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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 31 January 2010
'The World Is Not Enough' is arguably the best of the Brosnan era movies. Whereas 'Goldeneye' took an age to get going with limited action, and 'Tomorrow Never Dies' was a full on action assault, this film was a more balanced movie with plenty of action, lots of drama, good performances and complex storyline with a half decent twist.
By now Brosnan was in cruise control as Bond, having made the role his own, some critics going as far to say that he was the best. His performance here is beautifully understated as Bond struggles to keep his emotions and professionalism separate. The performances from the female cast are also a revelation as Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards and Judi Dench get much more material to play with and see plenty of action.
The movie moves along at a smooth pace and the action is evenly spread. The photography is also excellent. The whole picture oozes class.
Unfortunately the Blu Ray transfer doesn't do the film any justice at all. The ski chase sequence looks good, but that's about it. I expected the pre titles sequence to blow me away, but it's no better than the DVD in my opinion, which is a travesty. It's hard to explain, when you consider the DVD transfer of the first three Bond films, especially 'Golfinger' which looks and sounds fantastic. That a newer film like this looks and sounds so inferior is a real mystery.
I would seriously advise anyone thinking of 'upgrading' 'The World Is Not Enough' to Blu Ray to save their money and stick with the original DVD. I seriously think that some people are trying to con movie lovers and Blu Ray owners by giving us 'placebo effect' discs, that actually haven't been upgraded at all.
What a damn shame.
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on 3 September 2010
This is one of my favourite Bond movies for a variety of reasons:
Bond is at perhaps his most revealing and complex in a long time, Brosnan playing him with a depth and nuance not usually seen. We get him pressing his luck with his affectionate but highly respectful relationship with Judi Dench's brilliant 'M'. We also get him showing vulnerability (and injury). And in the same film, in one astounding scene that's over in seconds, he somehow manages to convey loss, regret, devotion to country, and a real sense of Ian Fleming's 'assassin' all at the same time. A man who WILL kill for country. Not since Roger Moore's car-meets foot-meets cliff scene in 'For Your Eyes Only' has such surprising ruthlessness to meet his goal reared its head in a Bond movie, and it's hugely the better for it.
Judi Dench is given much to do in this adventure, which is welcome as her portrayal has a steely dignity and occasional softness that makes her highly watchable.
On the supporting character front, the film marks the swan song of Desmond Lewellyn's wonderful 'Q', and his exit is all the more poignant for a) being dignified, and interesting rather than emotional, and b) knowing that he passed away shortly afterwards.
John Cleese is humorous as his proposed replacement, but feels like little more than a well played buffoon role.
The film opens with a very lengthy pre-credit sequence, which is perhaps one of the best in the Bond series. As Bond brutally relieves corrupt Swiss bankers of their ill-gotten gains, the plot unexpectedly twists, and he eventually ends up in a spectacular speedboat chase on the Thames, which thunderously ends only to meet 'Garbage's nicely handled and memorable opening theme song.
The main villain in the film is played nicely by Robert Carlyle, as a lethal and fanatical anarchist of mysterious aims. His unique selling point? A bullet is lodged in his brain, the result of a botched assassination attempt, which has paradoxically rendered him unable to feel pain and made him even more cold-blooded and lethal - and it soon seems like he's after Sophie Marceau's Elektra King.
As a family friend and possible target, 'M' wants her protected. Marceau is gorgeously glamorous, and captivating viewing, her character granted a little more depth than usual - as indeed is almost everybody in the film. That is except for Denise Richards' ludicrous 'nuclear scientist' who spends most of the film in tight shorts and busty tops. Looking great but playing it as it's written, she seems to get the gag that she's the chesty girl who we're not really supposed to believe is a brainbox, and so she helps Brosnan milk the occasional comedy lines for all they're worth.
Carlyle is surprisingly deep and emotional as the conflicted and dangerous killer, and the set pieces are terrific. There are snowmobile-paraglider chases, ski-chases, a fantastic high-tension action piece in a nuclear bunker, the list goes on and on. But the best thing is the plot - taut, emotionally driven, and played to the hilt by better actors than would usually be lavished on an action film.
The setting, tension and drama of the finale are all perfectly handled as well.
An incredible package, made even more special by somehow perfectly snaring that old-fashioned feeling of daring, high danger and adventure that all the best old Bond films used to have. A true great in the series.
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on 22 August 2016
I enjoyed watching this 123 min REGION B/2 DVD and overall this is a solid Bond film and much better than Tomorrow Never Dies. Renard (Robert Carlyle) a terrorist who feels no pain and is slowly dying due to a bullet lodged in his brain, assassinates billionaire Robert King. Bond is assigned to protect his daughter Electra King (Sophie Marceau) and must fight Renard with the help of Valentin Zukovsky (Christmas Jones).
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on 22 November 2015
The dullest Bond film I have seen. Even duller than Golden Gun, which is saying something. So tedious, unfocused, flabby, limp and lame that I actually gave up watching it half way through. A pitiful waste of a good cast. Particularly disappointing after Tomorrow Never Dies which is my favourite Bond after Goldfinger. They clearly threw money at it but omitted to include a plot, a screenplay, dialogue, wit or a character you could actually care about. Occasionally a set piece action scene roused me from my slumber but the bizarre sequence in the oil pipe finally prompted me to find the energy to locate the remote control and put us out of our misery. Avoid.
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VINE VOICEon 6 January 2003
"Who is the best James Bond?" is a question often discussed by film fans. Invariably, for purists, the answer is Sean Connery. I shared this view until I watched The World is Not Enough. Now I am divided between Connery and Brosnan. In TWINE, Brosnan switches effortlessly between action hero, determined spy, and almost sensitive nice guy. Although not as hard as Connery's Bond, Brosnan gives the premier actor a run for his money.
TWINE has a typically thin plot involving the destruction of oil-lines that feed the West. There are the usual ingredients one would expect from Bond: a criminal mastermind (Robert Carlyle), beautiful girls (Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards), comedy cameos (Goldie, Robbie Coltrane), a few twists along the way involving themes of loyalty and revenge, and some wonderful stunt sequences. These are very good, especially the pre-credits river chase and the motorcycle leap over a helicopter. Although there are times when you think you've seen it before-the ski chase for example-on the whole these scenes are new and interesting.
Regarding the acting, Brosnan seems very comfortable in his role, which is more than can be said for some of the supporting cast. While Sophie Marceau and Judi Dench have rounded roles and play them to perfection, others fare less well. Robbie Coltrane returns from Goldeneye, ridiculous accent intact, and Denise Richards is simply eye candy as the improbable nuclear scientist. She appears uncomfortable if she has to do anything other than smile. One might argue that this is all a Bond girl is for; nevertheless, she's out of place. Robert Carlyle hams it up as the villain, Renard. We're supposed to find him threatening, dark and unpredictable, but instead he is wooden and dull. I find my mother's cooking more of a threat.
The film flows reasonably well, and is fairly fast paced. However, in some scenes the editing leaves a lot to be desired: chase sequences should have appeared more threatening, and the sequence when Robbie Coltrane releases Bond from his shackles is paced very strangely-it's neither tense nor thrilling. My main gripe is with the final sequence, because (without giving too much away) it negates Bond's previous emotional involvement with Sophie Marceau's character. On the whole it's a fun, entertaining Bond film, with Brosnan on top form, and is even better than the current comic cinema release "Die Another Day". Even the pickiest of Bond fans should find something to enjoy here.
The Special Edition DVD is packed with extras. There are two commentaries to choose from: The first is from director Michael Apted and is very informative, although not very entertaining, while the second is a 'medley' presented by Vic Armstrong, Peter Lamont and composer David Arnold.
There are also three documentaries: 'The Making Of TWINE', 'Bond Cocktail' and 'Bond down the River'. The 'Making Of' is OK, but it duplicates some material from the other features, and is presented by a very annoying woman. Bond Cocktail comprises very brief interviews from key actors and production staff, interspersed with clips from TWINE and previous Bond films. The best documentary is 'Bond down the River' which shows how the pre-credits river sequence was conceived, shot and produced. This really brought back memories, as I was working in London at the time and had watched them filming some of the sequence at the MI6 building.
There's also 'Secrets of 007'. Upon selection from the menu, you're presented with a sub menu where you can select about 10 'how do they do that' vignettes. These are short clips that mix storyboards with footage, pre-production shots and the final sequence so that you see how it's all put together. There's no voice-over on these clips which is actually a good thing-it's not needed. The only gripe I have here is that after watching each one, you're returned to option one of the menu-it should really auto-forward.
There is also a short video showing a montage of clips of Desmond Llewellyn (Q) at work in many of the Bond films. This pays tribute to Desmond as he died shortly after the film was released. I had met him at a book signing the week before he died, and although there is no commentary on the video, I found it very poignant. Additionally, there's the disposable video for the single by Garbage.
The sound quality on the film is top-notch, and the visual quality of the film is also excellent. However, the extras don't fare so well and to a greater or lesser degree, they all display compression artefacts. This is especially noticeable on fast shots and fades.
My final score: 4 stars. This might have made five if it wasn't for the less than stellar visual quality of the extras and some wooden performances in the main film.
Note: Layer switch: Start of chapter 10, the ski chase
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on 5 July 2000
Brosnan's third outing as 007 is an action-packed treat, and a huge improvement on the rather tired `Tomorrow Never Dies`. The stunts, while as formulaic as ever, offer just what the viewer wants - an exhilarating speedboat chase on the Thames is just one of the delights to behold. The locations - from snow to sun - are as breathtaking as ever. Pierce Brosnan has really made the role his now, and adds even greater depth to Bond's character. Judi Dench as M, this time with a much more important role in the plot, shows why she is probably Britain's finest actress, while Robbie Coltrane offers humour in his reprised role as Valentin (from `Goldeneye`). Denise Richards may have all the acting skills of a member of the `Saved By The Bell` cast, but she is a delight to watch, fitting the `Bond Girl` ideal perfectly (although it is difficult to take her role as `nuclear scientist` seriously). Even better is Sophie Marceau's naive young woman, while Robert Carlyle (despite his diminuitive size) makes a fantastic villain, cold and cruel but with good reason to be. This may be Bond-by-numbers (the casino, the ski-chase, the comical henchman - Goldie in this case) but surely that's exactly what we want. Bond is all about action and extravaganza, a bombardment of thrills and spills. `The World Is Not Enough` is not quite classic Bond, but it is a fantastic film and a fine farewell to the late Desmond Llelewyn. We'll miss you Q. The DVD version is exceptional, with a great menu, crystal picture and sound, and a wonderful array of extras. Absolutely unmissable.
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on 9 December 2009
Of the 9 "old Bond movie" Blurays released so far this is the weakest. The step up from the DVD isn't good enough. There just aren't enough WOW moments that I expect from a Bluray picture. Which is rather strange as this is the newest of the "old Bond" Blurays released so far.

As with the other Bond re-released Blurays the extras are as per the 2-DVD issues from a couple of years back.
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on 29 April 2015
like all the rest in this series of blu ray discs of James Bond movies the picture and sound quality is superb, its like watching them for the first time , picture is crisp and clear which results in more detail being shown.
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on 6 May 2014
My husband is a great fan of James Bond and so I decided to buy as many of his favourite Bond films. (He is not keen on Dalton or Connery) He was really please with this and all of the other I purchased. Better than a boxed set when you know that you won't be watching some of them.
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on 30 April 2014
Great villains (and a suitably jaundiced premise that becomes more topical), slightly let down by the requirements of a more jokey / pun inflected denouement.
Still Brosnan hit rate above Moore/Connery and Dalton.... Goodnight
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