When Pierce Brosnan came on to the scene as James Bond in 1995's
'GoldenEye', there was new hope for the classic spy character. There
hadn't been a Bond film in six years since 1989's 'License to Kill' and
there hadn't been a truly great Bond film since 1983's 'Octopussy' which
was the second last Bond movie featuring Roger Moore as 007.
The 007 franchise has been lacking in insightful screenplays in
recent years and while 'Tomorrow Never Dies' is an average action film,
it certainly shows no relation to the Bond tradition. It's one of the
most poorly edited films I've ever seen and Brosnan's take on the
British secret service agent this time around is the shallowest I've
ever seen from any of the men who have portrayed the man who likes his
Martinis shaken and not...you know the rest. Brosnan has very little
dialogue and the plot is a lackluster and cynical one which may not be
too far from the truth the future may hold for planet Earth but its
music video style presentation and protracted action sequences make it
Jonathan Pryce plays the super villain who happens to be an
extremely powerful international media mogul who is behind the crimes
that eventually make news which his organization capitalizes on and he
draws many parallels to some of the corporate manipulation which is very
real and there are some good inside jokes on the essence of life in the
technologically advanced 1990's. Pryce's wife (Teri Hatcher) is an old
flame of Bond's and along for the ride is a Chinese government agent
working to achieve the same thing as Bond for her government and she
reluctantly hooks up with 007 at the right moments.
For some reason, the forces behind the creation of any James Bond
movie seem to think that audiences will enjoy over and over again the
fact that James Bond's cars will be jazzed up with violent gadgets and
self defence devices and it would be nice if they would look for a
different angle. How about something hidden in 007's bow tie, his
cigarette lighter or even his belt buckle? In 'Tomorrow Never Dies'
Bond has a remote controlled car that saves his life at just the right
moment and in many ways the car is more exciting than any of the
characters, dialogue or situations that go down.
I felt as if I was watching a Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van
Damme movie instead of a Bond flick. Trashy but flashy, not boring but
not memorable, 'Tomorrow Never Dies' will disappoint a Bond fan but may
please someone who doesn't care about or has never seen a 007 entry in
the series, mainly the new generation.
Copyright © 1997 Walter Frith