For the third time Pierce Brosnan is taking on the part of Ian Fleming’s James Bond in the 19th installment of the highly successful series of movies, "The World Is Not Enough." Progressing with the notion to develop Bond a little further, this time we get to see another new sides of the character, including a wounded and slightly disabled James Bond - a first if I remember correctly.
Oil heiress Electra (Sophie Marceau) had been kidnapped and managed to escape her captors. Afraid, the kidnappers may catch up with her once again James Bond is put on the case to protect the new multi-million oil baron - against her will.
Bond learns that Renard (Robert Carlyle) was after her and signs indicate that he may come back for her once again. Impervious to pain due to a gunshot wound, Renard is in possession of nuclear explosives and threatens to destroy Electra’s pipeline. Bond takes preventive steps, but for some reason, nothing feels right to him, and before he realizes what is happening, he is pulled into a story of intrigue and adrenaline-pumping action that takes him to some exotic locations and into the heat of battle once again.
As expected, the film nicely follows the successful lead of the previous movies, standing by the long tradition to wow audiences with mostly man-made action stunts and thrills. It is a very pleasant change of pace from the mainly computer generated effects we have seen of late and give "The World Is Not Enough" a very unique note. As fans of the series have come to expect, "The World Is Not Enough" is a high octane mix of action, humor, romance and intelligently written dialogues.
More settled and secure in his part as 007, Pierce Brosnan puts in a great performance and it is obvious form a large number of the shots in the movie that the actor does a lot of the physical work that comes with the part himself - and always with a witty smile. You can’t help but notice that Brosnan seems to enjoy the movie himself and that he has more fun riding the gadgets, and causing the destructive mayhem than a little boy in a toy store. This enthusiasm and energy comes across on the screen in every scene, easily capturing the audience. His suave portrayal of the character underscores that he really is a perfect contemporary James Bond, just as Sean Connery and Roger Moore were during their time. The story helps establishing new sides of Bond and especially the fact that he is too late to prevent disaster almost every time adds a nice edge to the film - and makes eloquently room for some great explosions!
Sophie Marceau is a beautiful and intelligent character next to Bond, that is string yet vulnerable, just as the part dictates. The movie also introduces us to Q’s follower in the form of John Cleese, introduced by the late long-time Q actor Desmond Llewelyn himself in the film. I am sure Cleese will make a worthy replacement for Q in future movies as it is obvious from his small appearance that he has the snappy attitude and the dark humor we want to see from the gadget masters of the MI6. Only Denise Richards stands out as a disappointment. The actress’ artificiality and inability to deliver a single line with conviction in a way that it doesn’t appear read off a cue card makes her the most forgettable of all Bond girls in the series’ history. Her attitude, slow wits, the way she dresses and her age do not help to convince me that she in fact could have a doctorate in nuclear physics. Nothing about her part as Dr. Christmas Jones feels real or in synch with the rest of the film and once again I can only stress so much that I hope to see Catherine Zeta-Jones in one of the upcoming James Bond sequels.
MGM Home Entertainment has expectedly prepared a stunning transfer of this movie for release on this DVD. Spectacularly detailed and sharp, the transfer is easily among the best in the market. There is not a hint of grain or noise in the image and the level of detail is absolutely staggering. Colors are powerfully vivid and literally leap off the screen. The blacks are deep, and the highlights are perfectly balanced to create an image that is a bold reminder of DVD’s superior qualities. No compression artifacts are evident in the transfer, leaving not a hint of pixelation or chroma noise. You have to see this presentation to believe it.
The same is true for the DVD’s sonic presentation. Featuring a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track, the soundtrack is engaging and very aggressive. Making constant use of the split surrounds, the movie manages to create a listening environment that is constantly active and feels extremely alive. With an absolutely natural frequency response and a good bass extension, the track has a very energetic and dynamic nature. Noises, bullets and music is coming from all directions to create an ambiance for the film that puts the icing on this spectacular release. Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable, and the entire track has a very good balance.
The disc features two separate commentary tracks. The first one is by director Michael Apted in which he discusses production issues, special effects, and many other aspects of the movie. It is an informative track, although Apted is coming across a little dry in his delivery at times. The information however is very interesting and highly detailed.
The second commentary features crew members like production designer Peter Lamont, second unit director Vic Armstrong and composer David Arnold.
A 15-minute documentary called "The Making of The World Is Not Enough" can also be fond on the disc. It is a featurette that takes you behind the scenes of the production at Pinewood Studios and features interviews with cast and crew members. Since it covers some really interesting aspects of the production it doesn’t have this common publicity flair to it, which makes it very enjoyable.
Another section of the disc is called "The Secrets Of 007." It is an analysis of some of the special effects scenes from the movie where you are able to see in the form of storyboards and behind-the-scenes footage how certain scenes were planned and ultimately put together. If you turn on this option, during the presentation of the actual film you will see a "007" logo appear in the right hand corner of the screen every time this production information is available for a scene. Interestingly, I found that when switching to the French subtitles, they kept turning themselves on at random, no matter how many times I told the player to turn off these subtitles.
The "Garbage" music video for the title track of "The World Is Not Enough" is also on the DVD in a great looking presentation and the package is rounded off with the movie’s original theatrical trailer.
"The World Is Not Enough" is another phenomenal Bond flick, and MGM Home Entertainment has created another spectacular DVD special edition for this film. The presentation is among the best in the market and the film itself has so much power it will blow you away anyway, so get the disc and add it to your James Bond Collection.