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Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies

Nov. 13, 2008by: Chris Bumbray
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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: Lets 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 Hatchers role ended up on the cutting room floor).

While Ill admit that the finished film is a flawed production, its 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 its 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 hes 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 cant 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 hes 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 shes not a Bond girl. Shes 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 villains 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, whos scored every Bond film since, does his first series score here. Its 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 cant be blamed.

BODY COUNT: The Brosnan Bonds 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- theyll 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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3:52AM on 11/15/2008
This had the best opener out of any bond film in my memory. I don't think I have to summarize it, but I think I will. - Bond has to escape a tomahawk missile and save a nuclear warhead while having to deal with an entire army with a dog fight in its conclusion.

Best..Opener..Ever..
This had the best opener out of any bond film in my memory. I don't think I have to summarize it, but I think I will. - Bond has to escape a tomahawk missile and save a nuclear warhead while having to deal with an entire army with a dog fight in its conclusion.

Best..Opener..Ever..
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3:51PM on 11/14/2008

Uh, uh...

Hmmmm...

Not as bad as the Moore films, but--as I probably mentioned in another one of my posts--the Brosnan pictures were becoming 'by the numbers' pics...

Michelle Yeoh, as someone mentioned, can definitely kick Bond's ass....(Also: She didn't look that bad in her leather jumpsuit at one point in the film)...

I do recall having this as a PS1 game some years back...lol

5.75/10
Hmmmm...

Not as bad as the Moore films, but--as I probably mentioned in another one of my posts--the Brosnan pictures were becoming 'by the numbers' pics...

Michelle Yeoh, as someone mentioned, can definitely kick Bond's ass....(Also: She didn't look that bad in her leather jumpsuit at one point in the film)...

I do recall having this as a PS1 game some years back...lol

5.75/10
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4:58PM on 11/13/2008
Ive always liked this one its a personal fav but I can mos def see why people dont like it. The action sequences are awesome especially the beginning and the parking lot chase.
Ive always liked this one its a personal fav but I can mos def see why people dont like it. The action sequences are awesome especially the beginning and the parking lot chase.
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1:47PM on 11/13/2008
Although I have seen bits and pieces of Bond films before, this was the first one I got to see in a theater. I quite enjoyed it. Even though it was pretty much action scene after action scene, they were all crazy fun. So definitely some childhood sentiment there, but it's still watchable to this day.
Although I have seen bits and pieces of Bond films before, this was the first one I got to see in a theater. I quite enjoyed it. Even though it was pretty much action scene after action scene, they were all crazy fun. So definitely some childhood sentiment there, but it's still watchable to this day.
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12:12PM on 11/13/2008

I always loved this one

Great film, great acting, great theme. The first half of it is particularly good - it just has a bit of a let-down final act. Still easily the second best of the Brosnan bonds, and holds its own very well against the older ones too.
Great film, great acting, great theme. The first half of it is particularly good - it just has a bit of a let-down final act. Still easily the second best of the Brosnan bonds, and holds its own very well against the older ones too.
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11:29AM on 11/13/2008

i gotta give it a 7

this was the very first bond film i saw and i thought it was good. realize that i did not see goldeneye or earlier bond films. My favorite scene has to be the one with the remote control bmw. I gotta get me one of those.
this was the very first bond film i saw and i thought it was good. realize that i did not see goldeneye or earlier bond films. My favorite scene has to be the one with the remote control bmw. I gotta get me one of those.
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9:23AM on 11/13/2008
I remember very little of the actual substance of this film. But enough to say that review is pretty spot-on. Pryce was way over-the-top in his role (I think he could've made a great Bond villain if he were grounded a bit more), and while Yeoh could've easily been a partner, labeling her a Bond girl is a bit unfair in a way (not to mention she just seemed to pop up every now and then, like she was a character in her own action movie). One scene sticks with me though, and that's the kick-ass
I remember very little of the actual substance of this film. But enough to say that review is pretty spot-on. Pryce was way over-the-top in his role (I think he could've made a great Bond villain if he were grounded a bit more), and while Yeoh could've easily been a partner, labeling her a Bond girl is a bit unfair in a way (not to mention she just seemed to pop up every now and then, like she was a character in her own action movie). One scene sticks with me though, and that's the kick-ass scene in the parking garage, which I rewatched the moment the film was done. That's the only reason I remember it, really.
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9:11AM on 11/13/2008
You're right, this is not among the best of the series, but rewatching yesterday, I found myself surprisingly entertained. This a kind of lightweight Bond film that goes down easy... not great, but perfectly watchable. I agree that Teri Hatcher is an incredibly bland Bond girl, and Michelle Yoeh could kick Bond's ass without breaking a sweat. I was disappointed by this one when it first came out, but now that we have DIE ANOTHER DAY, this one looks like a masterpiece by comparison.

6/10
You're right, this is not among the best of the series, but rewatching yesterday, I found myself surprisingly entertained. This a kind of lightweight Bond film that goes down easy... not great, but perfectly watchable. I agree that Teri Hatcher is an incredibly bland Bond girl, and Michelle Yoeh could kick Bond's ass without breaking a sweat. I was disappointed by this one when it first came out, but now that we have DIE ANOTHER DAY, this one looks like a masterpiece by comparison.

6/10
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