Tomorrow Never Dies
release year: 1997
genre: James Bond
viewing setting: home Bluray 2/1/19 and 12/28/12 and home DVD 4/13/03
synopsis: Bond must stop a media mogul who wants to make his own headlines by sparking international incidents.
impressions: The whole Eliot Carver/media/news line of thought really got old for me, probably because I worked at CNN for three years and never really bought into the "news-is-life" mindset there. There was also some use of the (early) internet for evil purposes, via hacking of GPS satellites. This one had a lot of action, some ruthless Bond behavior, but also the "if-we'd-just-shot-Bond-when-we-had-the-chance-then-our-plot-would-have-succeeded" factor. I liked the chases and Michelle Yeoh's character and stunts. Also of note: the jumpmaster who instructs Bond before his HALO jump is Al Matthews, who played Sgt. Apone in the classic Aliens. There's also a blink-and-you'll-miss-it early appearance of Gerard Butler, as a crewman aboard the doomed ship at the beginning.
acting: Pierce Brosnan did well; after this movie, I realized that he's sort of a fusion of Connery's style and Moore's style. Michelle Yeoh's Wai Lin was the perfect woman here: smart, cute, sense of humor, could fight...wow. Jonathan Pryce was good but over-the-top as a maniac who wants to control the world, though by a different means. Teri Hatcher was decent as his doomed wife (and an ex-lover of Bond's.) Gotz Otto makes another good tall, blond henchman. Judi Dench is back as the tough, gruff "M" and Desmond Llewelyn is back as the aging but still sarcastic "Q." Joe Don Baker also returns as Bond's CIA friend. Vincent Schiavelli is a well-educated assassin who Bond must deal with.
chase scenes: 2 (chase/shootout in parking deck, good motorcycle chase with Bond and Wai Lin handcuffed to each other)
mass fight at end: none
neat gadgets: BMW 7-series, handy-dandy cel-phone with stungun, fingerprint reader, and car remote control
confirmed Bond kills: around a dozen, hard to tell in this 90s Bond era of heavy gunfire
confirmed Bond seductions: 3
obnoxious female names: none
defining Bond moments:
- lights guard's cigarette before punching him out
- successful verbal sparring against Carver
- checks weight/feel of ashtray before whacking bad guy with it
- shuts off power to Carver's big broadcast to piss Carver off
- obviously revels in playing with the toys given to him by Q
- casually brushes himself off after smashing through window
- messes with Wai Lin's gadgets
- uses enemy guard's body as decoy corpse
- helps himself to items in enemy storeroom, to make a bomb
- in the middle of hostage negotiations, notices guard sneaking up above, and casually shoots him
- while talking to Wai Lin, notices guard waking up, and knocks him out
- shoves the main bad guy into a giant drill
Eliot Carver: "Exactly what kind of banking do you specialize in, Mr. Bond?"
Bond: "Hostile takeovers."
Paris Carver: "Sometimes these things happen."
Eliot Carver: "Not to me."
assassin: "Wait! I'm just a professional, doing a job!"
Bond: (shoots him) "Me too."
Eliot Carver: "The difference between insanity and genius is measured only by success."
Bond: "You were pretty good with that hook."
Wai Lin: "It comes from growing up in a rough neighborhood. You were pretty good on the bike."
Bond: "Well, that comes from not growing up at all."
Carver: "You see, Mr. Bond? I have a backup plan."
Bond: "Uh-huh. So do I."
final word: Plenty of flash and bang; a good sophomore effort from Brosnan.
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