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 You are in: Special Report: 1999: 11: 99: Shaken Not Stirred
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Bond meets Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane) in a casino
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Friday, 19 November, 1999, 13:53 GMT
Bond 19: More than enough

By BBC News Online's Gareth Herincx

Producing the latest in the longest-running, most successful franchise in cinema history is no easy task - expectations are high and the stakes are even higher.

The World Is Not Enough - Pierce Brosnan's third outing as super spy James Bond - is a worthy successor.

Bond falls for Elektra
The Bond fan in me wants to say the 19th instalment in the series is better than ever with a genuinely fresh feel.

However, despite the fact that able first-time 007 director Michael Apted said he "didn't want to repeat what others had done", it doesn't stray from the successful Bond formula - spectacular stunt sequences linked with sex, elaborate plots, throwaway lines and thick accents.

Brosnan's Bond continues to blend the best of Connery, Moore and Dalton. He's dark, rough, tongue-in-cheek and even vulnerable at times.

The plot is the usual world domination tosh - this time round there's an international power struggle with the world's oil supply hanging in the balance.

The evil Renard has it in for 007
Only the second film in the James Bond series not based on an Ian Fleming story, The World Is Not Enough has agent 007 racing around London, Spain, Azerbaijan and Turkey in pursuit of terrorist Renard, played by Robert Carlyle.

Renard is not "the full monty". He has a bullet lodged in his brain which makes him impervious to physical pain. His evil plan involves nuclear weapons and a stolen Russian submarine.

There's also a double love interest for Bond. French actress Sophie Marceau plays Elektra King, the daughter of a murdered oil tycoon, whom Bond is sent to protect.

Desmond Llewelyn returns as Q with his box of tricks
America's Denise Richards of Starship Troopers fame is Dr Christmas Jones - an unlikely nuclear scientist with a penchant for tank tops and hot pants.

And following Michelle Yeoh's ball-breaking Wai Lin in Tomorow Never Dies - Marceau and Richards are firmly in the "girl power" league of Bond women.

Apart from a reasonable twist in the plot, The World Is Not Enough will probably be best remembered for its stunning chase sequences - one up the Thames to the Millennium Dome - plus a battle at a caviar factory.

There are a fun few gadgets too, including a pair of X-ray glasses - great for checking out girls in the casino scene and a self-inflating ski jacket.

Bond's ally Dr Christmas Jones gets out of her depth
Robbie Coltrane reprises his Goldeneye role as double agent Valetin Zukovsky, while Dame Judi Dench and Samantha Bond are back as M and Miss Moneypenny.

Veteran actor Desmond Llewellyn, now 85, returns for his 17th Bond film as gadget man Q. This time round Q is breaking in his assistant R, played by ex-Python John Cleese.

Kristin Scott Thomas's little sister, Serena, follows in the long tradition of bizarrely-named Bond girls. She plays Dr Holly Warmflash. Not quite in the Pussy Galore/Mary Goodnight league, but worth a chuckle.

Bond and Christmas keep their cool in adversity
Sadly Caryle's skinny skinhead Renard isn't the most menacing of Bond villiains, allowing seductress Marceau to steal the show.

Perhaps the biggest revelation is the discovery of cracks in M's ice-cool exterior.

The Bond franchise has made nearly $3bn during its 37-year run with the best film of the Brosnan era, Tomorrow Never Dies, pulling in around $350m worldwide.

The World Is Not Enough is likely to be an even bigger money-spinner, but its 128-minute running time is quite enough - even for Bond buffs.

The World Is Not Enough opens in the US on 19 November and the UK on 26 November.

Pictures courtesy of MGM
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