The World Is Not Enough (12) 127 mins

Plenty of spectacle, little excitement

Bond is back . . . for the nineteenth time, and you have to wonder if there’s any room left for originality? Of course not, the British spy action series has worked from a formula since making its debut with Dr No in 1962. The real question is, how good are the usual components: girls, villains, gadgets, stunts and the opening sequence?

The Bond girls get top marks. Denise Richards’ busty nuclear physicist, Dr Christmas Jones, lays to rest the fear that PC attitudes dominate the Pierce Brosnan (good as ever) films, although Judi Dench is back as M in a more involved role. Sophie Marceau’s oil baroness, Elektra King, is as feline as they come, and has a few surprises up her ballgown. Unfortunately, Robert Carlyle’s international terrorist who can feel no pain because another 00 agent lodged a bullet in his brain is woefully underused; his climactic fight with 007 aboard a sinking submarine floats free of suspense. Q (the late Desmond Llewelyn) bows out as gadget expert, introducing John Cleese as his replacement, and one of his favourite gadgets a power boat-cum- submersible is hijacked by Bond for the opening sequence’s high-speed chase along the river Thames, terminating atop the Millennium Dome.

Opening aside, The World Is Not Enough lacks excitement. There's plenty of spectacle, but little care for pacing and suspense. Director Michael Apted handles the drama better - and the characters are more fully developed than normal but that's not really the point of a Bond film, is it?

(Miles Fielder) Avar/ab/e on vrcleo rental and DVD retail at £19.99 from Mon 22 May.


Happy, Texas (12) 98 mins

Ex-cons Jeremy Northam av‘cr Steve /.ahn "ol rnto the srnall-to‘xxr) of Happy orsgmsed as a coupse of pre-teer‘. beauty pageant drrec tors who are gay ( o.enty of a\.'.rk‘.'.'ardrress and sexuairty/ge'rder-reiated Jokes lt's not at all as homophobic as rt sounds,

(fhanrpron Crty's, er, charrrpron, Captarn Ama/rng (Greg Krnnearr, a bunch of crap heroes led by Mr Furrous Ben Strllerr whose power rs to get really angry and that's rt must save the day Stooprd, but rn a good \'.'ay (Universal: (Mrles Frelderr

Guest House Paradiso (15) 86 mins lor long-standrng defenders of the hornrc Ida? herorc s and lavatorral lunacy of Rrk Mayall and Adrran lzdnrondson, rt ‘.'.'rll hurt to dul) Guest House )ar‘acl/so a drsaster Otrr‘ pukrng parr‘ have sonrehox'.‘ bec orne propr‘retors of ’Jr'rtarn's \.*.rorst hotel whrc h happens to be srtuated next to a leaky nuclear power plant and \.‘.'(‘ll, you can frll rn the rest Wrth one rnsprred frlrn spoof moment and erght chuckles to rts nanre, Guest House Paradrso sees Rrk 'r‘.’ Ade leavrng Bottom behrnd and puttrng the anal rnto banal (Unrversalr irran Donaldson)

nstead rt's a rather sauteet, af tanze, corr‘edy that's nrce to rust about all the cl‘ar'acters And V/rll'arn H lulacy's

c oset-case sherrff, ( r‘appy, rs part- roy Buena Vrsta) l.lrles l-relde"

Mystery Men

(15) 86 mins

)‘xltl‘otrgl‘ Elns Arnerrc an srrperht‘oro cor'rrc book spoof operates at the loss ’e‘.rel of Mel Brooks, 's more k'rox'xrng about its source rnater‘al than any of the dark Bat/nan frl'ns \f/l‘en super

asarroxa l ra'rkensterr‘r ’()("()lll(“y

Rush escapes from nrrsor‘. and ;-.rdnaps

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