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The World is Not Enough(1999)
In the 19th film of the franchise, James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can't feel pain.
For more about The World is Not Enough and The World is Not Enough Blu-ray release, see The World is Not Enough Blu-ray Review
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench
Director: Michael Apted
» See full cast & crew
The World is Not Enough Blu-ray Review
Denise Richards is a nuclear physicist. Seriously.
Reviewed by Ben Williams, April 20, 2009
After delivering a series of excellent Bond adventures, Pierce Brosnan's tenure as the legendary spy, James Bond, seemed to be secure. Many considered Brosnan's take on the character to be the finest rendition of Bond since Sean Connery defined the role in the sixties. Audiences were once again engaged and enthralled by the character, while critics lauded the series' adaptability to the ever-changing times. That all changed with the release of The World is Not Enough, a Bond film that hinted at the lows that were to come in Die Another Day. Audiences flocked to theaters for the film, but poor casting and a weak story cast the first shadow of doubt onto the franchise's new direction and, unfortunately, onto the star who fell victim to these poor narrative choices. The World is Not Enough isn't necessarily a bad Bond film; it's simple not as good as it could have been.
In The World is Not Enough, Bond is assigned to protect Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), heiress to a large oil company, after her father is killed at the hands of opportunistic terrorists. Bond and company are made aware of Renard (Robert Carlyle), the terrorist responsible for the assassination and the lucky recipient of a bullet wound to the head that has stymied his ability to feel physical pain. Much hoopla is made over Renard's invincibility due to this injury; he's a ruthless killer with nothing to lose. Despite intrigue surrounding oil pipelines, Renard really intends to bring nuclear destruction to Europe and has a surprising ally helping him at every turn. Bond will team with Nuclear Physicist Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) and his old KGB nemesis Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane), in order to put a stop to Renard's nefarious plans.
Let's be clear about one aspect of The World is Not Enough: Denise Richards plays a nuclear physicist called Christmas Jones. This is, perhaps, the worst bit of casting I've been privy to in some time. One could cast Sylvester Stallone as Steven Hawking and I'd tend to believe that more than Denise Richards as a scientist. Regardless, Ms. Richards was apparently unsure of her own casting, as she tip toes through the role with a look of pure confusion on her face in almost every scene. Unintentional comedy has never been the high point of any Bond film.
When I read that Robert Carlyle had been cast as the big baddie for The World is Not Enough, I was thrilled that such a powerfully effective actor had be given a slot in the film. Unfortunately, Mr. Carlyle is criminally underutilized in the movie; his character exists to scowl and look angry, but is never given the chance to light up the screen with the exuberance that Mr. Carlyle is capable of delivering. For shame.
So, is The World is Not Enough a decent Bond flick? Sort of? There's a really cool BMW Z8 in the movie that can launch missiles; that's pretty cool. I enjoyed the opening boat chase and John Cleese's introduction as Q's (Desmond Llewelyn) apprentice was handled with wit and grace. Some of the action was great; other bits were a bit slow. The World is Not Enough is a perfectly average Bond movie, nothing more and nothing less. Bond fans will enjoy the witty retorts and double entendres, while casual viewers will likely lose interest. Recommended for fans.
The World is Not Enough Blu-ray, Video Quality
For those who follow the Bond releases on Blu-ray, it should come as no surprise that The World is Not Enough has been given the same 1080p AVC Mpeg-4 video treatment as all of MGM's other Bond releases, while maintaining the film's correct original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. As has been the case with each of these releases, the film looks better than ever on Blu-ray and presents the Bond aficionado with a first ever opportunity to own the film in a quality that often surpasses the film's theatrical exhibition.
The World is Not Enough is a strange looking Bond adventure, as the film tends to feature a large number of bland and colorless locations that make for an almost monochromatic looking movie. That's not to say that the film doesn't have its fair share of colorful scenes; it does and they are all rendered in a lush and filmic manner. Black levels are average throughout the presentation and contrast tends to be blown out ever so slightly. Detail is also very good, though it doesn't approach the level of detail found in the best Blu-ray transfers. The World is Not Enough is a solid transfer, it's just not especially interesting to look at.
The World is Not Enough Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The World is Not Enough, like its Bond film siblings, makes its way to Blu-ray with the full MGM lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio pedigree. The film is a little less aggressive than its contemporaries, so viewers might be somewhat taken aback by its relative subtlety. Fortunately, this stylistic choice has absolutely nothing to do with this otherwise fine presentation, and shouldn't be interpreted as an indication of the film not delivering finely tuned action audio effects.
Since The World is Not Enough plods along a little more than your average Bond movie, there are considerable lengths of time in the film where dialogue is the soundtrack's primary focus. These scenes are all rendered well and never suffer from breakup or intelligibility problems. Fear not, however, as the film's action sequences do liven up the proceedings with excellent use of the rear soundstage and satisfying bass. If I could offer one minor quibble about this presentation, it would be the long stretches of time that pass with very little happening on the soundtrack. Of course, this has nothing to do with this encode, and is very much a matter of taste. Regardless, The World is Not Enough is fitting and effective on Blu-ray.
The World is Not Enough Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Here's what's included:
- Feature-Length Audio Commentary Featuring Director Michael Apted
- Feature-Length Audio Commentary Featuring Peter Lamont, David Arnold and Vic Armstrong
- "Declassified: MI6 Vault"
- Deleted & Extended Scenes with Introductions by Director Michael Apted
- "James Bond Down River" – Original 1999 Featurette
- Creating an Icon: Making the Teaser Trailer
- Hong Kong Press Conference
- "007 Mission Control" – Interactive Guide Into the World of The World is Not Enough
- Exotic Locations featurette
- Mission Dossier
- The Making of The World is Not Enough
- Bond Cocktail
- Tribute to Desmond Llewelyn
- "The World Is Not Enough" Music Video by Garbage
- The Secrets of 007: Alternative Video Option
- Release Trailer
- Image Database Galleries
The World is Not Enough arrives on Blu-ray with, perhaps, the largest single set of special features out of any of the Bond releases. There's a large amount of quality content available on this disc; content that is sure to please the most die-hard fan of the film. The highlight of the disc, for me, was the feature-length audio commentary from director Michael Apted. He's an interesting guy and is a director whose level of acclaim far exceeds his appearance as a Bond director. The set's second commentary track, is a bit less interesting, though still presents a number of interesting bits of information. The standard gaggle of production featurettes also manage to entertain while being informative, a quality that isn't always present in this kind of bonus content. For those interested in the most intricate details, the set's database of images and alternate takes will surely please. All told, The World is Not Enough is extremely fulfilling in the supplements department.
The World is Not Enough Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The World is Not Enough is far from my favorite Bond flick, but it does offer a number of exciting action sequences and enough bad one-liners to last any Bond fan a lifetime. The film's major weak point is Denise Richards, the last person on the planet who should be playing a nuclear physicist. She's downright horrible in the film and delivers most of her lines as though she's reading them off of a cue card. Bond's BMW Z8 displays more acting range than Ms. Richards. Anyway, the film looks and sounds better than ever on Blu-ray and features one of the most comprehensive supplemental sections of any of the films released up to this point. In the end, The World is Not Enough is a mildly entertaining James Bond adventure that gets the job done when other options aren't available. Slightly recommended.
The World is Not Enough: Other Editions
Blu-ray bundles with The World is Not Enough (3 bundles)
The World is Not Enough Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - March 24th - March 24, 2009
While arguably one of the most popular film series in history, some fans felt that the James Bond films had recently drifted too far from the series' explosive beginings under the helm of Sean Connery. But when 'Casino Royale' was released with fast-rising ...
• Bond Wave Two Detailed - January 20, 2009
MGM Home Entertainment in conjunction with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment have announced the special features for the upcoming James Bond Blu-ray titles 'Moonraker', 'The World is Not Enough', and 'Goldfinger', which are due to hit store shelves on March 24th. ...
• Never Say Never Again Added to Bond Release List - January 20, 2009
MGM Home Entertainment in conjunction with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment have announced that they will bring 'Never Say Never Again' to Blu-ray on March 24th, day-and-date with the DVD re-release. Technical specs have yet to be announced at this time, but ...
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