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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

The World is Not Enough (1999)   rating

Review: written 2008

Successful twist on Bond formula

The World is Not Enough (1999)

TWINE is definitely a step up from its predecessor - more plot, more character, more realistic. Scriptwriters Purvis and Wade have brought a much needed dose of fresh thinking to the series, while never taking away from the elements we expect. Indeed, the requisite elements - chases (boat on Thames, on skis, in BMW, etc), Bond girls (two - Denise Richards and Sophie Marceau), Bond music (David Arnold really settling into the position as master of Bond music with a great score) and so on, all are well up to par. Plus a few new notes... Bond is injured for almost the entire movie, and `M' gets out into the field (and proves her mettle) - all great new twists on the formula. Indeed the villain himself comes across less like a two dimensional villain and almost more of a tragic figure in the end.

If there is a minor flaw to this one, it is the direction - workmanlike at best, the director seems to have found himself at the helm of something unstoppable, and hasn't tried to make much in the way of course corrections. Good thing too, as things take a decent route to the end. There are a few wrong turns - Denise Richards is saddled with some of the most exposition heavy dialogue ever, and the finale to what has been a pretty good story is a little bit dud - not least because about ¾ of the dialogue is exposition and not drama. However it's so much fun to be in the company of Brosnan hitting his stride as Bond (- with character touches!) and everyone else clearly enjoying themselves, it's easy to overlook the staginess of a couple of scenes, and forgive the cheesiness of John Cleese's introduction as `Q's successor - made all the more embarrassing by how touching Desmond Llewellyn's departure as `Q' is.

All in all, one of Brosnan's more inventive and enjoyable outings.





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