond Q Llewelyn, tv docs a Making of .., the much shown in UK of James Bond Down River & Bond Cocktail and a short one of Brosnan facing the Hong Kong Press. Enjoyed deleted scenes section with Apted explaining the different angles not used for the London boat chase. Disappointed only one trailer and no tv spots but made up with the making of the teaser trailer as the 'flaming girl' is revealed.
So another must for Bond fans !