TOMORROW NEVER DIES

(1997)
With Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Joe Don Baker, Ricky Jay, Judi Dench, Colin Salmon, Desmond Llewelyn, Samantha Bond
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode
Reviewed by JL and JB

Hot Asian chicks make poor superhero capes     Pierce Brosnan's second film as James Bond is one of his best, but it's with TOMORROW NEVER DIES that the Bond series evolved fully into high-tech hyped-up modern-day action films.  There's no longer any place in 007's world for the well-developed suspense of the Connery years, or even the witty sophistication of the Moore era.  Such elements don't fit into the short-attention-span school of modern filmmaking, which demands that something blow up or dazzle the senses at least three times per minute.  Still, as such films go, TOMORROW NEVER DIES is good popcorn entertainment that at least offers a bit of character development and human drama.  Brosnan is quite comfortable in the role of Bond by now; he may lack some of the raw toughness of Connery or Dalton, but he makes up for it with agility and intensity.  Jonathan Pryce makes for a memorable villain, although his motivation for trying to ignite a war between the Eastern and Western worlds is rather wimpy compared to most Bond baddies.  Your typical Bond megalomaniac starts wars in order to rule the world, but Pryce merely wants broadcasting rights in China?  Seems like such extreme measures for something a couple of pricey lawyers could have handled.  But then, the entire film is a case of extreme measures.  It's far from one of the best Bonds, but it offers plenty of escapist fun if you don't think about it for too long. 3½ - JL


Stan Laurel IS Dr. No in Tomorrow Never Dies!     TOMORROW NEVER DIES is a Bond film in the classic "Supervillain With Delusions of World Domination" tradition.  It rolls along pretty well, has nice action sequences and the beautiful Teri Hatcher (I know that's a redundant description) as a jilted Bond lover from long ago. Michelle Yeoh shows off the martial arts skills that made her so popular in China, and Brosnan gets one of those scenes where Bond kills somebody in cold blood, even though he's no longer a threat.   

     My main problem with the film is that it has all been done before. Every new James Bond who sticks around long enough eventually remakes DR. NO and this was Brosnan's turn.  Yet, despite Yeoh as Bond's partner and the always wonderful Jonathan Pryce as a media mogul with visions of a different kind of world domination, TOMORROW NEVER DIES doesn't take any of the old Bond elements and make them fresh the way a similar by-the-numbers film like THE SPY WHO LOVED ME does. TOMORROW NEVER DIES is fun but not all that impressive or memorable. In short, it's an average Bond film, meaning it's good enough for a night's entertainment.3 - JB

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