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In a welcome return to the gritty glamour of such early outings as
From Russia with Love
, this 19th James Bond adventure effortlessly juggles a hard-hitting story with all the expected "super spy" embellishments and keeps everything in diamond-cut focus for maximum suspense and thrills. Plaudits should go to director Michael Apted for the stirring, not shaky, blend of casino, ski slopes and submarine components contained within a topical plot about the power struggle for global domination of pipelines from oil-rich Azerbaijan. Pierce Brosnan is clearly comfortable as 007, both in the dramatic sequences and during the spectacular stunts. (The opening speedboat chase along the River Thames gets things moving in turbo drive.) Matching him every step of the way are Sophie Marceau, the best Bond girl in ages, and Robert Carlyle, who is perfect as a vicious villain. Even Judi Dench's "M" gets out into the Middle East battlefield to show her gadget ingenuity. Though everything comes gift-wrapped in production glitz, there are many touching moments to temper the adrenaline-pumping action. Accompanied by a theme song from Garbage that sounds like Shirley Bassey revisited, the world's greatest secret agent entered the new millennium in fine blockbuster form.
Cast & Crew
Maria Grazia Cucinotta
Samantha Bond (2)
Bull / Bullion
Dr Molly Warmflash
Serena Scott Thomas
Sir Robert King
video, DVD and Blu-ray
26 Nov 1999
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