Tomorrow Never Dies
MGM Home Entertainment
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Jonathan Pryce
The movie opens with a full-throttle action sequence that pinpoints the mood for the entire film. It is fast and loud, with tons of explosions, and as dryly humorous as Bond ever was. When returning home after the incident, Agent 007 (Pierce Brosnan) is put on a different job. Someone is trying to incite war between China and the western world. A British military vessel is sunk in Chinese waters, supposedly destroyed by Chinese jets, who in turn were attacked by the ship in question. When headlines about the incident appear in certain media ahead of time, it seems that someone is apparently playing with fate. Media mogul Elliott Carver (Jonathan Pryce) – a deluded hybrid of magnates like Ted Turner and Bill Gates – quickly becomes the prime suspect with his biased reports of the incidents, and it is up to James Bond to find out what’s really going on. However, it soon appears that the job may be a little too much for the veteran spy when he finds out that his long lost love Paris (Teri Hatcher) is now Carver’s wife. Jovially trying to beat his own devils, he pursues the case while attempting to keep her out of danger, yet still digging for the truth. When Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) a beautiful Chinese super-agent with skills and gadgets comparable to Bond’s own turns up, it is time for him to team with her in order to defeat Carver’s demented plan to incorporate China into his media network and force the world into his broadcasting schedules.
One of the reasons the Bond movies are still so successful is that the filmmakers have always tried to touch upon current political and social issues, as well as scientific developments, to ensure the series’ attractiveness. In our current world, it doesn’t come as a surprise that China’s communistic immunity is the center of Bond’s attention. Regarded by many as a giant market only waiting to be tapped, it is still one of the most repressive societies in the world, and could in fact become a dangerous threat in times of war. Both aspects have been nicely summarized in this movie without falling into clichés. It also allowed the producers to bring some new cultural facets into the world of Bond, namely in the form of Michelle Yeoh, herself an action superstar in Hong Kong. She is presented as a Chinese Bond counterpart, but definitely with an Asian approach. As always, it is a pleasure to see her perfect and fearless Kung Fu style in action, especially when she easily takes on ten men at a time. After numerous successful Hong Kong movies, it is inspiring and very exciting to see her make such a big impression in Hollywood.
No Bond movie would be complete without 007’s hi-tech gadgets and "Q", of course, played by Desmond Llewelyn for the 16th time in this film. While still relying on many of his toys, it seems that the series has been refocused with the entrance of Pierce Brosnan as agent 007, moving the spotlight back onto the main character instead of simply showcasing his toys. But yet again, his gadgets pinpoint the times in which the movie plays, perfectly portraying our current society. Hardly surprising, one of his main utilities in "Tomorrow Never Dies" is a cell phone like none other, and a fully armed, remote-controlled car with a small video display in the remote control, highly reminiscent of current palm top computers.
The only thing that left me slightly puzzled during the film was that it made me wonder who would possibly want to own a car with such a stupid and obnoxious German accent? But then again, for the duration of the movie, it is wickedly funny.
MGM are also preparing a Special Edition of "Tomorrow Never Dies" for release later this year, which will supposedly contain many more bonus materials.
Apart from the original English version, "Tomorrow Never Dies" also comes dubbed in French and Spanish. The film is <$CC,closed captioned> in English and has subtitles in French and Spanish.
"Tomorrow Never Dies" is a great Bond flick, much better than many others in the series and after watching it, its success is hardly surprising. The movie skillfully puts the finger on contemporary issues and presents us with a Bond that is more real and touchable than ever, substantially reviving the character’s credibility. It is a highly entertaining action spectacle with many interesting nuances and details on the side. If you haven’t seen it yet, there is simply no way around "Tomorrow Never Dies". James Bond is coming of age and he is more alive than ever!