Review: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

18 - Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

“Soon I’ll have reached out to and influenced more people than anybody in the history of this planet, save God himself.”
– Elliot Carver

MI6 British 007 agent James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is on a field assignment on the Russian border. When MI6 establishes that there are a few wanted men in the area, British Admiral Roebuck (Geoffrey Palmer) and M (Judi Dench) come to blows about how to handle it. Roebuck insists on launching a missile attack. Bond manages to make it out of the area, and a techno-terrorist named Henry Gupta (Ricky Jay) also escapes with an American GPS manufactured by the military. Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) runs the Carver Media Group Network and has a unique plan – world domination via news. He uses the decoder to send the British frigate into Chinese waters in the South China Sea where it is sunk by his henchman, Richard Stamper (Götz Otto), in his stealth shit. A missile is stolen, and a Chinese fighter jet is shot down. The British survivors are executed by Chinese weaponry. Carver wishes to provoke a war between the United Kingdom and China, and of course, has the breaking news reporting on it.

tomorrow never dies evil dude
“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” – Elliot Carver

Roebuck is furious, and is intent on deploying the British Fleet to recover and retaliate in connection to the frigate, and M is granted a reprieve or forty eight hours to investigate. She puts her best man on the job – Bond. Carver has been suspected of involvement or intimate knowledge of the sinking and execution after his news stations and papers have critical information long in advance of the events becoming public. Bond had a relationship with Carver’s wife, Paris (Teri Hatcher), and is told to make use of any means necessary to find out anything he can from her. Bond gathers the required information he needs from Paris, and breaks into Carver’s newspaper headquarters. He steals back the GPS encoder, only to discover when he leaves that Paris has been killed and he has a hit out on him.

tomorrow never dies remote car chase
“You forgot the first rule of mass media, Elliot! Give the people what they want!” – James Bond

Making a narrow escape, Bond takes the GPS and with it backtracks the exact location of the frigate. Bond goes to the South China Sea to investigate the sinking and discovers a missile is missing. He also runs into Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), a Chinese spy, again. This time, the two are captured by Stamper and taken to Carver. The two need to work together to get to the bottom of everything and prevent some terrible things from happening. They know that Carver has a steal ship, and they need to locate it. It is the only way that they can think of stopping Carver’s plans from executing a brand new world war and becoming the leading media mogul.

tomorrow never dies poster jump
“It depends whether your mission is peace or revenge.” – Wai Lin

Will Bond and Wai Lin set aside their differences and work together? Will they be able to warn their governments in time of Carver’s plans in order to implement a new world war? Will Carver ever pay for the things he’s done, and can they get everything done in time and survive to make M look like a genius?

A 6/10 for Tomorrow Never Dies. This was a little bit too out there for me. I think it was the action sequences, or how logic seemed to evade so many scenes. There was potential, but it was thrown away to add in as much action sequences as was possible. Teri Hatcher did not really provide a charismatic character, and she seemed to be a little out of place. Her performance was truly underwhelming, but so was her character. Desmond Llewelyn really has stuck by the Bond franchise loyally! Judi Dench is always lovely, and demonstrated here that she is not afraid to bare her teeth and stick by her guns as M, so to speak. Nothing new was brought to the table, though I thought that Elliot Carver was a new type of villain – the world of news is a new place to dominate. I actually liked him, to be honest. For me this was just another typical entry to the world of Bond. The cheese was back in abundance, and shamelessly flaunted to the world. There were some scenes in it that carried some humour, but not always the sharpest of the lot. Pierce Brosnan gives another performance that is well-oiled, and sometimes one has to wonder whether he is too slick for the role, though he still attempts to bring a little more depth to his character. Overall, the movie carries the British superspy through another outing, but not with a wealth of grace and resourcefulness. It will do, though.