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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.11%
Worth A Look: 24.72%
Pretty Bad: 23.6%
Total Crap: 0%

5 reviews, 59 user ratings

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Tomorrow Never Dies
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by MP Bartley

"The One With The Newspapers."
3 stars

'Goldeneye' had brought James Bond screaming back into the 90's. But it had yet to be seen whether this was just a one-off trick or if Bond was here to stay. 'Tomorrow Never Dies' proves that, yes, he was here to stay. But unfortunately only in an extremely pre-packaged manner.

One of the best things about the Brosnan Bonds is that the pre-credits sequences are all determined to out-do the previous one. 'Tomorrow Never Dies' has a belter with Bond trying to fly out some nuclear missiles from a terrorists arms bazaar before they're blown to smithereens by a Royal Navy missile. It's so good in fact, it's a fair criticism that it's better than the rest of the film.

Sheryl Crow then pops up to deliver a forgettable smoky ballad before Brosnan's second Bond mission starts proper. There's an international incident brewing between Britain and China. A British destroyer has been sunk by the Chinese who claim it was in their waters. The British however claim they were in neutral waters and that it was the Chinese who acted aggressively. MI6 however suspect a third party is to blame but only have 2 days to discover who before the British declare war. Their main suspect is media tycoon Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) who is to be investigated by Bond, a mission complicated by Bond's previous affair with Carver's wife, Paris (Teri Hatcher). His mission will also involve him with Chinese agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh)

'Goldeneye' had worked so well because it used the typical Bond formula, but with vigour and energy. 'Tomorrow Never Dies' follows the same formula but is lacking in the same energy. Aside from the opening pre-credits sequence, the only other part worth mentioning is an excellent escape down the face of a skyscraper which eventually leads into a superb motorbike against helicopter chase through the streets of Bangkok. Otherwise, Spottiswoode's direction is fairly lethargic and uninspired, with even the climax indistinguishable from the other dozen 'the base is about to explode!' finales.

'Tomorrow Never Dies' also marks the point where product placement fatefully tainted the Bond series forever. Hey, Bond uses an Ericsson phone! Maybe I could get one too! And it's also annoying how Bond now has a get out of everything card from Q. An otherwise impressive car chase in a multi-storey is spoilt by the handy use of a rotating blade in the front of the car to cut through a metal cable thrown into the path of Bonds car. A device completely useless...unless someone happens to throw a metal cable into the path of your car.

It's not that 'Tomorrow Never Dies' is an annoying or offensive Bond film, it's just so standardised that it's hard to be too interested in it. The two day deadline that Bond is working too for example, is hardly mentioned meaning there's not much tension to his mission.

Brosnan however has never been bad as Bond, no matter the quality of his film. He's completely comfortable and confident in the role now and finally brings a little quality of his own to the character. Brosnan manages to retain Bond's humanity amongst all the gadgets and always reminds us of how much death Bond has seen, and indeed is responsible for. He has a carefully hidden melancholic and regretful streak as Bond which stands out more than ever.

Llewelyn doesn't have much to here and Samantha Bond's Moneypenny continues to be irritating, but Dench continues her superb work as M. She gets one of the best lines any M has ever had when angrily asked what Bond is doing stealing nuclear missiles from the terrorists, "His job!" she snaps back. Great stuff.

It's a Bond film that's pretty limp in terms of Bond girls and villains however. Hatcher doesn't have enough to do to make you care about her and Yeoh, although the toughest Bond girl yet, is a cold and unlikeable presence.

Pryce is a very generic and lightweight villain. Although clearly having fun, he's just not threatening enough and his reasons for starting an Anglo/Chinese war are pretty stupid when it comes down to it. His Ayran henchman Stamper (Gotz Otto) is also just a generic rip-off of Jaws/Oddjob/May Day and has no real presence of his own. This lack of great dramatic threat is part of the reason that 'Tomorrow Never Dies' has no real danger to it.

A couple of terrific action sequences aside, there's little to get excited about with 'Tomorrow Never Dies'. It looks decent and moves the plot along nicely but it's all too under cooked for its own good. There's possibly no other Bond film that's such a standard procedure.

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originally posted: 08/19/04 23:16:21
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User Comments

11/09/19 Karen S another of M's pc comments & squandering Teri Hatcher's character very early& plodding plot 2 stars
9/13/17 morris campbell a good bond movie imho 4 stars
7/23/12 Monday Morning They're all starting to look alike. F 'em all! 2 stars
8/30/09 Jeff Wilder Better than Goldeneye. Here we get to the point quickly and Brosnan does good. 4 stars
11/10/08 Mark Gibson formula-yes, but at least it occupies 2 hours nicely, villian-terrible. 4 stars
1/21/08 alya de arora i just can say Good Good Good 5 stars
5/08/07 JM Synth A Bond movie which manages to be genuinely bland. One of the very weakest 2 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday Decent movie, but not one of the better Bond stories. 3 stars
2/16/07 johnnyfog Not bad, despite boring-ass scenes in Japan 3 stars
2/15/07 I Gluck Love Brosnan as Bond, I thought this one was good not great 3 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega Exciting, but lacking on something new 4 stars
1/23/07 Sepi53 Good action, not greatest Bond-film, but Brosnan is good 4 stars
11/11/06 Eden Fairly formulaic. Lacks the energy and style of Goldeneye, has crap villians 3 stars
10/30/06 ProSneakyD Better than goldeneye, a very hi tech bond adventure, but it feels slow & drags on a bit. 4 stars
6/10/06 Yorkee This continues the fresh approach - good effort. 4 stars
5/18/06 Uk_shooter quite a good bond film, but not the best 4 stars
1/03/06 Anthony Feor A good one, but lacking a bit of what Bond is 3 stars
8/26/05 Eden Sometimes gets boring, especially towards the end 3 stars
5/27/05 tony Explosive scenes of martial arts. But sometimes slow. It was an ok film. 3 stars
4/13/05 Indrid Cold Quite weak and forgettable, the villian is oddly unlikeable. 2 stars
2/06/05 Tom Benton Another entertaining, slick and stylish entry in the 007 series ... 3 stars
1/08/05 keithers.. Nice Plot....but starting to slip into die hard style.... 4 stars
8/31/04 R.W. Welch Evil genius out to destroy the world for his own gain, etc.,etc. 3 stars
7/18/04 Daveman Mind-numbingly superificial but at least it's more entertaining than subsequent Bond films. 2 stars
5/08/04 Littlepurch. Not the best but gd. Brosnan says he wants 2 work wif that woman again, I can see why! 4 stars
11/29/03 john a sadly uninspired Bond film 2 stars
11/21/03 rony i never watch james bond, but this ONE I watched for Michelle Yeoh!!!go yeoh!!go yeoh!!^_^ 5 stars
8/02/03 Stefan Halka This film proves that there is more to an action film than action. Like a plot. 3 stars
7/06/03 Paul S. Magic moments: Michelle Yeoh walking down a wall, Yeoh kicking arse, Yeoh`s Q-scene, Yeoh. 5 stars
5/16/03 mr. Pink Okay. not bad. Quite entertaining. Bla-bla-bla 3 stars
1/22/03 Angolmois Bond movies were always shallow, but this one scrapes the bottom of the barrel. 2 stars
12/04/02 Jiz Brosnan's best. The partner thing actually worked, and Stamper's a real badass 5 stars
9/17/02 CVJ Not a very good bond at all Brosnans worst 2 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee One of the more underrated bond films. Michelle Yeoh is superb. 4 stars
9/20/01 Butterbean Bronson and Dence were brilliant, but the story wore thin 3 stars
9/09/01 Henry Ginsberg Wicked stunts.The end sequence is as good as any. 5 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) The second time is bad, but the next time is better. 3 stars
6/04/01 keith langman alright movie can't recap the original bond movies 3 stars
2/26/01 Bruce My personal favorite Bond film, Michelle Yeoh is awesome 5 stars
2/16/01 Chris Drake Brosnan grew on me:endearing!Yeoh=Wow,dear Pryce needs new dentist.Great action,esp@Saigon 4 stars
12/01/00 joe at least it's better than TWINE 4 stars
10/24/00 Gremlin The plot's so fucking gay it's ridiculous.The only good part was hot-as-hell Terri Hatcher. 2 stars
6/26/00 Naushad Khanji Brosnin is the worst Bond ever!.The formula looks tired. 2 stars
6/24/00 Terrie Smith Predictable but Brosnan and Yeoh work well together 3 stars
5/29/00 Cooke Bond is awesome. 5 stars
11/19/99 Jesus Christ, this was so sucky and predictable. 2 stars
2/09/99 bond some good action scenes, but overall a crap movie 2 stars
1/10/99 Dasha Pierce Brosnan is the best Bond ever, but the movie was average 3 stars
1/09/99 Jo Mama man wants to take over the world...yadda yadda yadda. VERY predictable 2 stars
12/06/98 Ryano Wai Lin=best female character in Bond movie ever. Brosnan=cool. Movie=Top-notch. 5 stars
10/17/98 Sailor Moonn Ate My Balls If you Goldeneye, then this movie is for you. Pierce Brosnan forever! 4 stars
10/01/98 Paul Maki Without Michelle Yeoh where would this movie be. 5 stars
9/25/98 Des Bromilow It's BOND through and through, what more? 4 stars
9/07/98 BBReBozo Michelle Yeoh = 7 bucks from BBReBozo 4 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Some witty dialogue would have helped 007. Plot was idiotic. 3 stars
8/20/98 The Man With The Helmet Teri Hatcher died. Early. Bravisimo. 3 stars
8/17/98 Johny I think Bond only said like 100 words in this film 3 stars
8/17/98 {{{OZ}}} A dumb premise all around. This franchise is dying. 2 stars
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  19-Dec-1997 (PG-13)



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