Pierce Brosnan returns for his second stint as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies
and he's doing it in high style with an invigorating cast of co-stars. It's only appropriate that a Bond film from 1997 would find Agent 007 pitted against a media mogul (Jonathan Pryce) who's going to start a global war--beginning with stolen nuclear missiles aimed at China--to create attention-grabbing headlines for his latest multimedia news channel. It's the information age run amok and Bond must team up with a lovely and lethal agent from the Chinese External Security Force (played by Hong Kong action star Michelle Yeoh) to foil the madman's plot of global domination. Luckily for Bond, the villain's wife (Teri Hatcher) is one of his former lovers and, at the behest of his superior "M" (Judi Dench), 007 finds ample opportunity to exploit the connection. Although it bears some nagging similarities to many formulaic action films from the 90s, Tomorrow Never Dies
(with a title song performed by Sheryl Crow) boasts enough grand-scale action and sufficiently intelligent plotting to suggest the Bond series has plenty of potential to survive into the next millennium. Armed with the usual array of gadgets (including a remote-controlled BMW), Brosnan settles into his role with acceptable flair and the dynamic Yeoh provides a perfect balance to the sexism that once threatened to turn Bond into a politically incorrect anachronism. He's still Bond, to be sure but he's saving the world with a bit more sophisticated finesse. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
On the DVD: Somewhat disappointingly there is no specific "making-of" documentary for Tomorrow Never Dies: instead we get a generic "Secrets of 007" made-for-US-television feature, a promotional piece that does however include footage from the set of TND. There is also a very brief special effects reel, which highlights the novel (for a Bond movie) use of CGI, as well as a breakdown of key sequences with their storyboards. Elsewhere, composer David Arnold enthuses about writing Bond music from a fan's perspective and Sheryl Crow's music video is included as are theatrical trailers and a text piece on some of the gadgets. There are two commentaries: the first from producer Michael Wilson and stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong; the second has director Roger Spottiswoode in conversation with "friend and colleague" Dan Petrie Jr. Only die-hard fans would have wanted both, the rest may find themselves switching between the two. The film, of course, looks and sounds stunning. --Mark Walker
007-Tomorrow Never Dies [DVD]