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Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies

11.13.2008

After GOLDENEYE broke franchise records in the fall of 1995, it was a given that the franchise would continue with Pierce Brosnan- and work began on a follow up film due for Christmas of ’97. The question remained- would this new film be able to continue the franchise revitalization begun by GOLDENEYE, or was that film just a fluke?

TOMORROW NEVER DIES

PLOT: Bond must stop a mad multi-media mogul from engineering world events- and beginning a war with China.

REVIEW: Let’s face it- TOMORROW NEVER DIES will never be thought of as one of the better Bond films. Supposedly, it was a very troubled production from day one, with dozens of writers working on the script- under a director, Roger Spottiswoode, who by all accounts had a very tense relationship with his cast and crew. The tabloids were also filled with stories of feuding on the set between Pierce Brosnan and Teri Hatcher. A lot of people expected the film to flop, as it was due to open on the same weekend as TITANIC (although many also expected THAT film to flop as well). There were also stories about disastrous test screenings, resulting in the film being drastically re-edited just prior to opening (and indeed, most of Teri Hatcher’s role ended up on the cutting room floor).

While I’ll admit that the finished film is a flawed production, it’s not the disaster that some people say it is. While the storyline is laughable- TOMORROW NEVER DIES nonetheless is a fairly entertaining film. It was probably the most action heavy instalment of the franchise up to that point, and many of the action scenes are impeccable- including an awesome car chase where Bond steers the car from the backseat using his cell phone. While it would have been nice if the film had a little more substance, I still think it’s superior to the Brosnan films that followed- although it was a major disappointment coming off the solid GOLDENEYE.

BOND

Pierce Brosnan once again does a great job as Bond- although he’s not as sharp in the role here as he was in the previous instalment. This is the first film where Brosnan begins to play the role slightly tongue in cheek- although you can’t really blame him considering the movie itself. There are a couple of solid scenes where Brosnan actually gets to act (including a great scene where he calmly kills an unarmed villain), but for the most part he’s just shooting guns and dropping one liners.

VILLAIN

Jonathan Pryce, of BRAZIL fame, plays Elliot Carver- a villain obviously modelled on Rupert Murdoch & Bill Gates. While I like Pryce, I think Carver is one of the worst Bond villains of all time- and his scheme to manipulate events to make news is laughable, and seems like something out of a bad Bond spoof.

BOND GIRL

In my opinion, this is where the film really went wrong, with Michelle Yeoh & Teri Hatcher. As a big Hong Kong action film fan, I love Michelle Yeoh- but she’s not a Bond girl. She’s too much of an action heroine in her own right to be playing second fiddle to anyone, including Bond.


Teri Hatcher fares even worse as Paris Carver, the villain’s wife- who has a fling with Bond. Hatcher was doing LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN at the time, and the producers probably thought that by including her, it would pull in fans of her TV work. Her involvement ended up being a disaster, as she was totally miscast- and most of her role got chopped out of the film.

BOND MUSIC: David Arnold, who’s scored every Bond film since, does his first series score here. It’s like John Barry circa 1965 with a techno beat. I really like this score, which also features some work by The Propellerheads. Less successful is the theme song by Sheryl Crowe, although Arnold was not involved, so can’t be blamed.

BODY COUNT: The Brosnan Bond’s always had fairly high body counts, and this is no exception, with thirty five kills for Bond.

NUMBER OF WOMEN BOND SLEEPS WITH: Bond is a little more randy here than in GOLDENEYE, and does “the beast with two backs” with three willing ladies.

BEST ONE- LINER: After throwing a bad guy into a printing press- “they’ll print anything these days.”

BEST DOUBLE ENTENDRE: This one goes to Moneypenny. After discovering that Bond has spent the morning making love to a language tutor she says- “you always were a cunning linguist James”.

BEST GADGET: : Q provides Bond with a cell phone that also operates his new Beemer via remote control.

RECEPTION: TOMORROW NEVER DIES was another hit for Brosnan- pulling in $126 Million in the U.S (despite direct competition with TITANIC), for a $333 Million worldwide total.

GRADE: 6.5/10- a very flawed Bond film, but still entertaining.

Previous reviews: DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE , GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER , LIVE AND LET DIE, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, MOONRAKER, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, OCTOPUSSY, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, A VIEW TO A KILL, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, LICENCE TO KILL, GOLDENEYE

Source: JoBlo.com

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